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Dua Lipa announces second Wembley Stadium show

Dua Lipa has announced a second Wembley Stadium show in 2025 after “incredible demand” saw her first show sell out in five minutes.

The 28-year-old English-Albanian singer will bring her Radical Optimism Tour to the 90,000-cap stadium in London on 20 and 21 June next year.

The Live Nation-promoted dates – the first of which was announced earlier this month – will mark the star’s first-ever UK stadium headline shows.

“I heard it’s coming home so I thought I would too (AGAIN)!!!!” wrote Lipa on social media of the first night’s sell-out.

“I heard it’s coming home so I thought I would too (AGAIN)!!!!”

“Wow this was the best morning wake-up call!!! YOU GUYS SOLD OUT WEMBLEY STADIUM IN MINUTES!! I love you so much we’re adding another date for ya!!”

News of the first Wembley Stadium date came shortly after she headlined Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, closing the Friday night of the festival with a well-received 19-song set.

The WME-represented hitmaker followed that up with festival dates at Poland’s Open’er Festival (4 July), Belgium’s Rock Werchter (6 July) and Mad Cool Festival in Spain (10 July). Tonight (12 July), she’s due to play Nos Alive Festival in Portugal.

She will then play a sold-out show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 17 October, prior to heading to Asia, where she will visit Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea.

The Radical Optimism Tour is Lipa’s first outing since 2022’s 71-date Future Nostalgia run, which generated $89,302,575 at the box office.

 


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Dua Lipa to headline Wembley Stadium in 2025

On the heels of topping the bill at the 2024 Glastonbury Festival, Dua Lipa has announced her first UK stadium headline show.

The 28-year-old English-Albanian singer will bring her Radical Optimism Tour the 90,000-cap Wembley Stadium in London on 20 June next year. Promoted by Live Nation, the concert is her first confirmed tour date for 2025.

“There couldn’t be a better time to share this with you all,” says Lipa. “I am still flying high from the magic of headlining the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury this weekend, and I am absolutely thrilled to announce I’ll be playing Wembley Stadium this time next year.”

An O2 presale is set for 10 July, 48 hours ahead of the general sale. To mark the occasion, O2 has brought back its ‘Walk Ad’ back for the first time in six years. Lipa will star in the 60-second film, which debuts on 1 July at 9:15pm on ITV 2 during Love Island. The likes of Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Foo Fighters and the Gorillaz who have all previously released their own campaigns following the introduction of O2’s ‘Walk Ad’ series in 2009.

O2’s exclusive Priority presale follows a record year for Priority Tickets, which saw 1.4 million tickets sold throughout 2023 – a 15% rise on 2022.

Lipa topped the bill on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage this past weekend, closing the Friday night of the festival

“This collaboration between Dua Lipa and O2 perfectly captures the essence of Priority and is great news for her fans and our customers who want to get their hands on Wembley tickets 48 hours before general release,” says Gareth Griffiths, director, partnerships and sponsorship at Virgin Media O2.

Lipa topped the bill on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage this past weekend, closing the Friday night of the festival with a well received 19-song set, which included a guest appearance from Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker.

The WME-represented hitmaker also has upcoming festival dates at Poland’s Open’er Festival (4 July), Belgium’s Rock Werchter (6 July), Mad Cool Festival in Spain (10 July) and Nos Alive Festival in Portugal (12 July).

She will then play a sold-out show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 17 October, prior to heading to Asia, where she will visit Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea.

The Radical Optimism Tour is Lipa’s first outing since 2022’s 71-date Future Nostalgia run, which generated $89,302,575 at the box office.

 


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Eras Tour ‘to generate £300m for London economy’

London’s economy is set to benefit to the tune of £300 million (€355m) as the UK capital prepares to host more performances of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour than any other city in the world.

Swift launches her eight-night run at Wembley Stadium this weekend, with three shows from 21-23 June. She will then return later this summer for the remaining five dates on 15-17 & 19-20 August.

The 80,000-cap shows will see her crowned as the biggest-selling female artist to ever perform at the London venue, in addition to setting a new record for the longest residency of a solo artist at Wembley.

