For football teams in the UK, history dictates and soundtracks become embedded in the fabric of the club. If employed correctly, music has the power make you shiver or accelerate thousands of like-minded people with pride.
A well-picked entrance song, like “This Is The One” at Old Trafford, can set the tone for a rigorous afternoon with the lads. Booming through the PA system, such additions to the game we adore are as memorable as buying your first fanzine, making pie-eating a tradition, or superstitions like grey boxer shorts for every away game.
But not goal music. Let’s not go to town on the game by turning it into a weekly Super Bowl-esque festival, as this is an era where those in charge are doing their utmost to Americanise everything. If such tomfoolery continues, we’ll be eating hot dogs instead of pies at half time and singing “Take me to the ball game” on the terrace every weekend.
So, without further ado, The Sportsman examines the Premier League’s top 6 clubs and the music stars they can be associated with.
Chelsea - Damon Albarn
Ed Sheeran took to Twitter some time ago to confirm, after 22 years, his dad had finally converted him into a Chelsea fan. The “Castle on the Hill” hitmaker will, therefore, be overjoyed with the Blues’ campaign and claiming this season’s Premier League title, but we’re not having him as a diehard. No way.
Also converted in his later years, Blur frontman and vocalist of the Gorillaz, Damon Albarn, became as Chelsea fan after his first football match (Chelsea v Aston Villa) left an everlasting impression on him. Apparently, Albarn has now had a season ticket at Stamford Bridge for 25 years.
Spurs - Adele
North London born and bred, multiple Grammy Award winner Adele has topped the charts in recent years but still manages to make the odd appearance at White Hart Lane. That’s a sheer sign you can take the girl out of Tottenham but you can never take Tottenham out of the girl.
Last year, while waiting to perform at the United Centre in Chicago, Illinois, the 28-year-old randomly took the Instagram and posted a picture of her posing in front of a Spurs scarf with the caption: “Started from the bottom now we’re here.”
Moreover, “Rumour Has It” Adele is not looking forward to watching Spurs play their home games at Wembley next season.
Manchester City - The Gallagher brothers
Perhaps too busy with their music careers to attend as many games they wish nowadays, the Gallagher brothers are renowned for being avid Manchester City fans. Liam and Noel Gallagher were front-men for Britpop band Oasis for the best part of 18 years, and have never hidden away from showing their true colours.
In a recent interview with NME, Liam Gallagher was asked about former Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His response, as follows, was typical of the mastermind behind the Pretty Green clothing brand: “He looks like that big fucking cartoon. You remember? That big fucking rooster. Google it.”
Liam was referencing Foghorn Leghorn.
Almost two years ago, Noel Gallagher made an appearance on NBC’s Men in Blazers podcast, where he produced a rather memorable but explicit soundbite. Noel listed his favourite City players as Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure.
Addressing his love of Silva, Noel remarked: “I’d let him have sex with my wife.” Then, in the same interview, he labelled United’s Spanish midfielder Juan Mata as a “f***ing tw*t.”
The Manchester-born duo would advise fellow Manchester City fans “Don’t Look Back In Anger” when reminiscing the olden days before the influx of oil money came and contributed to City being a modern force within English football.
Meanwhile, fans of Oasis are awaiting news of a band reunion, but it doesn’t seem like that will be happening anytime soon. Liam is in the process of realising debut solo album As You Were, and Noel appears to be the one holding the key to make such a reunion a reality again.
Liverpool - Peter Hooton (The Farm)
The vocalist of the Liverpool-based group The Farm, Peter Hooton, oversaw the band’s rise to prominence with two top 10 singles in the nineties, while following Liverpool FC home and away, and running an underground magazine named The End.
The End was published between 1981 and 1989 as a mag football fans, music lovers and pub goers could all enjoy. Hooton wanted to infuse it with caustic Liverpool humour.
Hooton also did his bit for Spirit of Shankly, the supporters’ group founded in 2008 to represent the fans’ views during Tom Hicks and George Gillett’s controversial ownership of the club.
Arsenal - Roger Daltrey
The lead singer of The Who, Roger Daltrey, is an Arsenal fan. He even wrote a song named “Highbury Highs” before the Gunners moved to the Emirates.
Back during the 2008-09 season, Arsenal raised money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, and Daltrey had been instrumental in promoting the yearly concerts at Royal Albert Hall and other events set up to raise money for the cause. Between them — Arsenal’s players, staff and contributors — contributed £523,816 for the charity. Daltrey told The Who’s official website in 2009:
“As an Arsenal fan I am proud of how the Club and its fans from across the world got behind Teenage Cancer Trust last season. This incredible fundraising total is testament to the dedication and generosity of the Arsenal community. Their support will enable Teenage Cancer Trust to make a huge difference to many young people with cancer through our new, much needed day care cancer unit which will be built in London.”
Despite being a genuine and devoted Gunner, Daltrey grew up in West London where he would watch local side Queens Park Rangers at the weekends, but he was never fanatical about them. Standing on a terrace was just something he did on a Saturday as a kid.
Another interesting one is former Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten recently telling Gigwise he would rather Arsenal be relegated than Arsene Wenger remain manager.
“He’s [Wenger] been there so long now that there seems to be no way of getting rid of him,” Rotten said back in March. “He’s so deeply embedded and entrenched in the bureaucracy of the club that it seems impossible to pull him out of there. I’d rather drop a league that continue with him. It’s mediocre and it’s unfair to us fans.”
Manchester United - Ian Brown
The Stone Roses are one of the greatest bands to come out of Manchester, and their frontman Ian Brown has been a season-ticket holder at Old Trafford for many years.
The song, “This Is The One”, taken from their self-titled album, is played before every game at Old Trafford through the PA system.
Born in 1963, Brown was five when United won their first European Cup. He grew up in a family that were City mad, but he decided to go against them by opting for United. The former solo artist went to his first game for his eight birthday, as the Reds hammered Southampton 5-0 when Alan Gowling scored four.
When asked what his favourite United chants was, back in 2009, Brown told The Guardian: “‘He plays on the left, he plays on the right, that boy Ronaldo makes England look sh*t.’ That what I love about United: We’re the Republic of Mancunia, no-one gives a f*ck about England. My next favourite would be ‘You can stick your f**king England up your arse’, which we sing to Chelsea and the London clubs. I love that.”
Leicester City - Kasabian
We couldn’t do a list of bands associated with Premier League clubs without mentioning Leicester City and indie-rock band Kasabian. Back in 2016, the club held a victory parade to celebrate winning the Premier League with Kasabian performing a surprise set at Victoria Park. Fittingly, class hit Underdog was played on stage.
Kasabian member Serge Pizzorno spoke to Sky Sports News after Leicester’s surprise success under Claudio Ranieri: “The fairytale has happened and we were here. They [Leicester] play our tune when they score, what else can we do after this? I don’t know.”
Pizzorno continued by comparing headlining Glastonbury back in 2014 to Leicester winning the Premier League.
“They are extreme in different ways,” he added. “It’s something we’ve had since we were kids. I’m all over the world and then you come back home and you see everyone down the ground.
“They are both amazing feelings but the Leicester thing just has a place in your heart like nothing else.”