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Local football: Joe's not letting Bad Manners get in the way of his footballing dream

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Professional footballer or pop star? It's the ultimate choice for almost every teenage boy.

For 17-year-old Joe Elliott, it is one he has had to make – and he has chosen football.

Now the Aylestone youngster is all set to join Romanian side Dinamo Bucharest on a one-year deal.

Elliott, who can play either as a defensive midfielder or at centre-back, began his career playing for Highfield Rangers before being spotted by Leicester City.

He played there for two years before being released due to his lack of height, before also playing for Derby, Coventry and Stoke's youth teams.

But in pursuing his professional footballing dream, Elliott has had to turn down the offer of performing full-time with 1980s ska band Bad Manners.

The band had three top-10 hits during the '80s, including Special Brew, Can Can and My Girl Lollipop (My Boy Lollipop).

Elliott, who studied at Countesthorpe College, has been playing trumpet for the band for the past six years, since he was 11 years old.

His musical talents were first spotted in 2007 when his father, Mick, a scout for Leicester City at the time, was discussing players at his house with fellow scout Kevin Jackson.

Jackson was also the security manager for Bad Manners and, after hearing Elliott practising his trumpet, was so impressed he immediately phoned the band's lead singer, Buster Bloodvessel, to let him listen.

Elliott was invited to attend a gig that night at the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, where he played live on stage and has continued to play trumpet for them since.

The famously large Bloodvessel, who also voiced their top-20 hit Lip Up Fatty, wants Elliott to play for the band full-time, but the youngster has made the difficult decision to turn his back on the pop-star lifestyle to pursue his career as a footballer.

Elliott began last season at Gemeg, a football development and education centre coached by former City defender Matt Elliott.

Five months ago, he moved to Tenerife to play for CD Sobradillo, where he established himself as a key player and caught the eye of a number of European sides.

That resulted in a trial with Romanian Liga 1 side Dinamo Bucharest.

Elliott spent five days with the club at the end of May and, after impressing the coaches and manager while playing in the reserves, was offered a one-year contract.

He is due to return to Romania on July 15 to begin pre-season training with Bucharest, and is looking forward to the challenge with a top European side.

But if his football career does not work out, he will at least have the life of a pop star to fall back on.

Local football: Joe's not letting Bad Manners get in the way of his footballing dream


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