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Punkrockers ride to ice hockey team's rescue

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Punkrockers ride to ice hockey team's rescue
Photo: DPA
13:53 CET+01:00
Cult punk band Die Toten Hosen are loyal fans of their local ice hockey team in Düsseldorf, so much so they have decided to come to the rescue of the financially strapped club.

Singer Campino (Andreas Frege) and guitarist Breiti (Michael Breitkopf) will unveil their plans to help out the DEG club at a press conference on Monday. The band will unveil a special Toten Hosen team jersey, which will include their trademark skull and star logo.

The band, which formed in Düsseldorf in 1982, has already helped out local football team Fortuna. They sponsored the team for two years and released a Toten Hosen team jersey that gained cult status, selling 30,000 items.

DEG will be hoping for a similar merchandising shot in the arm. The ice hockey team is struggling to stay in Germany's top hockey league after major sponsors Metro withdrew their €2 million backing for the team.

The eight-time German champions could also be in line for a €450,000 grant from the city of Düsseldorf, providing it comes up with a viable financial plan by May.

“We are grateful for this important support and will meet the named criteria, but this alone won't save the DEG,” the club's director Elmar Schmellenkamp told the Rheinische Post newspaper. “Further steps have to be taken. It would be fatal if potential partners and sponsors were to retreat now.”

On Monday the team and the band will announce plans to create a set of “DEG Club 2012” packages for companies and private persons who choose to sponsor the team.

The band's connection to DEG goes back years. In 1995 they joined some of the team's players to pit their skills against the Finnish national team and members of the Leningrad Cowboys band. Playing as “Bonebreakers Düsseldorf” they lost the game by just 10:11.

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