By the time you read this the England football team will be either a) finally fulfilling the hype or b) boarding a Jetstream on a fortnight’s 5-star trip to a green-list country.

And yet, try as I might, as a lifelong aficionado of the beautiful game, I cannot get too excited about the 'festival’ of football. Last night as I lay awake, it struck me as to why this feels like an anti-climax: the official song.

I vividly remember, aged 9, gleefully queuing in Hastings Woolworths, to spend my pocket money on the England Squad's seminal classic This Time We'll Get It Right. Ron’s 22 promised they were going to ‘find a way to win the cup’. After straight wins against France, the Czechs and the mighty Kuwait, Greenwood’s grapplers roared into the second group stage to record back-to-back stalemates against West Germany and Spain to miss out on the UK number 1 by a smidgeon and get sent packing back to Luton on the shame express.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Stock, Aitken and Waterman could not produce their Midas touch as their 1988 offering All the Way peaked at number 64 in the charts, before we reached the pinnacle of musical theme tune output with New Order’s World in Motion in 1990 and 1996’s Three Lions, both hitting the heady heights of tippety top of the pops.

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And then it came crashing down as we lost impetus and fell headfirst off the football musical mountain. Ant and Dec, not having learnt a lesson from their outing some years earlier under the pseudonyms ‘PJ and Duncan’ (who on earth would change their name to Duncan?) claimed they were On the Ball as they hit number 3 in 2002. Embrace’s forgettable World at your Feet and Chris ‘Kammy’ Kamara brought up the rear with 2012’s Sing for England.

Epping Forest Guardian:

And now, in 2021, without a new, fresh, catchy anthem to sing, we are left with the old classics as we hum along and reminisce about when Barnesy wove his way through the Brazilian defence at the Maracanã before laying down some vocal beats as he proved he can rap like he dribbled.

This year we are being told the Good Times are Back with Krept and Konan (I haven't a clue) whose song I have tried to locate time and again on Google, but, as yet, unsuccessfully. There are plenty of news articles about the ditty and why they recorded it, but as for the finished product, I am yet to hear it, and gave up trying to break down firewall and cache in central defence.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Then I discovered another ‘option’: if you were to put a collective of irritating twerps into one music video, you couldn’t scrape the barrel much lower (besides the glaring omission of Jamie Oliver) than the latest offering from Z-list actor Will Mellor and his friends. With an outrageous lack of originality, Mellor has rerecorded Vindaloo Mk 2. He is joined by the irksome Paddy McGuinness who I no-likey, the geezerish thespian Danny Dyer, and the man who is living proof that the drugs don’t work: Bez. In a blatant attempt to jump on a bandwagon that no one has invited them to board, the video has a legion of NHS workers following Mellor down the street as if he is the Lord and they are his disciples.

This tournament time the nub is that we will count down to the national disappointment without an anthem to sing along heartily with, as we kiss the Three Lions and hope for a rerun of 1966. We have little choice but to continue to worship at the altar of Baddiel, Skinner and Keith Allen as we pray our team is more on-song than Del Amitri’s 1998 Scotland outing, Don’t Come Home Too Soon, which, after taking one point from three games, they did.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher