List of UK hit singles by footballers

Last updated

Steve Bruce at the cliff -march 92.JPG
Bryan Robson at the cliff -march 92.JPG
Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson were among the Manchester United players who sang on "Come on You Reds" in 1994, the first song by a club team to top the charts.

Professional association football players have released records in the United Kingdom since at least the 1930s, when the Arsenal team issued a now-collectible gramophone disc. [1] The first such record to achieve commercial success was "Back Home", released by the England national team as part of their build-up to the 1970 FIFA World Cup, at which they would defend the trophy they had won four years earlier. The single, written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, spent 17 weeks in the UK Singles Chart and reached number one on the chart dated 16 May. [2] England did not qualify for the World Cup again until 1982, but the Scotland national team had hits in 1974 and 1978 with singles released ahead of the World Cup, on the latter occasion teaming up with celebrity fan Rod Stewart. [3] England topped the charts again in 1990 with the single "World in Motion", recorded in collaboration with the band New Order and remembered for the rap performed by player John Barnes. [4]


From the 1970s onwards, it became a tradition for the two teams which had reached the final of the FA Cup to each release a single as part of the build-up to the match, and several of these reached the top 10. [5] The songs were often adapted from existing well-known recordings, such as Middlesbrough's 1997 hit "Let's Dance", which added new lyrics to a 1987 song by Chris Rea, [6] and were characterised by their "rowdy, altogether-now" style. [7] Several different teams recorded songs written by Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter Tony Hiller. [8] The first FA Cup final single to reach number one was "Come on You Reds", released in 1994 by Manchester United. The single, adapted from the song "Burning Bridges" by Status Quo, who also performed on the recording, topped the charts on the weekend of United's victory over Chelsea in the final, but has been described as "so bad it's good". [9] [10] Although cup final singles have fallen out of fashion in recent years, Cardiff City collaborated with singer James Fox on a single to mark their appearance in the FA Cup final in 2008. [11] Other clubs, such as Lincoln City, have released singles to raise money in times of financial difficulties. [12]

In addition to the hits scored by teams singing en masse, individual professional players have also made appearances in the charts. Paul Gascoigne, then of Tottenham Hotspur, achieved the biggest hit by an individual player when he reached Number 2 with the single "Fog on the Tyne (Revisited)" in 1990. [13] Two other Tottenham players, Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle, reached Number 12 in 1987 with the song "Diamond Lights", although the single is now mostly remembered for the dated fashions sported by the duo when they performed the song on Top of the Pops . [14] [15] Only a very small number of UK hit singles have been recorded by sportsmen other than footballers, including top 20 hits for the England national rugby union team in 1991 and the England national cricket team in 2005. [16] [17]


The list contains every single recorded by a professional football team or individual player which spent at least one week in the UK top 75. It does not contain singles recorded in tribute to football teams by existing bands or groups of fans such as the 1975 hit "Viva El Fulham" by Tony Rees and the Cottagers, or other hits with a general football theme such as the four-time number one hit "Three Lions" by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds. Where two titles are shown for the same single, this represents a double A-side.

