Sports Team

Sports Team are an English alternative rock band, who met whilst studying geology at the University of Cambridge.[1] Now based in London, the band consists of lead vocalist Alex Rice, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Rob Knaggs, lead guitarist Henry Young, bassist Oli Dewdney, drummer Al Greenwood, and keyboardist Ben Mack. According to The Guardian, their songs "romanticise Middle England" and idiosyncrasies like Wetherspoons,[2] flip phones,[3] the M5,[4] and fishing.[5][1]

Sports Team
Sports Team playing Rotown, Rotterdam (6th September 2019)
Sports Team playing Rotown, Rotterdam (6th September 2019)
Background information
OriginUniversity of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
GenresAlternative rock · Indie rock
Years active2016 (2016)–present
LabelsIsland, Bright Antenna
MembersAlex Rice
Oli Dewdney
Al Greenwood
Rob Knaggs
Ben Mack
Henry Young


The group met while at the University of Cambridge and performed in their early days at the Portland Arms, a pub in the north of the city.[6] The band's members continued to work their day jobs until they became better known.[6] Henry Young was a sports reporter for CNN.[7][6]


Their debut EP Winter Nets was released in January 2018, and their sophomore EP Keep Walking! was released in 2019.[8]

Their debut album Deep Down Happy was released on 5 June 2020 on Island Records and Bright Antenna Records.[9][10] The lead single Here's The Thing was released on 17 February 2020.[11] The album received four out of five stars from NME, and was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2020.[12][13][14]


After releasing their debut EP Winter Nets, the band performed a show in September 2018 at Scala in London, which the band's lyricist Knaggs described as when the group started "being in a band nearly every single day".[15]

Following the Scala show, the band went on to play at both Electric Ballroom and O2 Forum Kentish Town in 2019 with sell-out shows.[16] The band's preference for surprise shows at venues like The Nag’s Head in Camberwell led to DIY describing the shows as harking "back to the heady days of The Libertines".[16]


The band have been described as holding unusual engagements with their fans, from their annual trips to Margate by coach where "fans, bands and booze collide for unscripted antics",[16] and for taking "whole venues to the pub with them" after a show.[16]

However this has been balanced with media commentary on the band's Cambridge educations, at a time when bands like Idles and Fontaines D.C. have pushed working class lyrics.[17] Alex Rice notably drew criticism for declaring in The Guardian that HMLTD were “one of the worst bands ever” in part due to the fact their members "go to Goldsmiths".[18] Clash stated in 2019 that "Sports Team can’t quite shake off their entitlement".[19]


Studio albumsEdit

Title Details Peak chart positions
Deep Down Happy 2 1

Extended playsEdit

Title Details
Winter Nets
  • Released: 29 January 2018[23]
  • Label: Nice Swan Records
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
Keep Walking!
  • Released: 8 March 2019[24]
  • Label: Holm Front Records
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming


  1. ^ a b Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (27 December 2019). "Sports Team: the indie stars romanticising middle England". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  2. ^ Sports Team – Lander, retrieved 2020-06-11
  3. ^ Sports Team – Stanton, retrieved 2020-06-11
  4. ^ Sports Team – M5, retrieved 2020-06-11
  5. ^ Sports Team – Fishing, retrieved 2020-06-11
  6. ^ a b c Young, Henry. "Ditching the day job: From the sports desk to UK band Sports Team". CNN. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  7. ^ Young, Henry. "Pep Guardiola: 'No title bigger than continuing Johan Cruyff's legacy'". CNN. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  8. ^ "Sports Team". Fred Perry. 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Sports Team have announced their long-awaited debut album, 'Deep Down Happy'". Dork. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  10. ^ O'Connor, Roisin. "Sports Team review, Deep Down Happy: Full of charm and unpredictability". The Independent. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  11. ^ Manno, Lizzie (18 February 2020). "Sports Team Announce Debut Album Deep Down Happy, Share Lead Single "Here's The Thing"". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  12. ^ Richards, Will. "Sports Team – 'Deep Down Happy' review: A flag in the ground from a band dedicated to extremes". NME. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Sports Team: What to do when your album release goes to shit". NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM. 2020-06-08. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  14. ^ "The 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize 'Albums of the Year'". 2020-07-23. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  15. ^ "Place Your Bets: Sports Team". Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  16. ^ a b c d "Place Your Bets: Sports Team". Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  17. ^ "The explosion of Fontaines D.C. and why not every backlash is Irish begrudgery". Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  18. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (2019-12-27). "Sports Team: the indie stars romanticising middle England". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  19. ^ "First World Problems: Sports Team Stumble At London's Kentish Town Forum". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  20. ^ "Sports Team | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  21. ^ Peak chart positions in Scotland:
  22. ^ "Deep Down Happy by Sports Team". Apple Music. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  23. ^ "Winter Nets - EP by Sports Team". Apple Music. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  24. ^ "Keep Walking! - EP by Sports Team". Apple Music. Retrieved 11 June 2020.

External linksEdit