World Cup Football songs: 6 pop artists you totally forgot released singles

11 June 2018, 17:08

Simply Red - We're In this Together

World Cup 2018 is nearly upon us, and it's got us reminiscing about football songs of yesteryear.

But it hasn't only been 'Three Lions' and 'World in Motion', there have been some downright strange football songs over the years.

And we're not even talking about the 'Sven, Sven, Sven' variety. We're thinking of songs by artists you'd perhaps never think would bother releasing a cash-in football song, but here's some crackers:

1. Simply Red

While everyone remembers Baddiel, Skinner and The Lightning Seeds' unofficial Euro 96 anthem 'Three Lions', there was actually a very different song that was chosen to represent England that year.

The FA instead chose a comparatively downbeat ballad by Mick Hucknall's Simply Red, with the song 'We're In This Together', complete with a music video featuring both Neville brothers. It reached number 11.

2. Suggs

In 1997, it was still the custom for club teams to release a tie-in single if they were having a decent season or made the final of the FA Cup.

For that year, Chelsea asked Madness legend Suggs to write a tune. 'Blue Day' was apparently lying around gathering dust, so he reworked it into a footy anthem, and it reached number 22 in the charts.

3. Del Amitri

We're actually going to say it: this is actually a really great song. Just not the sort of song you'd expect for the World Cup.

Representing Scotland in a rare World Cup appearance, Del Amitri recorded 'Don't Come Home Too Soon', a slightly tongue-in-cheek ballad about the lack of expectation for their chances. A genuinely decent song, but it's not exactly 'Three Lions'!

4. Chris Rea

Bob Mortimer was recruited to record a song for his beloved Middlesbrough FC in 1997, but then he quickly realised he couldn't sing.

And so, he asked another famous Middlesbrough boy, Chris Rea, if he could borrow his song 'Let's Dance'. Chris did one better and actually re-recorded the song. Why not?

5. Robbie Williams

Robbie is known to be massive football fan, what with co-creating Soccer Aid and singing in the 2018 World Cup opening ceremony, but this we bet you don't remember this.

In 2010, 'Three Lions' was re-recorded yet again under the name 'The Squad', featuring Baddiel, Skinner, The Lightning Seeds, comedian Russell Brand and Robbie himself. Why? Not sure. It reached number 21 though.

6. Spice Girls

'Three Lions' was again released in 1998, but it wasn't the official song that year either. Instead, it was a song called '(How Does It Feel to be) On Top of the World' by a group called England United.

You'd be forgiven for never having heard of it, but it featured not only indie favourites Echo and the Bunnymen, Ocean Colour Scene and Space, but also randomly the Spice Girls! Despite their presence at the height of their powers, it only reached number 9.