The Eras Tour has broken records and created huge excitement so I’m delighted that Taylor Swift has chosen to perform more nights in London than anywhere else in the world,” says London mayor Sadiq Khan. “Her eight performances will bring nearly 700,000 fans from across the country and beyond to Wembley Stadium, providing a huge boost to our hospitality industry and further proof that London is the greatest city in the world to watch live music.

A range of special events and celebrations have been set up across London to mark the performances: Wembley Park is hosting two new public artworks, including a giant mural on the Spanish Steps, while Transport for London (TfL) has reimagined the Tube map in her honour with an exclusive pull-out in Friday’s Evening Standard.

“Her eight performances will bring nearly 700,000 fans from across the country and beyond to Wembley Stadium, providing a huge boost to our hospitality industry”

A Taylor trail (#LDNTaylorsVersion) will celebrate places across the capital that are referenced in her music, with venues displaying new vinyl stickers in their windows to welcome Swifties and share other locations of interest. Plus, Visit London, the official visitor guide to London, has created an online guide for Swifties to make the most of the capital.

“As Taylor prepares for Friday’s opening performance, we are proud to give her and her fans a big London welcome, with celebrations across the capital including a special Tube map, trail and murals in her honour,” adds Khan. “I encourage Swifties to not only enjoy the fantastic shows, but also make the most of everything London has to offer, and hope that even more people are encouraged to enjoy the incredible live music available in our city.”

The £300m estimate was calculated using data from UKInbound’s Tourism Statistics for 2018, and adjusted for inflation. The data showed that, excluding day visits, each domestic and international tourist to the UK generated about £396 to the UK economy in 2018. That figure was then multiplied by 640,000 – the expected audience at Wembley Stadium across the Swift gigs.

Other notable concerts in London this summer include the Foo Fighters and Burna Boy at London Stadium, Nicki Minaj, 21 Savage, J Hus and Doja Cat at Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, Kylie, SZA and Stray Kids at BST Hyde Park, and Bruce Springsteen, Green Day and AC/DC at Wembley Stadium.

Swift fans have been reportedly targeted by suspected scammers on Airbnb ahead of the London shows

New polling from Visit London shows that 54% of people said they’d consider travelling to London for a music event in the past year – higher than New York, LA, Paris and other UK cities. In addition, 76% would extend their trip after visiting a music event in the city.

“The tourism impact of the tour is expected to be huge: with flight bookings to London up as much as 34% compared to 2023, and hotel searches four times higher in the week leading up to her second leg in August,” adds Laura Citron OBE, CEO of Visit London. “Music and entertainment continue to be leading motivators for visitors to London.”

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that Swift fans have been targeted by suspected scammers on Airbnb ahead of the London shows. New profiles set up on the website advertised nearby properties for rental that appeared to use AI images and multiple people advertising the same room. In some cases, they featured stock images used by estate agents for homes which have not yet been built.

Airbnb says it has “zero tolerance for fake listings”, adding that the properties have been removed.

 


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Wembley Stadium prepped for historic summer season

Wembley Stadium programming manager Matt Owen has spoken to IQ ahead of the launch of one of the venue’s “biggest summer seasons ever” this weekend.

The 90,000-cap national stadium will host more than 1.2 million visitors over the next 10 weeks, beginning this Saturday (16 June) with the Capital’s Summertime Ball. The annual pop curtain-raiser will feature acts such as David Guetta, Sabrina Carpenter, Raye, Becky Hill, Jak Jones, Sugababes, Perrie, Meghan Trainor and Aitch.

Much of the attention, however, will be focused on Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour‘s eight-night run (21-23 June and 15-17 & 19-20 August), which will see her crowned as the biggest-selling female artist to ever perform at the London venue, in addition to setting a new record for the longest residency of a solo artist at Wembley.

“Hosting eight nights of the highest grossing music tour ever is huge,” says Owen. “We are very excited to be part of this piece of live music history. The eight performances are the most at any one venue throughout the entire tour. It is a huge privilege for Wembley Stadium to have that honour.

