FA Cup Pop

This weekend heralds the 4th round of the Budweiser sponsored FA cup. Dreams of Wembley are harboured by fans, whose clubs are still hanging on in the competition. The media like to talk about the romance of the FA cup. In its 141 year history, there have been many memorable moments. Ronnie Radford’s winning goal for non-league Hereford United against the mighty Newcastle. Trevor Brooking’s cup final header against Arsenal. Ricky Villa’s dramatic solo goal against Man City. All glorious moments etched in FA cup folklore. However, I remember something far more memorable than all of that. Something that really represents FA cup tradition. The FA cup final song!

There are probably a few spotty pubescent teenagers reading this, who don’t know what the hell I’m on about. Well that’s nothing new. I’m not cool anymore. Well truth be told, I was never cool. Hence the years of self-loathing. Anyway, I digress. The really tragic thing is, this generation has lost out. Forget about the rise in student fees or broken Britain. They are a host of people out there, who never got the chance to see tone deaf, multimillion pound footballers, make absolute prats of themselves. Well in ways other than family-related sex scandals, and controversial (non) pre-match handshakes of course.

For those who may not know. There was a time (way back when) that football clubs who competed in the FA cup final, would celebrate the occasion. The two competing clubs did this, by releasing their own individual songs. Yes, an actual living, breathing song that would go into the charts. There was even a real a chance this dichotomy of audio tripe, could reach the dizzy heights of number one. How ridiculous is that? Imagine footballers today, having the opportunity to topple modern artists like Rihanna and Ed Sheeran. In fairness, a lot of the FA cup final songs were better than Ed Sheeran, but that’s beside the point.

So picture the scenario. A group of professional footballers in a recording studio, warbling into a microphone.  Some of them genuinely believed they could actually sing. Oh and the songs. Let me tell you about the songs. The lyrics were just a mess of random football clichés, with terrace chants thrown in. They were terrible, truly terrible. However we as football fans absolutely adored them! It was something about the silly, cheesy, naff nature of it all, that was well, very, how do you say……English. Plus all the proceeds from the songs sales, would go to a local charity or something wholesome like that (I think!).

Sadly, professional football in this country is a very corporate and commercial world now. Something seemed to happen at the turn of the millennium, and the tradition of releasing a FA cup football song was forgotten. It just doesn’t happen anymore. The media complains there are no sporting personalities. Well the FA cup final song made even the most gormless of morons (I’m talking to you Wayne Rooney), look like real entertainers. Don’t just take my word for it. Have a look at the attached videos of past FA cup final songs. I dare you to watch them and not sing ‘the Anfield rap’ or ‘Arsenal hot stuff’ afterwards.

I was even contemplating the return of International football songs. You know, the ones a nation would record and release before a major tournament. Now this is really exciting stuff. We could have a football version of Eurovision. Where players from each nation would sing and rival countries would do the voting. Oh think of the politics, the backstabbing, and the bribery. FIFA and UEFA would bloody love it! Instead of thinking about formations and zonal marking, the England manager would be wondering if Darren Bent and Joe Hart could finish off their perfect falsettos. Absolute genius folks! I reckon I’m onto something here. Someone get me Simon Cowell’s number, quick.

So, who’s with me here? Let’s see the return of the FA cup final song. With your help this dream can be achieved. We can do it together people. I could even start a petition. Let the future of today revel in football music awfulness. Thank you!  I’m off to listen to my Baddiel and Skinner ‘Euro 96’ Three Lions cassette.

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