Blue Lights duo lend their support to County Antrim's SuperCupNI bid

This year's County Antrim junior squad have been handed a huge boost ahead of this month's SuperCupNI thanks to two key members of BBC hit cop drama Blue Lights.

Belfast natives, actor Jonathan Harden - aka cheating Inspector David ‘Jonty’ Johnston - and his wife, Bronagh Taggart, who penned some of the latest series (and who readers may also recognise from The Fall), have fronted up as main shirt sponsors for the team under their ‘Irish Voiceovers’ brand.

Since its inception as the Milk Cup in 1983, the SuperCup has been one of the world’s most renowned youth football tournaments. Over the years, notable attendees have included legends Dennis Law, Alex Ferguson, Graeme Souness, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while future greats including Manchester United treble winners David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville, and Paul Scholes are listed among the thousands of players to have enjoyed the week long celebration of football.

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Other notable names who have competed here include Harry Maguire, Jermain Defoe, Jonny Evans, Peter Crouch, James Milner, Wayne Rooney, and Marcus Rashford.

This year, the tournament features teams from Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Brighton, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham, Celtic, Rangers and Wolves. Northern Ireland representation is through the country structure, and for the players in the Antrim squad, playing for their county allows them to add their own names to the impressive list of alumni.

“Our nephew has been selected to play for Antrim” explained Taggart. “We’ll be there cheering them on and hoping they can go all the way.

"He’s always been mad into football, so to be able to watch him play at this level is a dream come true for us all. To have him play with the Irish Voiceovers logo on his shirt makes it even more special.”

For over 20 years, Taggart and Harden have been lending their voices to everything from the Harry Potter franchise to BBC adaptations, and award-winning documentaries, comedies and dramas. They've also helped advertise major international brands, from Red Bull to Dominos Pizza. In 2020, they founded Irish Voiceovers, offering VOs, character voices, and narration, all from their own purpose-built studio in Belfast.

You may have heard them on the radio, TV, online, and even at live events, most recently bringing scripts to life for Curry’s, Tourism NI, Red Bull, Aer Lingus, Crash, Advice NI, Cancer Focus, and - throughout the pandemic - encouraging people to take up the coronavirus >Covid vaccine on behalf of the NHS.

“I don’t really get recognised out and about,” said Harden. “But once people know our voices, they start hearing them everywhere. My mum’s never off WhatsApp to tell me she’s heard one of us on the radio, or a TV ad, or even while she’s been on hold at the dentist!

“It’s the kind of business people don’t even know exists, so having our logo on the Antrim shirts will no doubt result in a few confused google searches to work out what the hell ‘Irish Voiceovers’ is! But to be able to support the county footballers, in any way, is a real privilege,” Harden added.

The 2024 SuperCupNI tournament takes place between Sunday 21st July and Friday 26th July. Antrim Juniors kick off their group games against Blackburn Rovers at 2:30pm on Monday 22nd July, in Broughshane.

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