List of UK hit singles by footballers

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Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson were among the Manchester United players who sang on "Come on You Reds" in 1994, the first song by a club team to top the charts.

Professional association football players have released records in the United Kingdom since at least the 1930s, when the Arsenal team issued a now-collectible gramophone disc.[1] The first such record to achieve commercial success was "Back Home", released by the England national team as part of their build-up to the 1970 FIFA World Cup, at which they would defend the trophy they had won four years earlier. The single, written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, spent 17 weeks in the UK Singles Chart and reached number one on the chart dated 16 May.[2] England did not qualify for the World Cup again until 1982, but the Scotland national team had hits in 1974 and 1978 with singles released ahead of the World Cup, on the latter occasion teaming up with celebrity fan Rod Stewart.[3] England topped the charts again in 1990 with the single "World in Motion", recorded in collaboration with the band New Order and remembered for the rap performed by player John Barnes.[4]

From the 1970s onwards, it became a tradition for the two teams which had reached the final of the FA Cup to each release a single as part of the build-up to the match, and several of these reached the top 10.[5] The songs were often adapted from existing well-known recordings, such as Middlesbrough's 1997 hit "Let's Dance", which added new lyrics to a 1987 song by Chris Rea,[6] and were characterised by their "rowdy, altogether-now" style.[7] Several different teams recorded songs written by Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter Tony Hiller.[8] The first FA Cup final single to reach number one was "Come on You Reds", released in 1994 by Manchester United. The single, adapted from the song "Burning Bridges" by Status Quo, who also performed on the recording, topped the charts on the weekend of United's victory over Chelsea in the final, but has been described as "so bad it's good".[9][10] Although cup final singles have fallen out of fashion in recent years, Cardiff City collaborated with singer James Fox on a single to mark their appearance in the FA Cup final in 2008.[11] Other clubs, such as Lincoln City, have released singles to raise money in times of financial difficulties.[12]

In addition to the hits scored by teams singing en masse, individual professional players have also made appearances in the charts. Paul Gascoigne, then of Tottenham Hotspur, achieved the biggest hit by an individual player when he reached Number 2 with the single "Fog on the Tyne (Revisited)" in 1990.[13] Two other Tottenham players, Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle, reached Number 12 in 1987 with the song "Diamond Lights", although the single is now mostly remembered for the dated fashions sported by the duo when performing the song on television.[14][15] Only a very small number of UK hit singles have been recorded by sportsmen other than footballers, including top 20 hits for the national rugby union team in 1991 and the national cricket team in 2005.[16][17]

Hits[edit]

The list contains every single recorded by a professional football team or individual player which spent at least one week in the UK top 75. It does not contain singles recorded in tribute to football teams by existing bands or groups of fans such as the 1975 hit "Viva El Fulham" by Tony Rees and the Cottagers, or other hits with a general football theme such as the 1996 number one hit "Three Lions" by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds. An asterisk (*) after the number of weeks spent in the top 75 indicates that the record dropped out of the charts and re-entered. The total number of weeks for the two runs is shown. Where two titles are shown for the same single, this represents a double A-side.

Hits recorded by teams[edit]

