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F2 freestylers name the best players they have worked with

Together, Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch are The F2. They’ve elevated freestyle to unknown heights, building the biggest sports YouTube channel in the UK. Before committing to skills full time, Wingrove played semi-pro football and Lynch was on Arsenal’s books as a youth player. Here’s the story behind their success…

So how did it start?

Billy Wingrove: We were both involved just doing skills… just having fun. Then the Nike [Freestyle] adverts came out [in 2001] and I saw this guy called Mr Woo – he was the first on the scene to do football juggling and skills as a business. That spurred me on to practise more. Jeremy and I had crossed paths at events, and one day [in 2008], we were talking about how freestyle had been around for seven or eight years, and everyone had seen it. But no-one had seen a choreographed double act performed in-sync, with music and lights and sound effects; more like street dance, but with a football. That was the birth of F2. Two years later, we were performing at the Ballon d’Or.

Who are your influences?

Jeremy Lynch: When we formed the double-act, we sat down and asked “who are the best performers out there?” We both agreed MJ was the best entertainer of all time. Then there’s Jabbawockeez, the American dance group, and Diversity in the UK. We studied YouTube videos of them all and tried to take their best elements, and combine them with what we do.

Why do you think it’s been so successful?

BW: I think it’s because we don’t just do one thing. We’re not just freestylers, we can play football. Also dedication – at one point we were uploading three times a week, filming ourselves, editing ourselves, doing everything. It got to a point we couldn’t do it anymore.

JL: Another big reason that we’ve been successful is that our sport is football, but we’ve gone out of our way to think of things in football that have never been done before. Half the world plays football, so to think of things before anyone else isn’t that easy.

Who do you think likes it?

BW: Kids who love banter, kids who love tekkers. The kind of lads who go to the park and do crossbar challenges with their mates.

Who are the best footballers you’ve worked with and why?

BW: Most impressive... Steven Gerrard, for his shooting. Simply because I didn’t think it was possible to be that consistent, have that much power and show so much technique. It was breathtaking to witness the power he can generate. We’re good at shooting, but every now and then we’ll miss and it’ll go miles wide – he doesn’t miss by more than a foot, even in training. He is so consistent.

JL: I’m gonna say Neymar because his all-round ability is unbelievable: he just oozes class. We spent half a day with him and he was genuine, humble. He’s just a shy lad – you wouldn’t guess he was one of the best footballers in the world.

If by some miracle you haven't come across it yet, check out the awesome F2 Freestylers youtube channel

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