“The shows will no doubt go down in Wembley history, and we can’t wait to welcome all the fans to share in that moment. It promises to be one of the biggest summer seasons ever and we can’t wait to get started.”

In addition, the stadium’s summer calendar includes concerts by Green Day (29 June), AC/DC (3 & 7 July) and Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band (25 & 27 July), as well as the return of All Elite Wrestling’s (AEW) All In spectacular on 25 August.

“The demand for major, live shows is huge at present. All our summer shows sold out months ago and that is a great sign for the industry”

“The demand for major, live shows is huge at present,” Owen tells IQ. “All our summer shows sold out months ago and that is a great sign for the industry. People still want to come and see these huge shows. They are more than just a performance; they are experiences that last the whole day and create memories that will last a lifetime.”

Last year saw shows by artists including Harry Styles, Blur and The Weeknd, and Owen says live music is a “big priority” for the multi-purpose venue has hosted several major sporting events already this year, including the Carabao Cup Final, the men’s and women’s FA Cup Finals and the 2024 UEFA Champions League Final.

“Non-sport events make up a huge chunk of our calendar and we are very conscious of the history of live music at Wembley Stadium,” he says. “Today’s Wembley Stadium is all about providing different options for different audiences. Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy that experience under the arch.

“We continually invest heavily in a variety of projects to enable us to deliver more concerts, and to make the fan, promoter and artist experience best-in-class. We have improved our audio systems, along with investments into our lighting and digital infrastructure.

“The goosebump feeling of an artist coming out on stage at Wembley and hearing that roar of the crowd is electric. Wembley is, and always has been, one of the most iconic multi-purpose venues in the world.”

Owen suggests the trend for booking stadium shows further in advance has largely continued, post-pandemic.

“Stadium shows at this level and scale are always going to need a long lead-time”

“We’re certainly seeing shows locked in 12-18 months beforehand, but at the same time we’re also seeing things come in on a shorter time frame,” he notes. “Stadium shows at this level and scale are always going to need a long lead-time. The sheer size of some of the tours we’re seeing now need to be planned much further in advance.”

And despite huge competition in the London stadium sector from rivals such as Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London Stadium and Twickenham, as well as outdoor sites such as Hyde Park, Owen is confident Wembley holds a few aces up its sleeve.

“I think Wembley retains an edge for two reasons,” he says. “One, the delivery team is one of the best in the business. All our promoter partners know that they’re putting concerts into a best-in-class venue, with a best-in-class delivery team who are so passionate about live music, where fans and artists alike are going to have an incredible time.

“Two, our mantra is ‘It Matters More at Wembley’. Artists and fans want to experience shows at one of the most historic and iconic multi-purpose venues in the world. When you come to Wembley, you’re aware of the history surrounding that stage, who has played here, how many millions of fans have gathered here to see their favourite artist hit that peak. It’s an intoxicating feeling, you’re part of history.”

He finishes: “Those two factors certainly help, but it it’s important we never sit still or rest on our laurels. As a team we are always striving to be best-in-class and continually review, analyse and improve our offering. We’re all aware of the expectations that are attached to Wembley, be it as an artist or a fan, and we take pride in continually innovating to make sure Wembley retains its edge.

“Last year we spent more than £5 million improving the stadium from a fan perspective, and we will continue to invest in new ideas to maintain industry leading facilities that attract world-class events.”

Wembley Stadium elevated Paul Smyth, previously head of event operations, to the role of general manager in late 2023. His promotion coincided with the departure of stadium director Liam Boylan, who has since been appointed CEO of Academy Music Group.

 


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Lenny Kravitz to headline UEFA final kick off show

US rock star Lenny Kravitz has been announced as headliner of the UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi at Wembley Stadium in London.

The performance will air in more than 200 countries and territories globally on 1 June, minutes before the European club football showpiece between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

Since 2016, the opening ceremony has welcomed acts such as Dua Lipa, Imagine Dragons, Camila Cabello, Alicia Keys and Marshmello.