Year Team Co-credited performer(s) Single Chart peak Weeks in top 75 Notes
1970 England national team "Back Home" 1 17* [16]
1971 Arsenal "Good Old Arsenal" 16 7 [18]
1972 Leeds United "Leeds United" 10 10 [19]
1972 Chelsea "Blue is the Colour" 5 12 [20]
1974 Scotland national team "Easy Easy" 20 4 [3]
1975 West Ham United "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" 31 2 [21]
1976 Manchester United "Manchester United" 50 1 [22]
1978 Scotland national team StewartRod Stewart "Ole Ola (Mulher Brasileira)" 4 6 [3]
1981 Tottenham Hotspur [A] "Ossie's Dream (Spurs Are On Their Way To Wembley)" 5 8 [23]
1982 Tottenham Hotspur [A] "Tottenham, Tottenham" 19 7 [23]
1982 Scotland national team "We Have A Dream" 5 9 [3]
1977 Liverpool "We Can Do It" 15 4 [24]
1978 Nottingham Forest Paper Lace "We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands" 24 6 [25]
1982 England national team "This Time (We'll Get It Right)" / "England We'll Fly The Flag" 2 13 [16]
1983 Liverpool "Liverpool (We're Never Gonna...)" / "Liverpool Anthem" 54 4 [24]
1983 Manchester United "Glory Glory Man United" 6 5 [22]
1983 Brighton & Hove Albion "The Boys in the Old Brighton Blue" 65 2 [26]
1985 Manchester United "We All Follow Man United" 10 5 [22]
1985 Everton "Here We Go" 14 5 [27]
1986 England national team "We've Got The Whole World At Our Feet" 66 1 [16]
1986 Liverpool "Sitting on Top of the World" 50 2 [24]
1987 Tottenham Hotspur Chas & Dave "Hot Shot Tottenham!" 18 5 [23]
1987 Coventry City "Go For It" 61 2 [28]
1988 England national team The "sound" of Stock Aitken & Waterman "All The Way" 64 2 [16]
1988 Liverpool "Anfield Rap (Red Machine In Full Effect)" 3 6 [24]
1990 Crystal Palace FabThe Fab Four "Glad All Over" / "Where Eagles Fly" 50 2 [29]
1990 England national team New Order "World in Motion" 1 12 [16]
1990 Scotland national team "Say It With Pride" 45 3 [3]
1991 Tottenham Hotspur [A] "When the Year Ends in One" 44 3 [23]
1992 Leeds United "Leeds Leeds Leeds" 54 3 [19]
1993 Manchester United ChampionsThe Champions "United (We Love You)" 37 2 [22]
1993 Arsenal Tippa Irie and Peter Hunnigale "Shouting for the Gunners" 34 3 [18]
1994 Manchester United [B] "Come on You Reds" 1 15 [22]
1994 Chelsea "No One Can Stop Us Now" 23 3 [20]
1995 Manchester United Stryker "We're Gonna Do It Again" 6 6 [22]
1995 Everton "All Together Now" 24 3 [27]
1996 Manchester United "Move Move Move (The Red Tribe)" 6 15* [22]
1996 Liverpool Boot Room Boyz "Pass & Move (It's the Liverpool Groove)" 4 4 [24]
1996 Scotland national team Rod Stewart "Purple Heather" 16 5 [3]
1997 Rangers "Glasgow Rangers (Nine in a Row)" 54 2 [30]
1997 Chelsea Suggs & Co. "Blue Day" 22 5 [20]
1997 Middlesbrough MortimerBob Mortimer and Chris Rea "Let's Dance" 44 1 [6]
1998 Arsenal "Hot Stuff" 9 5 [18]
1999 Manchester United "Lift it High (All About Belief)" 11 5* [22]
2000 Arsenal "Arsenal Number One" / "Our Goal" 46 1 [18]
2000 Chelsea "Blue Tomorrow" 22 2 [20]
2002 Lincoln City Michael Courtney "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" / "Jagged End" 64 1 [31]
2002 England national team New Order "World in Motion" (re-issue) 43 2 [16]
2004 Yeovil Town "Yeovil True" 36 1 [32]
2004 Millwall "Oh Millwall" 41 1 [33]
2007 Bristol City WurzelsThe Wurzels "One for the Bristol City" 66 1 [34]
2008 Cardiff City FoxJames Fox "Bluebirds Flying High" 15 2 [11]
2010 Leeds United Supporters "Leeds Leeds Leeds" 10 1 [35]
2010 England national team New Order "World in Motion" (re-entry of re-issue) 22 4 [36]

A. ^ Chas & Dave performed on this single but were not credited.

B. ^ Status Quo performed on this single but were not credited.

Hits recorded by individual players[edit]

Year Team Co-credited performer(s) Single Chart peak Weeks in top 75 Notes
1979 Keegan, KevinKevin Keegan "Head Over Heels in Love" 31 6 [37]
1987 Hoddle, GlennGlenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle
(billed as "Glenn & Chris")
"Diamond Lights" 12 8 [38]
1990 Gascoigne, PaulPaul Gascoigne
(billed as "Gazza")
Lindisfarne "Fog on the Tyne (Revisited)" 2 9 [13]
1990 Gascoigne, PaulPaul Gascoigne
(billed as "Gazza")
"Geordie Boys (Gazza Rap)" 31 5 [13]
1993 Wright, IanIan Wright "Do the Right Thing" 43 2 [39]
1999 Cole, AndyAndy Cole "Outstanding" 68 1 [40]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ Davies, Hunter (17 May 1999). "That crappy old Cup Final song could be worth a packet". New Statesman. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Roberts, p.662
  3. ^ a b c d e f Roberts, p.443
  4. ^ "The best footie songs : England and New Order: World In Motion". Virgin Media. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Varley, Nick (12 May 1996). "Sing a song of soccer ... but try not to be naff". The Independent. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Roberts, p.335
  7. ^ "The best footie songs : Tottenham Hotspur FC and Chas & Dave: Ossie’s Dream". Virgin Media. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "The Charts". Tony Hiller. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Roberts, p.694
  10. ^ "The best footie songs : Manchester United FC and Status Quo: Come On You Reds". Virgin Media. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Chart Log UK : 1994–2008 : Adam F – FYA". Chart Log UK. Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  12. ^ Roberts, p.357
  13. ^ a b c Roberts, p.208
  14. ^ "Top Ten Footballers' Anthems". The Daily Telegraph. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  15. ^ "Ten nightmare football songs". Daily Record. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Roberts, p.175
  17. ^ "Chart Log UK : 1994–2008 : Alex K – Kyuss". Chart Log UK. Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  18. ^ a b c d Roberts, p.35
  19. ^ a b Roberts, p.291
  20. ^ a b c d Roberts, p.102
  21. ^ Roberts, p.543
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h Roberts, p.319
  23. ^ a b c d Roberts, p.514
  24. ^ a b c d e Roberts, p.301
  25. ^ Roberts, p.367
  26. ^ Roberts, p.81
  27. ^ a b Roberts, p.180
  28. ^ Roberts, p.123
  29. ^ Roberts, p.127
  30. ^ Roberts, p.412
  31. ^ Roberts, p.299
  32. ^ Roberts, p.558
  33. ^ Roberts, p.338
  34. ^ "Bristol City & the Wurzels". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  35. ^ "Marching on together into the Top 10!". Leeds United A.F.C. 23 May 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  36. ^ "New Order". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  37. ^ Roberts, p.274
  38. ^ Roberts, p.213
  39. ^ Roberts, p.555
  40. ^ Roberts, p.114