Sky Bet has launched a brand-new TV advert announcing Alex Walmlsey, aka Dad on a Mission, as the winner of the Real Football No.1s competition – a nationwide search for the UK’s unsung footballing heroes. 

Following a six-month search for entrants, including an ongoing TV campaign to highlight nominees, the new ad showcasing Alex and his story launched online on Wednesday 18th October, and will air on TV from Saturday 21st October to Thursday 30th November.

The ad will feature on a range of content streams including Sky TV (Football, Non-Football Sport, Entertainment), Sky Video on Demand, TNT Sport TV, ITV and on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.


With over 900 entries to the competition, Sky Bet entrusted an expert panel, hosted by Soccer Saturday mainstay Jeff Stelling, of Liverpool legend Graeme Souness and ex-Crystal Palace star Clinton Morison, to determine the winner, crowning Alex, who founded Sands United West Yorkshire as their victor.

Alex channelled his own personal grief – having lost three of his own babies in separate pregnancies – to create a football club as a safe space for men to discuss infant loss.

The 30-second pre-record sees Morrison surprise Alex alongside his teammates, announcing him as the winner and revealing his prizes, including a guest of honour spot at the 2023/24 Sky Bet Championship Play-Off final.

The TVC was filmed by Bristol-based creative agency JMP UK and was produced by the Sky Bet in-house team.

Leigh Peacock-Goodwin, Head of Brand and Sponsorship at Sky Bet, said: “I’m so thrilled to announce that Alex Walmsley is our first official Real Football No.1. and to turn the announcement into a TV advert for all to see is something we’re proud of.

“It’s been a privilege to work on this campaign, and we have been in awe at the remarkable people who have shared their stories. Working with JMP UK, as well as our in-house production team to be able to tell the country about these unsung footballing heroes has been a huge team effort.”

Alex’s story is available to watch on the Sky Bet YouTube channel.