Football rocks, but you already knew that. These days, new bands are legally obliged to pitch up on the couch on soccer AM, Sky sports’ Saturday morning football show. Razorlight, The Zutons and Delays have all been recent guests on the show, hosted by one-time XFM DJ Tim Lovejoy.
But rockers playing the football card is nothing new. Way back in the late-’70s, bovver boy punks Sham 69 were a regular feature in the Top Ten with pseudo terracef anthems, such as ‘Kids Are United’ or ‘Hersham Boys’, while New Order’s 1990 England anthem ‘World In Motion’ opened the floodgates for the current deluge of bands recording singles (official and unofficial) for the national team.
And anyone who has been to a game in the last 40 years will have heard terrace chants based on pop song – from Liverpool’s Kop end singing The Beatles ‘She Love You’ to arsenal’s reworking of the Pet Shop Boys ‘Go West’ for their once-ubiquitous ‘One-Nil To The Arsenal’ mantra, music and football are inescapably intertwined.
Manchester United fans may be hated by many, but there’s no more inventive a set of supporters – perhaps the Stretford End’s finest moment was their adaptation of Joy Division’s best-known song in honour of their wing-footed Welsh wizard: ‘Giggs Will Tear You Apart’.
Over the next month, English footy fans (apologies to everyone else) will be wrapping themselves up in the flag of St George, stocking up the fridge with lager and singing their hearts out for the lads.
But, while most modern footballers seem to behave more like squeaky-clean pop stars, we prefer them with and injection of dirty rock. So, to celebrate the grittier side of the beautiful game, here’s our round up of the greatest rock’n’roll footballers ever.