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10 July 2013, 09:21
Cricket ground Trent Bridge have banned Billy 'the Trumpet' Cooper from playing at the first test of the Ashes today, and don't look set to change their mind.
England's cricketers take on Australia at Trent Bridge today, without the support of their most loyal musical cheerleader. Billy 'the Trumpet' Cooper is a member of England's Barmy Army, the 'unofficial 12th man' in the team, who regularly plays at test matches to inspire the players - and his trumpet's been banned from the ground.
A longstanding rule at the ground prevents spectators from taking musical instruments into the stadium. This includes Billy, a music graduate from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music, who's been playing in support of the England team since 2004.
“We have never allowed musical instruments at Trent Bridge,” a spokesperson said. “It is nothing personal against him and his trumpet. It’s just a policy decision that has been in place for a long time and there is no chance of a change of mind.”
Cricketer Kevin Pietersen took to Twitter to vent his anger, calling the decision an 'absolute DISGRACE'. There's even a hashtag: #letbillyblowhistrumpet.
It's not all bad news for Billy - he'll be allowed to play at Old Trafford, Durham and the Oval, but not Trent Bridge and Lord's. Officials say they hope he'll use a performance space outside the stadium instead.