Sing when you’re winning

"Back Home" by the 1970 England World Cup Squad
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Ever since the English national football team, still flushed with success from winning the 1966 World Cup, decided that their defence of the title would be enhanced by recording a pop single, football and music have gone together like cheese and custard. Professional footballers will insist on making tools of themselves by attempting to sing, rap or just mumbling incoherently in the hope of matching their success on the pitch with success in the charts. It’s not an easy thing to do, partly because the inherent tribalism of football means that while a player may have his team’s supporters on his side, there are countless other teams whose fans wouldn’t touch his record with a barge pole; but mainly because records by footballers are shite.

But can this theory hold true all the time? Are all footballers loutish oafs with the musical talent and sophistication of a warthog on a bouncy castle? What about those who buck the trend, who gave 110% in the studio and got a result at the end of the day? Leaving aside World Cup or Cup Final songs where the whole team reluctantly chants a song in unison, here are five (actually six, but two of them count as one) footballers who released singles in their own right. Will good or bad prevail? Find out in this hastily conceived and ill thought out penalty shoot-out! Continue reading

“…and a partridge in Ernie’s fur coat.”

Eric confronts Andrew Preview
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Today marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Eric Morecambe, one of Britain’s greatest ever entertainers and one of my personal heroes. I was born in the early 1970s, so I was lucky enough to be growing up when The Morecambe And Wise Show was reaching its peak and I even have fond memories of Eric and Ernie’s latter years after they upped sticks for Thames Television in 1978. When I heard Eric had died, I felt like a bit of my childhood had died too – and I was only 12. So, in memory of the one with the glasses, not to mention the one with the short fat hairy legs, here’s a look at a side of Eric and Ernie you might not be familiar with; the eight singles they released between 1961 and 1976. Continue reading