The 5 greatest England football songs ever

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We look at some of the greatest songs to accompany England in major tournaments over the years.

When you look back and remember some of your favourite World Cups and European Championships you also remember the England anthems that were released for the tournament. Some were brilliant and are still played today, whilst others are best forgotten.

The first official England football song was released in 1966 with 'World Cup Willie' and given the eventual success of the team following that the tradition continued. However in recent years the FA have failed to recognise an official anthem and in 2010 Fabio Capello banned any official song although James Corden and Dizzee Rascal released 'Shout' which reached number one.

Here are five of the greatest England football songs:

5) Back Home - The England Squad - World Cup 1970

In 1970 full of hope that they could retain the World Cup in Mexico, the England squad recorded the rather catchy 'Back Home' which went to the top of the charts. When England footballers feature on these tracks their cameos are usually short and embarrassing, however the 1970 squad gave this one a good effort and managed to sing very well together.

4) Top of the World (Olé, Olé, Olé) - Chumbawamba - 1998

An unofficial anthem for the 1998 World Cup in France this song amazingly only reached 21 in the charts. Outrageous as this song is still a classic 16 years on. The band are most famous for their 'Tubthumping' song however this release in 1998 went on to feature on Fifa World Cup '98, and that's how it will be best remembered by many. I remember singing along to it on that game when I was just 5 years old.

3) Vindaloo - Fat Les - 1998

A song about curry makes it to number three in this top five. Surprisingly despite the strange title choice from Fat Les this song proved to be hugely popular and gave a strong sense of patriotism. Yes we are proud of our curries, and we are proud of our national team. Fat Les consisted of Blur bassist Alex James who wrote the music, Keith Allen (Lily Allen's father to the younger readers) and artist Damien Hirst. The video is a spoof of The Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony'. As well as Vindaloo, they released 'Jerusalem' in 2000 and that was close to making this list. Jerusalam has become a hugely patriotic hymn for this nation becoming a ritual with cricket and rugby fans.

2) Three Lions - Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds - 1996

A superb choice for Euro '96 was the brilliantly written 'Three Lions'. It doesn't get much more patriotic than this, and even just hearing 'It's Coming Home' can make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. It cannot fail to get you in the mood for a major championships and start believing ever so slightly that perhaps this could be our year. Every football fan knows the words to this song, and the famous line '30 years of hurt' has turned out to be a bit of a curse as we now stand at 48 years of hurt. What a tune nonetheless!

1) World In Motion - England Squad and New Order - 1990

Created by one of the greatest bands of our generation, 'World in Motion' pips 'Three Lions' to first place, and it's all down to one man; John Barnes. This is a brilliant song in it's own right, not just amongst all other football songs. The famous New Order beat is there, a chorus for us all to sing along to, and then if you haven't learnt John Barnes rap by now then why not? This was actually New Order's last release on Factory Records and Keith Allen lent his hand on the lyrics for this one too. The song was re-released for the 2002 World Cup and was planned to have David Beckham record the rap instead of Barnes but devastatingly the FA vetoed the idea.


Here are some other efforts over the years that are memorable for all the wrong reasons.

They should have known that they could never better 'Let's Get Ready to Rumble'.

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