“This year’s UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi will bring fans to their feet as legendary rock and roll icon Lenny Kravitz takes the stage to deliver one of his signature performances ahead of this year’s UEFA Champions League final,” says UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein.

“It’s going to be such an exciting event ahead of a final that means so much to so many”

The Kick Off Show will air through local broadcasters and the official UEFA YouTube channel. Pepsi has released a short film titled Wembley Is Blue | Lenny Kravitz x UCL Final Kick Off Show by Pepsi today to build anticipation ahead of the event.

“As a brand with a rich heritage in both music and football, we are proud to bring together once again, in the host city, millions of viewers from around the world and one of the most iconic names in music for an electrifying performance live from iconic Wembley Stadium in London,” says Eric Melis, VP of global brand marketing – Pepsi at PepsiCo.

“The UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi will be headlined by a legend in the music industry who adds unparalleled dynamism and energy to the show.”

Kravitz, who releases his new album Blue Electric Light on 24 May, adds: “I’m really looking forward to my performance for the UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi in London, a city which holds a special place in my heart. It’s going to be such an exciting event ahead of a final that means so much to so many. We can’t wait to show you all what we have in store.”

 


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Wembley Stadium ups Paul Smyth to GM

London’s Wembley Stadium has promoted Paul Smyth to the role of stadium general manager.

Smyth moves up from his previous position as head of event operations at the 90,000-capacity national stadium. He will be responsible for overseeing the delivery of events at the UK’s largest stadium, in addition to managing day-to-day operations.

Having been part of the Wembley team since the new stadium opened in 2007, Smyth has contributed to numerous enhancements in event delivery, maintaining Wembley’s status as one of the world’s premier multi-purpose venues.

Recent accomplishments include the collaborative effort with his teams to introduce two sensory rooms and British Sign Language (BSL) at every event. These initiatives have played a huge part in reinforcing Wembley’s commitment to leading on inclusivity, according to a release.

Smyth’s promotion coincides with the departure of stadium director Liam Boylan

Smyth’s promotion coincides with the departure of stadium director Liam Boylan, who, after nine years, is embarking on a new venture in the music industry next year.

Chris Bryant, the current director of tournaments and events at the FA, will serve as the interim stadium director while the search for Boylan’s successor is underway.

Wembley Stadium has enjoyed a successful summer season during its 100th year, which attracted more than one million fans for events across music, sport and entertainment, including shows by Blur, Mötley Crüe & Def Leppard, Harry Styles and the Capital Summertime Ball.

In addition, The Weeknd smashed the venue’s ticket sales record for a concert with a traditional stage set-up after selling 87,000 tickets for his 18 August performance.

 


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Wembley Stadium director Liam Boylan set to exit

Wembley Stadium director Liam Boylan has announced he is stepping down after nine years with the London venue.

Boylan, who joined the 90,000-cap national stadium from SJM Concerts in 2015, is yet to reveal his next destination, but describes it as “an amazing opportunity” he “simply could not turn down”.

“I am doing the unthinkable and leaving, what I believe is, the best stadium in the world,” he says in a post on LinkedIn. “I have had an amazing nine years under the arch and it was not an easy decision to leave. Unfortunately I cannot say where I am going at this time, but it goes without saying that my next role is an amazing opportunity and something I simply could not turn down and I cannot wait to start early in 2024.”

The English Football Association has begun advertising for Boylan’s successor, with a deadline of 10 October for the “high-profile leadership role”.

Boylan’s departure comes on the heels of a successful summer for the stadium, which attracted more than one million fans for events across music, sport and entertainment, including shows by Blur, Mötley Crüe & Def Leppard, Harry Styles and the Capital Summertime Ball.

“We have had some of the biggest stars of pop, rock, indie and new wave all perform here, and it’s been wonderful seeing such a diverse range of audiences”

In addition, The Weeknd smashed the venue’s ticket sales record for a concert with a traditional stage set-up after selling 87,000 tickets for his 18 August performance. The UK’s largest stadium, Wembley is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

“We have had some of the biggest stars of pop, rock, indie and new wave all perform here, and it’s been wonderful seeing such a diverse range of audiences,” says Boylan. “The screams at the Harry Styles’ concerts were some of the loudest I have ever heard, and we are still finding pink feathers in every nook and cranny of the stadium!

