When people of a certain age tell people of an uncertain age that the FA Cup Final isn’t what it used to be, you can hear the sound of eyes glazing over.
Once, a must-watch showpiece event which kept fans of all clubs indoors on the hottest days, the FA Cup Final would dominate the day’s television programming. From football themed versions of regular shows to celebrity matches, FA Cup day was a very big deal for the nation. And while I could get misty-eyed about special editions of Saint and Greavsie from Wembley, I want to turn the spotlight on another FA Cup tradition which has sadly fallen by the wayside. The Cup Final song.
Every year, the respective finalists would be filmed by their local evening news programmes looking completely uncomfortable with headphones round their necks wearing the kind of knitwear Ronnie Corbett would have donned as he told one of his monologues on The Two Ronnies.
Records show that there hasn’t been an official Cup Final song for nearly 10 years. The glory days of the song were in the 1980s when club singles would regularly make the Top Ten, earning a coveted appearance on Top of the Pops.
As we remember some of the finest footy tracks to be committed to vinyl, here are some personal (makes air quotes) favourites. And we're betting without England New Order here before you ask.
Manchester United - Come On You Reds
Based on the Status Quo hit Burning Bridges, this lyrical potted history of the Red Devils was a chart-topper for two weeks in 1994.
All videos for football songs had to be interspersed with goal footage and “the lads” enjoying some laughs in the studio.
The song also reached number two in Ireland and number four in the traditional United hot-bed of Norway.
Tottenham Hotspur - Various
Celebrity Spurs fans Chas and Dave teamed up with the FA Cup Finalists in 1981, 1982 and again in 1987 for a trilogy of bangers. Ossie’s Dream (Spurs Are On Their Way To Wembley) reached number 5 and a year later, Tottenham, Tottenham didn’t fare quite so well, only making no. 19.
The much-loved Cockney duo returned to the charts in 1986 with Hot Shot Tottenham, a number 18 ‘smash’ which didn’t enjoy the popularity of the first two, mainly because Coventry beat them in the Final.
Hopefully, “Ossie’s going to Wembley his knees have gone all trembly” will be heard again in Madrid as Spurs fans get in the mood for the Champions League Final against Liverpool.
Everton - All Together Now
The Farm enjoyed huge success with the original hit back in 1990 and revisited the track with the Everton football team in 1995.
The modified lyrics gave the track a distinct Toffee flavour and it performed relatively well in the charts, reaching no. 24.
One of the last original football songs, Madness frontman Suggs penned the infectious Blue Day for his beloved Chelsea in 1997. It was following in some big footsteps - one of the first ever football songs, Blue Is The Colour - regularly gets an airing at Stamford Bridge some 40-odd years since its original release.
Another curiosity for you - comedian Bob Mortimer also teamed up with fellow Middlesbrough fan Chris Rea for an updated version of Let's Dance in 1997.