As a sports writer and friend of Delwyn “Sheep” Derrick, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.
So when he told me to start thinking of headlines related to pop great Rick Astley a few weeks back, I knew a few baaaaaa-d jokes might be in order.
While I know Delwyn primarily for his role as manager of multi-national and groundbreaking Wrexham football team Bellevue FC, he occasionally comes up with story ideas which are non-sports related!
And his latest is a ram-tastic.
Mr Derrick has linked up with none other than Mr Smooth Vocals himself Rick Astley to record a single for Children in Need.
Delwyn was invited to get involved after being crowned the 2019 BBC Wales’ Sports Personality Unsung Hero.
He and a number of other regional winners of the award worked with Rick on the song ‘Every One of Us’, to celebrate the Unsung Hero awards for 2020.
Captain Tom Moore and a host of sporting stars including Ben Stokes, Geraint Thomas and Dame Jessica Ennis Hill also support the campaign and there are a number of special cameos in the music video.
Delwyn himself makes an appearance, alongside Olympic and Paralympic stars Tanni Grey-Thompson, Will Balyey, Kare Adenegan, Ellie and Becky Downie and Sam Quek, along with sports presenters Alex Scott, Gabby Logan and Gareth Thomas.
Raising funds for BBC Children in Need, the single will be the anthem for the awards.
Each singer, due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, was asked to record their section of the song from home – with the video recorded in various areas of Manchester and London.
The single is being released to launch the search for the 2020 Unsung Hero which this year also includes a Young Unsung Hero for the first time ever.
This year’s awards ceremony will look completely different to those of the past due to the pandemic and the awards themselves will reflect that, with judges putting focus on those unsung sporting heroes who have not only benefited their communities in their regular activities but through the Covid crisis as well.
The entire track and video has been put together through the pandemic, with each hero having to record their own parts remotely from home and the videos being filmed individually, by a single crew, in a single day across Manchester and London.
A proud Delwyn, who is affectionately nicknamed Sheep, said: “To say that this has all been done remotely through lockdown and then through individual distanced video shoots, it’s a mega achievement from everyone involved.
“I’m hugely grateful to everyone involved in getting this done in these mad circumstances, for making something that all of us can be incredibly proud of.
“The single is being released to launch the search for this year’s unsung heroes, which in 2020 will focus on those who have made a difference in sport, in the most challenging year of modern times and this year will also have a category for Young Unsung Hero which is amazing to see.
“Profits from the single will be going to Children in Need which is a great cause and I’m hugely proud to have played my small part.
“It’s mad to say that I’m on a track with Rick Astley but haven’t actually met him in person yet, so hopefully that’s something we could do in the future.
“Of course the irony of the unsung heroes literally singing isn’t lost either.
“This whole last twelve months has been utterly bizarre and this absolutely falls into that bizarre category.
“I firmly believe that this isn’t the last thing that the 2019 Unsung Heroes will do together, we have shared in each others successes and supported each other’s struggles since the day we met and we’ve formed lasting friendships through it all, that I personally hope will last a lifetime.”
“This has been a fun project to be involved in and with there not being any football in Wales right now, it’s been a welcome distraction from all the uncertainty and anxiety. I still don’t feel like a hero, unsung or otherwise, but I wasn’t going to be the one to let the side down when this idea first came about.
“To be considered important enough to be in a video celebrating sport alongside Tanni Grey-Thompson, Gareth Thomas, Alun Wyn Jones and Geraint Thomas is just surreal.
“Regardless of anything else, it’s a song for a great cause that was really fun to be involved in – and who could say fairer than that?”
“It would be great to see another Welsh Unsung Hero from the North East so I’d like to encourage everyone to nominate someone for the award and for the Young Unsung Hero award as well.
“Nominations can be made from today at bbc.co.uk/unsunghero. As for the single, it’s for a great cause and Rick Astley is a great singer and an absolute gent, so definitely go and give it a listen.”
Song link: https://unsungheroes.lnk.to/DownloadPR