“The two Blur shows were epic. It was like the summer of Britpop all over again and those gigs will live long in the memory of everyone who saw them. We were also able to see history being made with the men’s and women’s rugby league Challenge Cup finals played here for the first time ever.”

The venue’s former music bookings chief, senior commercial manager James Taylor, also left last year to join ASM Global in the newly-created role of sales director for sports and alternative content for UK venues.

In 2024 Wembley Stadium will hold six nights of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour between 21 June and 17 August, and will also host the UEFA Champions’ League Final for a record eight time.

 


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The Weeknd breaks Wembley Stadium sales record

The Weeknd has made history in London again after smashing the ticket sales record at Wembley Stadium.

The Canadian singer-songwriter (real name Abel Tesfaye) sold 87,000 tickets to his 18 August concert, according to Live Nation UK.

The show, supported by Kaytranada and Mike Dean, was the final European date on his ongoing After Hours ‘Til Dawn’ Tour.

It marks the second consecutive time the multi-Grammy-winning artist has broken a record in the UK capital.

“Abel continues to sell at an astounding level across Europe”

Just last month, the Weeknd set a new attendance record for London Stadium, after drawing 160,000 fans over two nights.

“On the heels of an enormous, hugely successful US tour, Abel continues to sell at an astounding level across Europe,” CAA’s co-head of North American touring Darryl Eaton said. “We couldn’t be more proud to work with him and his team on this incredible tour.”

Last year’s North American leg of the global After Hours Til Dawn Tour grossed $148 million (€135m), with the stadium run now having grossed more than $350m to date worldwide.

The After Hours ‘Til Dawn’ Tour will visit Latin America this autumn with shows in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, among others stops.

 

 

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Wembley Stadium tipped to host Ukraine benefit gig

Wembley Stadium is reportedly set to host a Live Aid-style fundraising concert for Ukraine this summer.

Artists such as U2, the Rolling Stones, The Killers and Pink are said to have been asked to perform at the London event.

“It’s going to be huge, properly A-list and on a global scale,” a source tells The Sun. “It’s something people have wanted to do for a while, but a date has now been nailed down and booked at Wembley Stadium. Invitations to perform are going out thick and fast to the biggest names in the business.”

The concert is reportedly pencilled in for Saturday 24 June – the same weekend as Glastonbury and BST Hyde Park

The concert is reportedly pencilled in for Saturday 24 June – the same weekend as Glastonbury and BST Hyde Park, with the source adding that some big name acts have already been ruled out due to prior to commitments.

The 90,000-cap stadium has already confirmed concerts by Harry Styles (13-14 & 16-17 June), Def Leppard & Motley Crue (1 July), Blur (8-9 July) and The Weeknd (18 August) for 2023.

Last year’s Concert For Ukraine fundraiser in Birmingham raised £12.2 million for the humanitarian relief effort in the country.

Stars including Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello and Emeli Sande took to the stage at the Resorts World Arena for the televised event. Anne Marie, Snow Patrol, Manic Street Preachers, Nile Rodgers and Chic and Gregory Porter also performed, while Ukrainian singer Jamala delivered a rendition of her Eurovision-winning track, 1944.

 


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The ILMC 1994 World Cup

In the summer of 1994, when England failed to qualify for the World Cup in America, ILMC ran its own “far better” version with England in it. Calling on ILMC members to form national teams while raising money for charity, it took place at “the only place you could hold a proper World Cup” – the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium in London.

The original VHS recording of the day was lost in the dark annuls of the ILMC archives until recently, and now it’s released online for your viewing pleasure for the very first time.

The video features many familiar faces from across the international live music business (albeit somewhat younger looking), as well as highlights of each match. The day itself raised funds for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and Great Ormond St Children’s Hospital, with trophies awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II…or at least someone who looked a lot like her.

