Two World Wars and One World Cup

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"Two World Wars and One World Cup" is a football song sung by supporters of the England national football team to the tune of Camptown Races as part of the England–Germany football rivalry.[1] The chant refers to the United Kingdom's victories in the First and Second World Wars, and England's 4-2 victory against West Germany after extra time in the final game of the 1966 FIFA World Cup.[2][3] The chant has also spawned similar chants such as "Stand up if you won the war".[4]


The chant is believed to have been created in the 1960s, after England had won the World Cup against West Germany.[5] It was created by England fans to reflect on England's historic achievements.[6] In 2006, Market traders in Leicester, Leicestershire, were banned from selling t-shirts with "Two World Wars, 1 World Cup" on them by Leicester City Council amid fears that the shirts "could cause offence".[7] Before the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office attempted to dissuade England fans from singing "Two World Wars and One World Cup" while in Germany.[2] England players; David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard also took part in videos filmed to be played in fanzones before England matches, asking for fans to be respectful towards Germany.[3] Despite these attempts, the chant was widely used by England fans whilst in Germany.[8]

The chant has been criticised as "jingoistic", although a number of England supporters feel they are justified in singing it against Germany.[9] However it has been praised in some foreign media with one Australian commentator stating envy of England fans for being able to use it during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[10] A Canadian reporter also said that the chant reflected "a deeply historic sense of national honour".[11] During the 2010 FIFA World Cup South African communications company, MTN Group ran a television advertisement on South African television involving the chant.[12]

Other uses[edit]

"Two World Wars and One World Cup" is also the name of an episode of BBC documentary, Everyman.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mason, Mark (2005). Bluffer's Guide To Football. Oval Projects Ltd. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-903096-49-9. 
  2. ^ a b "Two World Wars and One World Cup: England Prepares to Invade Germany". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  3. ^ a b Craven, Nick (2005-12-10). "Don't mention the war!". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  4. ^ Lister, Graham (2010-06-27). "Two World Wars, one World Cup and the 'Achtung!' chaos - the complex and violent history of England vs Germany". Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  5. ^ "Tales from the terraces: The chants of a lifetime". London: The Independent. 2006-04-22. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  6. ^ Nauright, John (2012). Sports around the world. ABC-CLIO. p. 25. ISBN 9781598843019. 
  7. ^ "Ban on 'offensive' T-shirt sale". BBC News. 2006-06-16. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  8. ^ Milloy, Courtland (2006-06-28). "Drinking in World History by the Cup". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  9. ^ "Not so magnificent seven". BBC Sport. 2000-06-16. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  10. ^ Deshon, Giles (2010-06). ""Two World Wars and One World Cup, doo dah, doo dah".". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2013-03-19.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ "Two world wars and one World Cup?". The Vancouver Observer. 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  12. ^ England (2010-06-27). "England v Germany: two World Wars and one World Cup". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  13. ^ "Two World Wars and One World Cup". Everyman. 25 April 1993. BBC.