Formula 1 legend Sir Lewis Hamilton has joined the Chelsea takeover group led by Sir Martin Broughton, alongside tennis icon Serena Williams.
Both sporting superstars are pledging financial support to the bid, with each becoming established investors in various ventures in recent years.
But despite potentially becoming a stakeholder in Chelsea, Hamilton’s personal football history up to now has been in the form of support for a rival club.
The 37-year-old has been a lifelong Arsenal fan, having started to follow the Gunners at the age of just five after being inspired by the goalscoring of club legend Ian Wright.
He was also invited to train with the team towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s time in charge but hadn’t managed to make it happen, while he has spoken positively and optimistically about the project that Mikel Arteta is overseeing.
Hamilton even has a friend who will keep him updated on the Gunners’ exploits if he is too busy to directly follow the news himself, and has an ‘A’ for Arsenal tattooed on his left ring finger.
“I grew to love the [Arsenal] team with Ian Wright,” Hamilton revealed in a previous interview.
Hamilton also said in 2020, “I have been watching Arsenal play for a long time, being with them through the highs and lows. If I can’t keep up with the game, then my best friend will call me every day, to give me all the updates.”
But, above all, Hamilton considers himself a 'sporting fan'. The influence of kids he grew up with, his sister and his uncle have all pulled him in different directions at one time or another.
"The kids all supported someone different - one was Tottenham, one was Man Utd - and I remember switching between these teams when I was younger and getting home and my sister punching several times in the arm, basically saying I have to support Arsenal," he said when publicly confirming his interest in buying a stake in Chelsea.
"I remember at five or six years old I became a supporter of Arsenal but my uncle Terry is a big Blues fan and I've been to so many games with him to watch Arsenal and Chelsea play."
In his 2007 autobiography, the driver revealed that he would have gone down the football path himself had he not been involved in motorsport – Hamilton even went to school with former Manchester United and England winger Ashley Young.
“I think I would have been a footballer if I hadn’t become a driver,” he explained. “I had more pace than Ashley Young at the time - I was bigger than him - but he was more skilful. I was a midfielder and I could go into a tackle so hard that I risked breaking my leg.”
F1 rival Max Verstappen has taken a sly dig at Hamilton over his involvement in a Chelsea takeover bid, as well as the investment only being for a small stake.
“I am a PSV fan and I would never buy Ajax,” Verstappen told PA in response to the news of Hamilton’s potential Chelsea investment. “And if I was going to buy a football club, I would want to be the full owner and to take the decisions myself, not own just a tiny percentage.
“I thought he was an Arsenal fan? And if you are an Arsenal fan going for Chelsea, that it is quite interesting. But everyone does what they want with their money so let’s see what comes out of it.”