The teams were led by captains Martin Horne (England), Petri Lunden (Scandinavia), Frank Van Hoorn (Holland), Geoff Ellis (Scotland), Carlos Fleischmann (Germany), Peter Aiken (Ireland), John Tyrell (Australia) and Anna Reznik (Russia), while the full list of players are below.

“ILMC was getting playful to see what we could get away with,” recalls conference founder Martin Hopewell. “We had a go-karting red-eye league once a week with its own newsletter and looked at doing a skiing event called ILM-Ski, and clay shooting championship called ILM-Skeet.

“It started out as a fun idea and grew into a monster, legendary event”

“The World Cup was in America and England hadn’t qualified for it, so we had the idea of having the real world cup with England in it, in the only place you could do a proper World Cup – Wembley Stadium.

“It started out as a fun idea and grew into a monster, legendary event. This was pre-email, pre-anything really, so we called and faxed ILMC members to see who wanted to put a national live music business team together.”

ILMC producer Rob Hollingsworth organised the day alongside Hopewell, with former Wembley Stadium execs John Drury and Charlie Shun managing to green-light the venue.

“For the opening ceremony everybody marched out onto the pitch waving at 80,000 invisible people cheering through the loudspeakers,” says Hopewell. “The whole event was just magic; people contacted me years later to say it was the best day of their lives, including their wedding day, or the birth of their first child.”

If you played in 1994’s ILMC World Cup, or were involved, we’d love to see your comments on the video on our YouTube channel.

The Teams:

Australia
John Tyrell
Peter Ryan
Gavin Charles
Janette Stuart
Rod Woolley
Dorina Morelli
Peter Kent
Lisa Nadal
Andy Zweck
Paul Franklin
Dave Chumbley
Nigel Hassler
Tim Elwes
Ben Winchester
Sean Fitzpatrick
Frankie Enfield
Robert Delicata

England
Martin Horne
Richard Hermitage
Jeff Craft
Mick Griffiths
Paul Buck
Mike Greek
Pete Nash
Paul Bolton
Tim Parsons
Simon Moran
Martin Goebbels
Ian Huffam
Andy Woolliscroft
Steve Knott
Martin Hopewell
Rob Hollingsworth

Germany
Dirk Matzke
Stefan Puriss
Axel Horn
Henry Klaere
Ralf Weihrauch
Sven Kohl
Holger Statmann
Thomas Wundald
Jorg Schafer
Jorg Lengauer
Rainer Mund
Gunter Linnartz
Marc Liebscher
Richard Hamilton
Carlos Fleischmann
Pala Maini

Holland
Dries van de Schuyt
Peter van de Schuyt
Gert Kok
Philip Schuller
Dick Molenaar
Jochem Kroon
Wim van Antwerpen
Leon Mooijman
Richard Janssen
Rob Takken
Edwin Zomer
Michiel Berg
Arie Martin van Tol
Barry Smith
Frank Van Hoorn
Saskia Blom

Ireland
Gerard Skelton
Joe Webb
John Reynolds
Conor Kelly
Mark McGinley
Greg Finnegan
Niall Stokes
Dune Stokes
Kevin McKay
John McGuigan
Eamon O’Connor
Tommy Higgins
Paul Maxwell
Peter Aiken

Russia
Grigori Kouzmine
Oleg Gazmanov
Alexandre Ivanov
Iouri Loza
Igor Kouprianov
Vitali Bondarchouk
Eugeni Lovtchev
Andrei Serychev
Eugeni Chliakhovoi
Nikolai Safonov
Igor Silverstov
Igor Belikov
Rafail Isangulov
Oleg Scugarev

Scandinavia
Christian Schoyen
Knut Akselsen
Pange Oberg
Ben Marlene
Palle Lidell
Billy Bolero
Martin Roos
James Hoffman
Johan “Redtop” Larsson
Sean Morgan
Neil Thorns

Scotland
Scott Fyfe
Tony Kerr
Pedro McShane
Jim McDermott
Gerry McEllhone
Geoff Ellis
Rob Ballantine
Brian Reid
Steph Fleming
Callum McLean
Kevin McDermott
Paul Westwater
Cathaill
Dougie Souness

 


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