There was a time when it was cool for footballers to sing their own songs (ahem, Gazza), often awkwardly on TV (ahem, Crystal Palace), as well as kick about a ball.
Here are some of the most well-known Premier League football songs and anthems explained – with various versions for your viewing pleasure.
1. One-Nil to the Arsenal
This is a take on the 1979 Village People single Go West that was covered by the Pet Shop Boys in 1993. According to some Gunners fans (Gooners), the Pet Shop Boys version was played at half-time at the European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain in March 1994 after Ian Wright had scored in the first half – and the Arsenal version stuck. Then in the second leg of the semi-final and the final in Copenhagen the score was one-nil to Arsenal – hence the song being sung at every given opportunity from then on.
2. Good Old Arsenal
Set to the tune of British patriotic song Rule, Britannia!, this was a single released by the players in 1971 to rival Liverpool’s hit You’ll Never Walk Alone – they were persuaded to by football pundit Jimmy Hill. It reached number 16 and stayed in the charts for seven weeks.
3. The Liquidator
This iconic instrumental tune is played by plenty of teams as players run out on to the pitch – and several claim to have been the first to use the 1969 Harry J Allstars hit. But the liner notes of the band’s Best Of album backs the Blues’ claim.
4. Blue Is The Colour
This is seen as Chelsea’s official song and was performed by the players for a 1972 single. And it is still popular – being played at every Stamford Bridge game and cup final.
5. Glad All Over
This single was originally recorded by The Dave Clark Five, who it was a Number 1 hit for in January 1964. Around the same time it became the anthem of Crystal Palace, being played at the start of home games and after – if they win. For the 1990 FA Cup run players recorded this cover and singing must have helped as they reached the final.
6. Johnny Todd
This traditional children’s song from Liverpool is played as players walk out on match days at Everton, except in 1994 when they ran out to alternative tunes on two separate occasions. Fans were not pleased when 2 Unlimited’s Get Ready For This was played in the August, nor when Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising was chosen in September.
7. You’ll Never Walk Alone
Despite numerous covers, You’ll Never Walk Alone is originally from the Rodgers and Hammerstein 1945 musical Carousel. It was covered by Liverpool’s Gerry And The Pacemakers in 1963 and became LFC’s anthem soon after. There is a dispute between Liverpool and Celtic over who adopted the song as theirs first but it is widely accepted to belong to the Reds. The words are even inscribed over the gate at Anfield.
8. Blue Moon
According to MCFC’s website, Blue Moon was originally sung by Crewe Alexandra’s fans and has only been adopted by the Blues in the past 20 years or so. The original ballad was written in 1934 by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart but Man City sing a more upbeat version. According to a historical expert it became an anthem for the team in the 89/90 season.
9. Glory Glory Man United
This catchy football chant/song is used by several teams and is based on the American Civil War 1861 song The Battle Hymn of the Republic, which has the chorus Glory, Glory, Hallelujah. Teams then replace the Hallelujah with their team name and Man U are well known for this version.
10. On The Ball, City
This tune is sometimes shortened to OTBC and is apparently the world’s oldest football song still in use. It is believed to have been written in the 1890s and then adopted by City at the turn of the 20th century.
11. When The Saints Go Marching In
This one is another Christian hymn that has been recycled to worship the beautiful game. It was first sung in the early 1900s and has since been adopted by various teams all over the world, including rugby as well as football. But in the Premier League it is most notably sung by Southampton fans.
12. Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur
Here’s where it starts to get really original… not. See above under Man U.
West Ham United
13. I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
This song was composed by John Kellette in the US around 1918 and was used in the musical The Passing Show of 1918. It was a popular tune with most well-known singers in the 1920s. It has been used in films including The Public Enemy in 1931, On Moonlight Bay in 1951, Women In Love in 1969, Sweet And Lowdown in 1999 and The Watermelon in 2008. But it probably became best known when the Hammers took it on as their own in the late 1920s.
It was introduced by the then-manager Charlie Paynter and was covered by the Cockney Rejects in 1980.