Lou Bega loves Ebbsfleet’s own Mambo No5

Ebbsfleet United finally made defender Yado Mambo their honorary number five – and after becoming the talk of Twitter to help raise more than €1,800 for the fight against prostate cancer, it could even end up with Lou Bega making a trip to Stonebridge Road.

Life in the National League doesn’t usually make back-page news, but after the rest of football and social media finally caught on to Mambo’s incongruous shirt number, it proved to be a big hit with an online auction of a special edition ‘Mambo No 5’ jersey ending at £1,650 (€1,850).

With thousands of retweets calling for centre-back Dave Winfield to give up his jersey, the social media campaign certainly captured both the imagination of the public – as well as the man who had a number one hit of the same name back in 1999.

German musician Bega, whose song topped the UK charts for two weeks during September 1999, said: “It was a wonderful and welcome surprise to hear about the fantastic work Ebbsfleet United Football Club are doing in the fight against prostate cancer – and I’m delighted to lend my support.

“It’s great to know Yado Mambo is a fan of the song and I wish him, Peter Varney and everyone involved in this brilliant project well.

“Who knows, I might even come to watch a game soon.”

Mambo came through the youth system at Charlton.

The 26-year-old hopes the funds raised will help battle a disease that is the most common cancer in men and was one which Ebbsfleet executive vice chairman Peter Varney, a former chief executive with the Addicks, found himself diagnosed with two years ago.

“It’s fantastic to see how much was raised, and I’m so happy to have played a part in also raising awareness of this disease. Peter’s a very special guy and it’s brilliant to see how the club rallied in such a positive way, and drumming up knowledge about this dreadful disease has been a real eye-opener for me,” Mambo said.

“When I found out Lou Bega was supporting the incentive too, that blew me away.

“I’ve always loved the song and remember watching him perform it on Top of the Pops when I was younger. To hear he might come to a game and may get the chance to meet him is mad.

“I suspect the song will continue to follow me around even more now, but knowing it’s associated with such a great cause makes it massively worthwhile.”

Varney, 63, had to have his prostate removed after the cancer gradually became more aggressive, but hopes the profile of Ebbsfleet’s own Mambo No 5 can help other men catch any problems with an early diagnosis.

“I’m incredibly touched and proud to see the amazing amount raised for Prostate Cancer UK following our unique shirt auction and donations from Ebbsfleet United supporters, players and sponsors,” said Varney, who was chief executive at Charlton during the south-east London club’s time in the Premier League under manager Alan Curbishley.

“What started out as a bit of fun will make a massive difference to people affected by this disease, and speaking as someone on the road to recovery, I’m so grateful for all the support.

“The football family never fails to step up in times like this and I’m really proud of the Ebbsfleet supporters that got behind this – and the wider public too – and to raise £3,500 in total was beyond anyone’s expectations.

“On behalf of me, and everyone affected by this disease, I say thank you.”

:: For information about Prostate Cancer UK’s work in football and their ‘Man of Men’ pin badge visit prostatecanceruk.org/whostheman and to donate go to prostatecanceruk.org/donate


 

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