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.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. 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. 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.
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.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, and were characterised by their "rowdy, altogether-now" style. Several different teams recorded songs written by Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter Tony Hiller. 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". 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. Other clubs, such as Lincoln City, have released singles to raise money in times of financial difficulties.
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.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 . 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.
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.
|Year||Team||Co-credited performer(s)||Single||Chart peak||Weeks in top 75||Notes|
|1970||England national team||—||"Back Home"||1||17|
|1971||Arsenal||—||"Good Old Arsenal"||16||7|
|1972||Leeds United||—||"Leeds United"||10||10|
|1972||Chelsea||—||"Blue is the Colour"||5||12|
|1974||Scotland national team||—||"Easy Easy"||20||4|
|1975||West Ham United||—||"I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"||31||2|
|1976||Manchester United||—||"Manchester United"||50||1|
|1977||Liverpool||—||"We Can Do It"||15||4|
|1978||Nottingham Forest||Paper Lace||"We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands"||24||6|
|1978||Scotland national team||Rod Stewart||"Ole Ola (Mulher Brasileira)"||4||6|
|1981||Tottenham Hotspur||— [A]||"Ossie's Dream (Spurs Are On Their Way To Wembley)"||5||8|
|1982||Tottenham Hotspur||— [A]||"Tottenham, Tottenham"||19||7|
|1982||Scotland national team||—||"We Have A Dream"||5||9|
|1982||England national team||—||"This Time (We'll Get It Right)" / "England We'll Fly The Flag"||2||13|
|1983||Liverpool||—||"Liverpool (We're Never Gonna...)" / "Liverpool Anthem"||54||4|
|1983||Manchester United||—||"Glory Glory Man United"||6||5|
|1983||Brighton & Hove Albion||—||"The Boys in the Old Brighton Blue"||65||2|
|1985||Manchester United||—||"We All Follow Man United"||10||5|
|1985||Everton||—||"Here We Go"||14||5|
|1986||England national team||—||"We've Got The Whole World At Our Feet"||66||1|
|1986||Liverpool||—||"Sitting on Top of the World"||50||2|
|1987||Tottenham Hotspur||Chas & Dave||"Hot Shot Tottenham!"||18||5|
|1987||Coventry City||—||"Go For It"||61||2|
|1988||England national team||The "sound" of Stock Aitken & Waterman||"All The Way"||64||2|
|1988||Liverpool||—||"Anfield Rap (Red Machine In Full Effect)"||3||6|
|1990||Crystal Palace||The Fab Four||"Glad All Over" / "Where Eagles Fly"||50||2|
|1990||England national team||New Order||"World in Motion"||1||12|
|1990||Scotland national team||—||"Say It With Pride"||45||3|
|1991||Tottenham Hotspur||— [A]||"When the Year Ends in One"||44||3|
|1992||Leeds United||—||"Leeds Leeds Leeds"||54||3|
|1993||Manchester United||The Champions||"United (We Love You)"||37||2|
|1993||Arsenal||Tippa Irie and Peter Hunnigale||"Shouting for the Gunners"||34||3|
|1994||Manchester United||— [B]||"Come On You Reds"||1||15|
|1994||Chelsea||—||"No One Can Stop Us Now"||23||3|
|1995||Manchester United||Stryker||"We're Gonna Do It Again"||15||6|
|1995||Everton||—||"All Together Now"||24||3|
|1996||Manchester United||—||"Move Move Move (The Red Tribe)"||6||15|
|1996||Liverpool||Boot Room Boyz||"Pass & Move (It's the Liverpool Groove)"||4||4|
|1996||Scotland national team||Rod Stewart||"Purple Heather"||16||5|
|1997||Rangers||—||"Glasgow Rangers (Nine in a Row)"||54||2|
|1997||Chelsea||Suggs & Co.||"Blue Day"||22||5|
|1997||Middlesbrough||Bob Mortimer and Chris Rea||"Let's Dance"||44||1|
|1999||Manchester United||—||"Lift it High (All About Belief)"||11||5|
|2000||Arsenal||—||"Arsenal Number One" / "Our Goal"||46||1|
|2002||Lincoln City||Michael Courtney||"Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" / "Jagged End"||64||1|
|2002||England national team||New Order||"World in Motion" (re-issue)||22||11|
|2004||Yeovil Town||—||"Yeovil True"||36||1|
|2007||Bristol City||The Wurzels||"One for the Bristol City"||66||1|
|2008||Cardiff City||James Fox||"Bluebirds Flying High"||15||2|
|2010||Leeds United||Supporters||"Leeds Leeds Leeds"||10||1|
|2020||Everton||—||"Spirit of the Blues"||65||1|
A. ^ Chas & Dave performed on this single but were not credited.
B. ^ Status Quo performed on this single but were not credited.
|Year||Team||Co-credited performer(s)||Single||Chart peak||Weeks in top 75||Notes|
|1979||Kevin Keegan||—||"Head over Heels in Love"||31||6|
|1987|| Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle |
(billed as "Glenn & Chris")
|1990|| Paul Gascoigne |
(billed as "Gazza")
|Lindisfarne||"Fog on the Tyne (Revisited)"||2||9|
|1990|| Paul Gascoigne |
(billed as "Gazza")
|—||"Geordie Boys (Gazza Rap)"||31||5|
|1993||Ian Wright||—||"Do the Right Thing"||43||2|
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", 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 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..." 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" is a song by British band The Farm from their 1991 album Spartacus.
"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" 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" 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" 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!"
"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" 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.
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".