Hits recorded by teams

YearTeamCo-credited performer(s)SingleChart peakWeeks in top 75Notes
1970 England national team "Back Home"117 [16]
1971 Arsenal "Good Old Arsenal"167 [18]
1972 Leeds United "Leeds United"1010 [19]
1972 Chelsea "Blue is the Colour"512 [20]
1974 Scotland national team "Easy Easy"204 [3]
1975 West Ham United "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"312 [21]
1976 Manchester United "Manchester United"501 [22]
1977 Liverpool "We Can Do It"154 [23]
1978 Nottingham Forest Paper Lace "We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands"246 [24]
1978 Scotland national team "Ole Ola (Mulher Brasileira)"46 [3]
1981 Tottenham Hotspur [A] "Ossie's Dream (Spurs Are On Their Way To Wembley)"58 [25]
1982 Tottenham Hotspur [A] "Tottenham, Tottenham"197 [25]
1982 Scotland national team "We Have A Dream"59 [3]
1982 England national team "This Time (We'll Get It Right)" / "England We'll Fly The Flag"213 [16]
1983 Liverpool "Liverpool (We're Never Gonna...)" / "Liverpool Anthem"544 [23]
1983 Manchester United "Glory Glory Man United"65 [22]
1983 Brighton & Hove Albion "The Boys in the Old Brighton Blue"652 [26]
1985 Manchester United "We All Follow Man United"105 [22]
1985 Everton "Here We Go"145 [27]
1986 England national team "We've Got The Whole World At Our Feet"661 [16]
1986 Liverpool "Sitting on Top of the World"502 [23]
1987 Tottenham Hotspur Chas & Dave "Hot Shot Tottenham!"185 [25]
1987 Coventry City "Go For It"612 [28]
1988 England national team The "sound" of Stock Aitken & Waterman "All The Way"642 [16]
1988 Liverpool "Anfield Rap (Red Machine In Full Effect)"36 [23]
1990 Crystal Palace "Glad All Over" / "Where Eagles Fly"502 [29]
1990 England national team New Order "World in Motion"112 [16]
1990 Scotland national team "Say It With Pride"453 [3]
1991 Tottenham Hotspur [A] "When the Year Ends in One"443 [25]
1992 Leeds United "Leeds Leeds Leeds"543 [19]
1993 Manchester United "United (We Love You)"372 [22]
1993 Arsenal Tippa Irie and Peter Hunnigale "Shouting for the Gunners"343 [18]
1994 Manchester United [B] "Come On You Reds"115 [22]
1994 Chelsea "No One Can Stop Us Now"233 [20]
1995 Manchester United Stryker"We're Gonna Do It Again"156 [22]
1995 Everton "All Together Now"243 [30]
1996 Manchester United "Move Move Move (The Red Tribe)"615 [22]
1996 Liverpool Boot Room Boyz"Pass & Move (It's the Liverpool Groove)"44 [23]
1996 Scotland national team Rod Stewart "Purple Heather"165 [3]
1997 Rangers "Glasgow Rangers (Nine in a Row)"542 [31]
1997 Chelsea Suggs & Co."Blue Day"225 [20]
1997 Middlesbrough "Let's Dance"441 [6]
1998 Arsenal "Hot Stuff"95 [18]
1999 Manchester United "Lift it High (All About Belief)"115 [22]
2000 Arsenal "Arsenal Number One" / "Our Goal"461 [18]
2000 Chelsea "Blue Tomorrow"222 [20]
2002 Lincoln City Michael Courtney"Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" / "Jagged End"641 [32]
2002 England national team New Order "World in Motion" (re-issue)2211 [16]
2004 Yeovil Town "Yeovil True"361 [33]
2004 Millwall "Oh Millwall"411 [34]
2007 Bristol City "One for the Bristol City"661 [35]
2008 Cardiff City "Bluebirds Flying High"152 [11]
2010 Leeds United Supporters"Leeds Leeds Leeds"101 [36]
2020 Everton "Spirit of the Blues"651 [30]

A. ^ Chas & Dave performed on this single but were not credited.

B. ^ Status Quo performed on this single but were not credited.

Hits recorded by individual players

YearTeamCo-credited performer(s)SingleChart peakWeeks in top 75Notes
1979 Kevin Keegan "Head over Heels in Love"316 [37]
1987 Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle
(billed as "Glenn & Chris")
"Diamond Lights"128 [38]
1990 Paul Gascoigne
(billed as "Gazza")
Lindisfarne "Fog on the Tyne (Revisited)"29 [13]
1990 Paul Gascoigne
(billed as "Gazza")
"Geordie Boys (Gazza Rap)"315 [13]
1993 Ian Wright "Do the Right Thing"432 [39]
1999 Andy Cole "Outstanding"681 [40]

Related Research Articles

Lemar Musical artist

Lemar Obika, known as Lemar, is an English singer, songwriter and record producer. Initially rising to fame after finishing third on the first series of British talent show Fame Academy, he was later signed to Sony BMG, where he has gone on to release five studio albums, three of which are certified platinum or double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Three Lions 1996 single by Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds

"Three Lions", also referred to as "It's Coming Home" or "Football's Coming Home", is a song by English comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner and the rock band the Lightning Seeds. It was released on 20 May 1996 to mark the England football team's participation in that year's UEFA European Championship, which England was hosting.

