Top 10 British Football Chants: From Fat Eddie Murphy To We've Got Di Canio
Had Wayne Rooney not been protected from the baying Goodison hordes after his philandering was exposed in September 2010, he was set to be treated to a chorus of 'No woman, no Kai' from Toffees supporters
While reworking reggae music's signature score courtesy of Bob Marley didn't come to fruition, it was a reminder that humour on the terraces could still be conjured up. English stadia largely resembles a morgue in the sanitised 21st century, and a sit-down-and-shut-up policy is commonplace.
But in light of Porto pondering over whether to complain to Uefa about Manchester City fans chanting “You’re not incredible” to their Brazilian striker Hulk, here’s a top ten list of British football’s best banter.
10. FAT EDDIE MURPHY
While he could hit the ball as fast as an Exocet, it was probably due to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's unwillingness to run and saving energy.
Especially judging by his expanding waistline. Eddie Murphy is revered for his early-eighties buddy-movie pioneering with crowd-pleasers such as Beverley Hills Cop, Trading Places and 48 Hours, but then gave us "fat-funnies" The Nutty Professor and Norbit. Arsenal supporters put Eddie and Jimmy together and calculated: "You're just a fat Eddie Murphy." Hasselbaink laughed.
9. WE'VE GOT DI CANIO...
One of football's most outspoken right-wing supporters, Paolo Di Canio gained cult status during his four years at West Ham United.
He was the prickly rebel who possessed vibrancy in abundance, entertaining Premier League crowds and winning admirers and reverence even from away supporters. An away day to Liverpool led to West Ham supporters reflecting the nation's stereotyping of Merseyside's crime rate: "We've got Di Canio, you've got our stereos," they chirped.
8. THAT'S ZAMORA...
The Hammers are at it again! Before displaying form worthy of an international call-up, Bobby Zamora was the butt of many a joke.
His hapless finishing, shoddy goalscoring record at Tottenham Hotspur and general uselessness at Upton Park led to Irons supporters - always reliable for lampooning their own - airing their feelings humorously. Taking Dean Martin’s cue, "When the ball hits your head, and you're sat in row Z that's Zamora" saw even Fulham supporters adopt it at one stage when the striker moved from east to west London.
For a Manchester City supporter, living in the shadow of your neighbours is commonplace even on the rare occasion when you win the league (City did so in 1968, yet United won the European Cup 18 days later).
So when Malcolm Glazer saddled a previously the Reds with £716.5m debt (since reduced) and then City became the world's richest football club overnight three years later, the opportunity presented itself for City to rework a United chant which implores them to “f**k off home”:
That spells f*****g debt to me
With a knick knack paddwack give a dog a bone
Ocean Finance on the phone”
6. CARRAGHER'S DAD
Though he went on to act as Victoria Beckham's unofficial minder at the 2006 World Cup, Jamie Carragher's father Gary can consider himself fortunate to have been allocated a ticket.
In February 2005 he was ejected from his VIP seat at Villa Park during England's turgid 0-0 draw with Holland for alleged “rowdy” behaviour, and was consequently arrested for attempting to re-enter the premises. The Kop swiftly aired a tribute: “He's red, he's sound, he's banned from every ground. Carra's dad, Carra's dad.”
5. IF YOU TOLERATE RIX...
The Manic Street Preachers' alternative rock music rarely inspires terrace wit, yet their number one single “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” was the perfect foil to expand upon for those intent on chastising Graham Rix.
Rix admitted the charge of unlawful sex with a 15-year-old girl and served six months in prison for the offence in 1999. Over six-and-a-half years later, he took over the managerial reins at Hearts in Scotland, and Edinburgh rivals Hibernian wasted no time in resurfacing the past with “If you tolerate Rix, then your children will be next.” Cutting.
4. VAN PER-SIE, WHEN THE GIRL SAYS NO...
Private life allegations only serve to prompt the football songwriter to search their thinking cap more stringently for inspiration.
Allegations of adultery or rape, while unpleasant and serious, are tools for laughter in the stands. Robin van Persie hails from the Netherlands, where the Dutch are reputably expert at their grasp and understanding of English.
So a reworking of 2000's Artful Dodger and Craig David single “Re-Rewind”, when allegations had emanated of Van Persie raping a girl (he was acquitted of charges) would have registered. Culminating in: “Van Per-sie, when the girl says 'no'
3. PARK, PARK, WHEREVER YOU MAY BE...
Ineffectual and slight Ji-Sung Park may be, yet he's possessor of a collection of football chants that suggest Messiah-like status.
“He shoots, he scores, he'll eat your Labradors,” is an inexplicable rarity nowadays (and not just because of Park's impotency). His signature chant however is close to perfection, deprecating the player's Korean nationality and slating Liverpudlians:
“Park Park, wherever you may be,
You eat dogs in your own country
But you could be worse, you could be Scouse;
Eating rats in their council house.”
2. HE COMES FROM SERBIA...
Ethnic cleansing is unsavourably synonymous with the history of Eastern Europe, from Joseph Stalin's purges to Slobodan Milosevic's crusade to incite war in the Balkans.
For Manchester United fans, it has led to the heralding of one of their favourites. Nemanja Vidic is branded on unofficial t-shirts with a "If he dies, he dies." promise, lampooning Dolph Lundgren's Ivan Drago from Rocky IV.
Yet vocally, when an uncompromising header, fierce tackle or goal comes courtesy of the Serb, it leads to a chorus of: "Nemanja, whoooah, Nemanja, whoooah, he comes from Serbia, he'll f*****g murder ya.”
1. TWO ANDY GORAMS
When you're publicly diagnosed as schizophrenic and you're a footballer, sympathy is thrashed by hilarity. That Andy Goram was the staunch embodiment of Rangers, a purported Loyalist Volunteer Force sympathiser with alleged public links to Ulster Volunteer Force, ensured Celtic supporters would revel in his recent diagnosis.
The result was profane-free but all the funnier for it. “There's only two Andy Gorams” spread like wildfire throughout Scottish Premier League grounds and led to the title of a book recalling humorous football chants.