If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times. Football and music don’t mix. Sure, some songs lull you into thinking they’re bangers, through misty-eyed nostalgia or novelty value. However taken at face value, a footballer has never contributed positively to a song.
Think we’re being too harsh? Take a listen to our ‘top’ ten footballer singles and tell us you still think there’s a good one.
10. Paul Gascoigne – “Fog on the Tyne”
Gazza was undoubtedly one of the players of his generation. Prodigiously talented, a joy to watch, a knack for playing for teams with amazing kits, Gazza had it all.
He was also a prankster off the pitch, documented memorably on James Richardson’s Football Italia and the autobiographies of every player to have ever shared a dressing room with him.
It seemed in 1990 that the Geordie boy could do no wrong. That is until he teamed up with Lindisfarne to ‘revisit’ the Newcastle folk-rock band’s synonymous hit, Fog on the Tyne.
Catchy, yes, but also absolutely bloody awful.
9. Coventry 1987 cup final squad – “Go For It”
Yes, Coventry did really well with their 1987 cup run, but this accompanying single commits all the usual 80s football single faux pas.
A truly awful ‘anthem’ that on musical value alone means Go For It deserves to be towards the upper echelons of our rundown, the fact the whole squad appeared on Blue Peter to promote it, and the enthusiastic cameo by goalkeeping legend Steve Ogrizovic, keeps it in ninth place.
8. Spurs 1981 cup final squad – “Ossie’s Dream”
“Ossie’s going to Wembley, his knees have gone all trembly.”
Need we say more? Undoing all of the hard work of that Ricky Villa goal in the FA Cup Final replay before it had even happened, Tottenham enlisted the help of professional cockneys, Chas and Dave, to record this terrible attempt at a Cup Final song in 1981.
While the song itself is almost completely unlistenable, we must admit it is entertaining to see that vintage Spurs squad with Ossie Ardiles, Garth Crooks et al bouncing around in their matching knitwear.
7. Ruud Gullit – Not the Dancing Kind
One of the players of his generation, old Ruudy inspired his Dutch side to glory in the 1988 European Championships, while also providing the fulcrum for the successful Ajax and AC Milan sides of that era.
Unfortunately, such platitudes can’t be leveled at his music. Not the Dancing Kind is the Bud Lite of light reggae. Flat, tasteless and you’ll feel dirty afterward.
While Ruud’s other ‘hits’ – South Africa and Captain Dread – at least had good intentions and great names going for them respectively, Not the Dancing Kind ignores verses almost entirely. Instead, the same limp chorus is repeated again and again to, thankfully, the three-minute radio edit puts us out of our misery.