The Top 10 Football Chants of all-time
February 26, 2018
Given the musical and lyrical ability of some football fans (and players), you could be forgiven for wondering what they would achieve if the beautiful game was no more.
Perhaps they would become the great poets and lyricists of our age, penning tunes and pieces of prose that would put the great William Shakespeare to shame?
Perhaps not, but we’re grateful that these talented individuals are able to light up even the dullest game with a witty or catchy chant.
In this post, we’ll look at the top footie chants and songs of all-time, as we aim to have you singing along to at least one by the end!
Will Grigg’s on Fire
We start with a modern-day chant, and one based on the classic tune “Freed from Desire” by Italian singer Gala. Composed by Wigan Athletic fans about their cult favourite and Northern Ireland striker Will Grigg, the words “Will Grigg’s on fire, your defence is terrified” have become widely heard across a host of League One grounds and even permeated Euro 2016 when Northern Ireland participated. The chant has since become an iTunes hit thanks to electro duo Blonde.
“When the ball hits the goal, it’s not Shearer or Cole, it’s Zamora” was an ingenious chant sung by Brighton fans in the early noughties, when Bobby Zamora was terrorising the lower leagues. Sung to the iconic tune of “That’s Amore”, the tune became extremely well-known and followed the hitman throughout his career. Unfortunately, Zamora’s struggles at Fulham encouraged the Cottagers to create their own, unkind version, but the less said about that the better.
La Donna é Mobile
This catchy Italian hit has been adapted to sing the praises of numerous EPL stars, from the temperamental Fabrizio Ravanelli to the mercurial Paolo di Canio. Bizarrely, Huddersfield Town fans also used the tune to praise their own Andy Booth, claiming “who needs Wayne Rooney, when we’ve got Andy Boothy”. This is wrong on a number of levels, but Terriers fans deserve credit for their sheer imagination.
Basing a chant on an early 20th century American folk standard is unusual to say the least, particularly when it’s “Goodnight Irene”. After all, this song traverses topics such as love, loss and suicide, which hardly seem pertinent to a Saturday afternoon at the football. Still, the decision of Bristol Rovers to adopt this as a chant reflects their own, defeated mind-set, and the type of gallows humour that defines fans of all but the top clubs.
Take Me Home, Country Roads
The official state anthem of West Virginia, this song by John Denver is a cult classic and one that has been adopted by a number of football fans. Manchester United are famous for creating their own version of the hit, for example, including the lines”I was born to be United, daddy told me when I was just a baby” and “when I was five, I went down the Warwick Road”. The song also references Bobby Charlton, George Best and even Eric Cantona, so it’s grown to be something of an insight into the Red’s history.
Not only are Sheffield United looking to return to the game’s top flight, but they can also lay claim to having created one of the most emotive football chants. “Annie’s Song” is sung by Blades’ fans as a tribute to Woodbines, John Smith’s Magnet and a night out in the Steel City, while there’s even reference to a greasy chip butty. What else could you ask for as a footie fan?
Tom Jones’ 1968 hit Delian is a personal favourite of ours, and its anthem-like qualities make it ripe for the picking for football fans. Stoke City are the club who have adopted this as their unofficial anthem, however, and a song that often makes an appearance when the fans are trying to rouse their side. Although some have tried to ban it since Stoke have moved to the Britannia Stadium, it remains a cult favourite and is arguably now more popular than ever.
Forever Blowing Bubbles
Perhaps the most instantly recognisable chant on our list, this West Ham anthem is synonymous with the Irons and their former home at Upton Park. Adopted somewhere during the years post World War I, the song remains a favourite to this day although fans are famous for often misquoting the lyrics. Still, it’s the sentiment that counts, and few would ever deign to judge football fans on their ability to hold a tune or sing accurate words.
No-no, No-no-no-no, No-no there’s no Limit
One of the more simplistic but memorable chants, this famous tune from No Limit can literally be applied to almost any player or side in the world. Simply replace the syllable “no” with a name like “Kolo” and you have a terrace hit, as Manchester City fans proved when they first began serenading midfield enforcer Yaya Toure (and, by default, his brother Kolo). Inspired, simple and daft in equal measure, it also shows has Kolo Toure has become something of a cult icon for fans across the globe.
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Surely, you didn’t expect this song to be anywhere but top of our list, did you? Written in 1945, this emotive song became a global hit for Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1963 before being adopted by Liverpool and Celtic as a pre-game anthem that sent chills down the spines of opposing players. The chant also became even more meaningful for Liverpool fans in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster, creating a sense of unity and an impassioned beginning for any big night out at Anfield.