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Ashley Young - Actor and tattoo fan

Ashley Young is a fan of tattoos - and he is starting to get a taste for acting.

The Manchester United and England winger has signed for a new team - but don't worry United fans, you won't be seeing him in a City shirt any time soon.

Young has been signed by Lucozade for its television advertising campaign, a campaign that will cost an estimated £15m and will utilise a handful of British sports stars including Olympians Mo Farah, Louis Smith and Phillips Idowu, with Young completing a star studded cast.

Lucozade are aiming to push their ‘Faster. Stronger. For Longer.’ campaign in an effort to promote Lucozade's benefits - and believe Young is a perfect role model for their consumers.

Because of his attacking and energetic style of play, Young was headhunted to represent the top selling endurance drink.

Up close with Ashley Young

But he took time out from his new role as an actor to talk about his life for 'Up close with Ashley Young' - a television documentary airing on Trace Sports (Sky channel 442) on September 8 (10pm).

While preparing for his acting debut, the United man told Trace Sports a few things his fans might not know about him.

Young showed off his tattoos on both arms and expressed his desire to get inked again, this time across his back.

It’s common to see footballers with extravagant tattoos on their arms these days. Young has artwork on both arms, combining intricate patterns and inspirational phrases that have a personal connection to his life.

A tattoo on his right forearm reads: 'In life if it’s not worth fighting for it’s not worth having'.

'I've always wanted tattoos'

“I’ve always wanted tattoos since I was a youngster," he said. "My mum and dad said 'you’re not allowed a tattoo until you’re out of the house'. So the minute I moved out I went and got one done. I’ve had it throughout my life and I think it’s true to me.”

His first tattoo was another phrase he continues to live by, on his left forearm: 'What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger'.

“It’s a belief I’ve had throughout my life and it will always stay with me until the day I die.”

He also has his children’s names and dates of birth inked on his arms.

He added: “There are a lot of people that get them just for the sake of getting them, but for me I know that every one that I’ve got means a lot to me.”

Bag of tricks

Young is a confident winger with a bag full of tricks on the pitch, but what’ is he like on his day off?

Trace Sports observed Young’s off-field behaviour throughout the winger’s appearance in the Lucozade advert.

Young displayed a down to earth and reserved personality for a man who cost Manchester United around £20m. He’s also got that competitive streak that every top player has and a strong determination to achieve his goals, as well as score them.

After shooting acrobatic still images for the print side of the campaign and recording various takes in bitterly cold conditions for the visual side, Ashley sat down to unwind with his agent, Eric Walters, and the Trace Sport crew.

“I’ve had to work hard to get where I am, it’s not always been easy," he said. "Sometimes there’s been struggles but I think if you’ve got a big character to get yourself out of those hurdles then you’ll be able to do that.

Whatever doesn't kill you can only make you stronger

“Like one of my tattoos says, whatever doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. And I think I’ve got myself stronger and stronger as my life’s gone on and hopefully it will continue.”

At the end of the shoot, the England international signed and gave the boots he was wearing to one of the actors, who had the difficult task of marking him in the advert.

“I’m signing these boots that I’ve worn today, I’ve met one of the boys today and I just thought I’d do something nice and give them to him.”

So will we see some more acting from Young in future? If his acting debut is anything to go by, it seems like he may have caught the bug.

“When you come on shoots like this and everybody knows me, it’s nice to get to know the people on the set and after I got to know them we had a bit of a laugh and a joke and a bit of banter. It’s been a good night and I’ve really enjoyed myself.”

John Terry, Fernando Torres and the 10 most beautiful WAGS

Next month, Trace Sports will also feature documentaries on Chelsea and England defender John Terry (September 10, 7pm) and Terry's Chelsea team-mate Fernando Torres (September 17, 7pm).

Trace Sports' 'Footballer's Lives' series will also feature Mario Balotelli, Jack Wilshere, Javier Hernandez, Yaya and Kolo Toure, Thierry Henry and the top 10 most beautiful WAGS.

By Lewis Edwards – Follow me on Twitter @LCEdw

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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