FLAKY FA chiefs yesterday scrapped plans to scrap England’s Three Lions anthem – after The Sun revealed their plot.
They bizarrely claimed the “arrogant” lyrics could offend nations at the World Cup in Qatar, which outraged fans.
1966 hero Sir Geoff Hurst said: “Thank God they saw mind.”
Angry English fans stopped the FA’s ridiculous attempt to scrap Three Lions as our World Cup anthem in Qatar yesterday.
They were joined by legends of the game and showbiz stars to force the footie bosses into a weedy about-face.
After The Sun revealed the plot yesterday, the FA was abused on TV and radio for six hours before announcing it was withdrawing. And bright bosses tried shamelessly to suggest they hadn’t talked about dropping the song.
We had shared how they feared using the classic 1996 tune in the stadiums before the World Cup kicked off – because other nations considered it ‘arrogant’ to sing the praises of England as the home of football.
The FA had even considered replacing her with American singer Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline.
1966 England World Champion Sir Geoff Hurst, 80, led our swift counter-attack, saying: “I performed in the original Three Lions video and have loved the tune ever since.
“It’s a song about football for English football fans. I can’t believe anyone would want to replace it with Sweet Caroline, who is American and has nothing to do with the game.
“Three Lions is light-hearted and filled with the hopes and dreams of the fans and I don’t see how anyone could find it offensive. And if we become world champions again, then football has really come because we are the country that invented the game.
“Why so serious? It’s just fun and I’m excited that we’ll be singing It’s Coming Home loud and proud in Qatar.”
Forward Sir Geoff, whose hat-trick secured England’s 4-2 win over Germany, also spoke of his delight at singing and dancing to the tune at a Lightning Seeds performance in London ahead of last year’s EURO final.
Sir Geoff said: “I was asked to introduce the song but I ended up being pulled on stage with the band and singing my heart out with (creators) David Baddiel and Frank Skinner. It’s that kind of song. It gets the fans excited and will always be my #1.”
All 32 nations competing in Qatar must nominate an official song, with the selection being submitted this summer.
Alarm bells went off last year when Uefa stopped Baddiel and Skinner from singing the hit ahead of the Euro 2020 final, branding it too “partisan”.
Nonetheless, the Croatian players used the song as motivation ahead of their 2-1 triumph over Gareth Southgate’s England side at the 2018 World Cup semi-finals in Moscow.
And Italian fans chanted “It’s coming to Rome” after beating the Three Lions on penalties in the Euro 2020 final.
Our front page yesterday was followed by a nationwide outcry. BBC Radio Two star Jeremy Vine has been inundated with calls from fans after asking listeners on the phone: “Is it wrong to drop the Three Lions song?”
He added: “The FA are apparently considering dropping the iconic song over fears it is ‘arrogant’. Is that a good idea or just bright nonsense?”
The FA is apparently considering dropping the iconic song over fears it’s “arrogant”. Is that a good idea or just bright nonsense?
BBC Radio Two star Jeremy Vine
Former England World Cup star Peter Reid has done much to replace the song on Nick Ferrari’s LBC show.
Peter, 65, said: “England fans are amazing, they sing and they stand behind the team. I don’t see that offending anyone or making us seem arrogant.
“I’ve looked at the lyrics and they’re brilliant. Nothing in it I think makes us arrogant or offends anyone.”
TV star Vernon Kay said the song is part of our football history, adding: “It unites England fans.”
Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, led the political support. She said: “The Three Lions have been the anthem of English football for more than 25 years.
Perfect playing field for football classics
Writing a football anthem that resonates is a lot harder than you might think. This is what makes Three Lions such a valuable gem that we must protect.
Its simplicity is the key to success. simple words. Simple melody. But don’t let that fool you – getting it right is far from easy.
It doesn’t matter how famous you are, like The Spice Girls, who were about the biggest band in the world when they released (How Does It Feel to Be) On Top of the World – the ill-fated official tune for 1998’s world Cup.
Or Mick Hucknall, who was kind of old-fashioned Ed Sheeran when he wrote We’re In This Together for 96 euros. The Lightning Seeds were a pretty cool indie band in 1996, and Baddiel and Skinner had a fun TV show.
Together they managed to write a simple song that mainly consists of two parts that anyone can sing – “It’s coming home.” . . ‘ along with the rousing ‘Three Lions on a Shirt . . . ‘ something that connected and resonated with the crowds on the terraces.
Where else do thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, all sing together, completely united and completely unaccompanied, than in football?
And the best way to get this big, triumphant chorus going is to come up with something that harks back to the tradition of terrace chants, all of which have a faint glimmer of folk music’s proud tradition. Written by ordinary people for ordinary people.
Vindaloo, which I wrote with comedian Keith Allen, had a one-word chorus, “Vindaloo,” and a one-note chorus, (“We’re gonna score one more than you”).
I played a demo to a music manager and he shook his head and said, “Sorry mate, you never get that on the radio. It’s not going to work.” I swear I haven’t heard it on the radio once, but people are still singing it six World Cups later.
Ultimately, people decide what they want to sing. I’ve always loved Sweet Caroline. It’s a great sing-along. But it has absolutely nothing to do with football or England and listening to it at English games makes me nauseous.
Please don’t suggest that Three Lions is “obnoxious to other nations” and wake us up with this irrelevant nonsense.
Be warned, those who would use the word “official”. You literally never got it right. It’s coming home, you idiots
“It perfectly captures what it means to be an England fan: the hope, the heartache, but above all the belief in the team. I expect English fans to sing it at matches throughout the World Cup.”
Tory Julian Knight, chairman of the Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said plans to scrap the tune were “crazy”. He added: When the Germans won Euro 96, they adopted Three Lions and sang it in their victory parade. It really makes you wonder at the mentality of the FA if they can’t just let sleeping lions lie on this issue.”
“You Can’t Take This Song From Us”
Tory MP Lee Anderson, a Nottingham Forest supporter, said: “This is incredible arrogance on the part of the suits at the FA. It just goes to show how far removed the people at the top are from the ordinary football fan.
“The wokery nonsense that seems to affect the whole country has now affected the FA.”
Senior sources at the FA had given The Sun detailed accounts of how bosses were planning to get rid of the song. English legend Paul Gascoigne told us yesterday: ‘You can’t take this song from us. This bright nonsense has no place in football.”
TalkTV host Piers Morgan added: “This song is about wallowing in pain and hurt and gaining nothing in 30 years. How can anyone say it’s arrogant?”
In their feeble attempt to downplay us, the FA said yesterday: “Contrary to reports this morning, the FA still play Three Lions at big Wembley games and never had any intention of doing anything else.
“The song belongs to the fans and is about hoping to follow the England team.
“It was requested by the FA to be played as one of our team songs at the 2018 World Cup and last summer’s European Championship and that is our plan for future tournaments.”
IT IS TOP CHAT
OUR story of Three Lions taking on the ax dominated discussion on the airwaves yesterday.
Callers bombarded radio shows, social media rioted and TV talk shows debated it.
TalkTV’s Julia Hartley-Brewer addressed the football controversy on her breakfast show home and made it her ‘Question of the Day’. Sky Sports News covered the issue all day and Jeremy Vine mentioned it on Channel 5.
TalkSport also argued against flaky FA fears, while former England midfielder Peter Reid called Nick Ferrari on LBC to fight the anthem’s corner.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5274927/england-three-lions-anthem-saved/ England’s Three Lions anthem saved for the nation after FA bosses’ U-turn