TOP 5 – Songs by footballers


Written by Elliott Sheaf. Originally published in Issue 04.

Summer is finally here, and what better way to ease those football withdrawals and celebrate the sun by freaking out your mates at a BBQ with these Top 5 songs by former professional footballers. Nothing says summer quite like Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle singing about the woman that came between them, or Kevin Keegan about loving love so much he did it twice! Get yourself a beer, sit in the garden, and get stuck into these.

Ian Wright – Do the right thing

“But it in the end, the truth will be learned, people give nothing, it must be earned”
— I. Wright

Released in 1993 and co-written by Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys, “Do the right thing” peaked at number 43 in the chart, and isn’t entirely shite. The vocals from Ian Wright Wright Wright are passable considering the production values and lack of auto-tune, it’s just a shame the lyrics read like a series of inspirational quotes on a teenage girls Instagram account.

I can’t understand the motivation behind naming the song “Do the right thing”, but falling short of the full “Do the WRIGHT thing” pun. It’s as if they went in aiming to make a novelty football track but half way through recording decided, hang on, this is a bit of a banger, drop the full pun. C’mon guys, do the wright thing...Personally I’m looking forward to the rumoured 24 years later follow up to this single, “Wright-ers block”.

Glenn and Chris – It’s goodbye

“I believed you, didn’t see through, all your wicked lies, but in the fire light, of emotion, I bought your alibis”
— G. Hoddle & C. Waddle

For those of you who aren’t up to speed with your late 80’s football recording duo’s, Glenn and Chris were the England and Tottenham midfield partnership of Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle. Why didn’t they go with Hoddle n’ Waddle? Missed opportunity that is. “It’s goodbye” was recorded in 1987 and planned as a follow up to Glenn and Chris’ musical turd, “Diamond Lights”, but was left unreleased due to Hoddle’s transfer to Monaco preventing him from promoting the track.

Shockingly, for a duo who played regularly together for club and country, the video shows they have almost Lampard/Gerrard levels of compatibility, who famously couldn’t play in the same band together. Why are Glenn and Chris standing so close to each other?! The video ticks off all the 80’s music video hallmarks, androgynous love interest, oversized blazers, moody stares down camera and of course, Glenn Hoddle’s mullet. Oh yeah, there’s a song in the background’s crap.

Kevin Keegan – Head over heels in love

“Darling there’s no danger, with all that we’ve been through, that anyone could love you more than me”
— K. Keegan

I won’t hear a bad word said about this one. I don’t know if it’s due to being a good few hours deep into a Glenn and Chris insanity spiral, but this 1979 top 10 hit (in Germany) is actually a very pleasant little ditty. They’ll listen to fucking anything in Germany, did you know David Hasselhoff sang at the fall of the Berlin wall...whilst wearing a piano scarf? Insane...

I’m getting side-tracked, I have literally nothing else to write about this song. Stick it on at a BBQ this summer and I guarantee nobody will complain, but maybe steer clear of the video if hallucinogens are you BBQ tipple of choice. The video sees Keegan being penetrated in every orifice by sexy glowing light, whilst wearing flares that at least three more Kevin Keegans could squeeze in to. If you’re here just looking for a cheap laugh, check out his obscure B-side “England”, which walks a fine line between 70s English tourism board ad soundtrack and nationalist wanker anthem.  

Andy Cole – Outstanding

“Tell the world my name, who’s that? Andy Cole, I blaze the scene, score the goals”
— A. Cole

 I would argue that this 1999 attempt at music by Andrew “don’t call me Andy” Cole is the most egregious on the list. In the opening two lines seen above, Andyrew commits the two most cardinal sins as a footballer turned rapper by stating his own name in the most cringe worthy way possible then referencing the fact that he plays football. We know your name, your hype man just said “Andy Cole break it down” in the intro. Also, we know you’re a footballer. You’re Andy Cole.

The most offensive part of this
cluster-fuck is the video, in which Andy is riding on the passenger side of his best friends ride, cruising around what looks like a red light district of some sort whilst glaring out the car as if he is analysing which lady of the night looks most killable. I’m by no means an expert, but sitting as a passenger in the front seat of a car is lame right? Do you know what is cool Andy, winning the Champions League, stick to that.

Gazza – Geordie boys (Gazza rap)

“Newcastle town there’s geordie brown, cheers to the lads who sup it down”
— P. Gascoigne

This one feels a little strange to watch. Knowing how Gazza’s life turned out post “Geordie boys”, it feels like somebody should have stepped in once he started rapping about drinking beers with the lads, in a video made for Top of the Pops, whilst wearing an open tracksuit and no t-shirt. I guess the fact that TOTP was okay with this doesn’t say much really, it is probably only the 300th most uncomfortable thing to watch from their archives.

Apparently this wasn’t just a shameless cash grab that capitalised on Gazza’s number 2 hit “Fog on the Tyne”, but rather his label and studio executives genuinely had grand plans to market Gazza as a popstar. It’s a scary thought that Gazza wouldn’t have had to maintain some semblance of health as a professional footballer but instead would be exposed to the only profession where boozing was more encouraged than being a mid 90s footballer, that of being a mid 90s full time pop lad. In a way, I guess you could thank his complete inability to rap for him being alive today. 

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