The Lightning Seeds English rock band

The Lightning Seeds are an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1989 by Ian Broudie, formerly of the bands Big in Japan, Care, and Original Mirrors. Originally a studio-based solo project for Broudie, the Lightning Seeds expanded into a touring band following Jollification (1994). The group experienced commercial success throughout the 1990s and are well known for their single "Three Lions", a collaboration with David Baddiel and Frank Skinner which reached No. 1 in the UK in 1996 and 1998. The single once again reached No. 1 in the UK in 2018.

World in Motion 1990 single by New Order

"World in Motion..." is a song by British musical group New Order. The song is New Order's only number-one song on the UK Singles Chart. It was produced for the England national football team's 1990 FIFA World Cup campaign, and features a guest rap by England footballer John Barnes and additional vocals by several members of the English team of 1990 and comedian Keith Allen, who had co-written the lyrics.

All Together Now (The Farm song)

"All Together Now" is a song by British band The Farm from their 1991 album Spartacus.

Sweet Caroline 1969 single by Neil Diamond

"Sweet Caroline" is a song written and performed by American singer Neil Diamond and released in May 1969 as a single with the title "Sweet Caroline ". It was arranged by Charles Calello, and recorded at American Sound Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

Blue Is the Colour is a terrace chant associated with Chelsea Football Club. It was performed by the squad and released in 1972 to coincide with the club's ultimately unsuccessful appearance in the League Cup final of that year against Stoke City. The record was issued on the Penny Farthing Records label and reached number 5 in the UK Charts and number 8 in Ireland in March 1972. It has become one of the most well-known English football songs.

"Back Home" is a popular song written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter. It was recorded by the 1970 England World Cup squad and released on the single Pye 7N 17920. It was produced by Martin and Coulter. The musical arrangements were made by Coulter. The single, which began the tradition of the England squad recording songs to celebrate its involvement in the World Cup, reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in May 1970. England were the reigning world champions at the time, having won the 1966 World Cup, but were knocked out in the quarter finals after a 3-2 defeat by West Germany.

Come On You Reds

"Come on You Reds" is a song recorded by the 1994 Manchester United football squad, written and produced by the rock group Status Quo. It first entered the UK Singles Chart on 30 April 1994, and remained there for a total of 15 weeks, reaching a two-week high of number one. The song is the only club side football single to reach number one on the UK chart – however, "Back Home" and "World in Motion" both topped the charts for the England national side.

Diamond Lights

"Diamond Lights" is a 1987 single by footballers Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle, released under their first names, "Glenn & Chris". The song, by the then-Tottenham Hotspur and England teammates, reached number 12 in the UK Singles Chart in May 1987 and was by far the more successful of two chart releases for the duo. Despite its success, public opinion of the record's quality has been decidedly negative with the pair's television performance of the song being widely ridiculed.

Good Old Arsenal 1971 single by Arsenal F.C.

"Good Old Arsenal" was a single released by the English football team Arsenal in 1971. It reached number 16 in the UK Singles Chart.

"Go For It" was a single released by the English football team Coventry City to commemorate reaching the 1987 FA Cup Final. It reached number 61 in the UK Singles Chart. In contrast, Tottenham Hotspur, whom Coventry defeated in the final, reached number 18 with their single "Hot Shot Tottenham!"

