Lou Bega’s Mambo No.5 may have been a number one hit in 1999, but the title of his song resurfaced on social media in 2017 thanks to a non-league football player.
Centre-back Yado Mambo played for Ebbsfleet against Leyton Orient in a televised match on BT Sport when eagled-eyed viewers realised that the Kent-based club had missed a golden opportunity with the player’s shirt number.
The 26-year-old currently wears the number 18 shirt for the U’s, with fellow central defender Dave Winfield taking the number five.
However, the Vanarama National League side have responded by releasing a one-off number five Mambo home shirt, which they will auction off with a signed photograph of the player holding the exclusive shirt, and all proceeds going to Prostate Cancer UK.
Ed Miller, Ebbsfleet’s communications manager, explained the reasons behind the decision, saying: “It’s a bit of a surprise among Ebbsfleet fans that it’s gained the traction it has on social media.
“You’ll usually hear mumbles about Mambo not being No.5 at away grounds whenever he’s in the lineup and there’s always someone who mentions it, going right back to his first spell with us six years ago.
“We’re not the first club to give him any other number but five!
“But you can’t ignore social media when something decides to go viral and we discussed how best to respond to the publicity.
“Going down the charity road seemed a good way to do something positive with the ‘notoriety’ and we’d just had a collection for Prostate Cancer UK at the game where the whole Mambo No.5 thing blew up.
“It’s a cause close to the heart of our vice chairman Peter Varney and so it just fell into place as an idea.
“The clamour to change his number to five was building but we’re not 100 per cent sure that it is possible during mid-season anyway, so this way we get to respond and hopefully raise some funds for a good cause in the process.”
Mambo will not be able to wear the shirt during a competitive match due to restrictions on number changes after the squad list has been submitted at the start of the season.
For those of you who are too young to remember, here is Bega’s former UK number one.