Ossies Dream (Spurs Are on Their Way to Wembley) 1981 single by Chas & Dave, Tottenham Hotspur 1981 FA Cup Final squad

"Ossie's Dream " is a single by the English football team Tottenham Hotspur, released as a souvenir to commemorate the team reaching the 1981 FA Cup Final. It was written by Dave Peacock of Chas & Dave and produced by the duo. The song reached number 5 in the UK Singles Chart after Tottenham won the FA Cup that year. It is still frequently chanted by Spurs supporters during matches. The B-side of the single is "Glory, Glory, Tottenham Hotspur".

Tottenham, Tottenham 1982 single by Chas & Dave, Tottenham Hotspur 1982 FA Cup Final squad

"Tottenham, Tottenham" was a single released by the English football team Tottenham Hotspur, with uncredited accompaniment by Chas & Dave, in 1982. It reached number 19 in the UK Singles Chart.

"When the Year Ends in One" was a single released by the English football team Tottenham Hotspur, with uncredited accompaniment by Chas & Dave and former Lieutenant Pigeon manager David Whitehouse, to celebrate reaching the 1991 FA Cup Final. It reached number 44 in the UK Singles Chart.

"Hot Shot Tottenham!" was a single released by the English football team Tottenham Hotspur, accompanied by Chas & Dave, to celebrate reaching the 1987 FA Cup Final. It reached number 18 in the UK Singles Chart.

<i>The Beautiful Game</i> (compilation album) 1996 compilation album / studio album by various artists

The Beautiful Game, subtitled The Official Album of Euro '96, is an album of music by various artists released in 1996 by RCA and BMG Records as the official companion album to the UEFA Euro 1996 football tournament in England. The album, a mix between a compilation album of previously released material and a studio album of new material, it features twenty-two different artists, most of them being English football or football-related songs. It reflected the then-current popularity of Britpop and Cool Britannia. The album was co-ordinated by the London-based Music & Media Partnership for the host body, the English Football Association. Music & Media's managing director Rick Blaskey, executive producer of music for Euro '96, says "its clear that two cultures of music and football have never been so close. Consequently, as this country has such a rich heritage in both, it seemed right, it seemed only right to use music to celebrate England hosting Euro '96".


  1. Davies, Hunter (17 May 1999). "That crappy old Cup Final song could be worth a packet". New Statesman . Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  2. Roberts, p.662
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Roberts, p.443
  4. "The best footie songs : England and New Order: World In Motion". Virgin Media . Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  5. Varley, Nick (12 May 1996). "Sing a song of soccer ... but try not to be naff". The Independent . Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  6. 1 2 Roberts, p.335
  7. "The best footie songs : Tottenham Hotspur FC and Chas & Dave: Ossie's Dream". Virgin Media . Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  8. "The Charts". Tony Hiller . Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  9. Roberts, p.694
  10. "The best footie songs : Manchester United FC and Status Quo: Come On You Reds". Virgin Media . Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  11. 1 2 "James Fox & Cardiff City FC". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  12. Roberts, p.357
  13. 1 2 3 Roberts, p.208
  14. "Top Ten Footballers' Anthems". The Daily Telegraph . 14 August 2008. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  15. "Ten nightmare football songs". Daily Record . 8 October 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Roberts, p.175
  17. "Keedie/England cricket team". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  18. 1 2 3 4 Roberts, p.35
  19. 1 2 Roberts, p.291
  20. 1 2 3 4 Roberts, p.102
  21. Roberts, p.543
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Roberts, p.319
  23. 1 2 3 4 5 Roberts, p.301
  24. Roberts, p.367
  25. 1 2 3 4 Roberts, p.514
  26. Roberts, p.81
  27. Roberts, p.180
  28. Roberts, p.123
  29. Roberts, p.127
  30. 1 2 "Everton FC". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  31. Roberts, p.412
  32. Roberts, p.299
  33. Roberts, p.558
  34. Roberts, p.338
  35. "Bristol City & the Wurzels". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  36. "Marching on together into the Top 10!". Leeds United A.F.C. 23 May 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  37. Roberts, p.274
  38. Roberts, p.213
  39. Roberts, p.555
  40. Roberts, p.114