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World Football's 25 Best Chants

Charles LawleyContributor IMarch 1, 2013

World Football's 25 Best Chants

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    Going to watch a live match is a wonderful experience with the smells, the sights, the feeling of seeing your team win (the author is a QPR fan, so not speaking from experience on the last one).

    But one of the highlights that can really set football apart from any other sport is the terrace wit.

    One clever soul thinks of something very clever to chant, builds up the courage, belts out a line and, before you know it, tens of thousands of people (or in the case of Wigan Athletic, nearly dozens) are singing it.

    So here is a definitive list of the football chants at their best.

25. Ocean Finance on the Phone

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    Manchester City fans reworked city rivals Manchester United’s "U-N-I-T-E-D, United are the team for me..." following the Reds' takeover by the Glazers, and their reported money troubles, by singing

    U-N-I-T-E-D,

    That spells f*****g debt to me,

    With a knick-knack paddywhack give a dog a bone,

    Ocean Finance on the phone!

    If you didn't know, Ocean Finance is a UK-based finance company offering loans.

24. No Woodman

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    Wycombe Wanderers fans started singing this when they took the lead against Brighton Hove Albion, despite Wycombe’s Craig Woodman being sent off in the first half:

    “No Woodman, no cry.”

    To the tune of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry."

23. The Peckham Beckham

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    Millwall fans sang this, to the tune of “My Old Man’s A Dustman” by Lonnie Donegan, in tribute to the man they dubbed “The Peckham Beckham,” Darren Ward. 

    "Posh Spice is a slapper,

    She takes it up the a**e,

    And when she’s s******g Beckham,

    She thinks of Darren Ward."

22. Swing Low Sweet Tony's Hat

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    Following Arsene Wenger labeling Stoke City a “rugby team,” due to their hard tackling and long ball game, the Stoke City fans decided to embrace this and start singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” the unofficial anthem of England’s Rugby Union side.

21. He's Alright

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    This one has been sang, to the tune of popular Christmas time song “Winter Wonderland,” about many players who were deemed to not be the most talented, but have hit a patch of form. 

    The name is interchangeable, but I’m going to use the most fitting candidate: 

    "There's only one Emile Heskey,

    One Emile Heskey.

    He used to be sh**e,

    But now he's all right,

    Walking in a Heskey wonderland."

20. Gnome is where the heart is

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    A popular chant from visiting fans, when they’re out-singing their hosts is:

    “You’re supposed to,

    You’re supposed to,

    You’re supposed to be at home,

    You’re supposed to be at home.” 

    As there is always more home fans than away fans.

    However Port Vale fans once reworked the popular chant, to the tune of traditional Welsh hymn, “Bread Of Heaven,” to point out how short the referee was. 

    “You’re supposed to,

    You’re supposed to,

    You’re supposed to be a gnome,

    You’re supposed to be a gnome.”

19. Oh Snape!

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    Wigan Athletic fans noticed the resemblance of Dimitar Berbatov to Professor Snape from the Harry Potter films and decided to celebrate this by singing, to the tune of “Guantanamera”:

    “There’s only one Alan Rickman!”

18. Sack Race

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    Neil Warnock was unveiled as Queens Park Rangers’ FIFTH manager of the 2009/10 season and made his debut against West Bromwich Albion. 

    The West Brom fans reassured Warnock of the stability of his position by serenading him with, again to the tune of “Guantanamera”:

    “Sack In The Morning, You’ll Get The Sack In The Morning.”

17. Crouch's Cold Toes

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    Liverpool fans honored their lanky striker Peter Crouch, with the simple, but funny little number:

    “He’s big, he’s red

    His feet stick out the bed

    Peter Crouch, Peter Crouch.”

16. He Was Working as a Defender in Crystal Palace When They Met Him

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    Sometimes players have names that just fit in classic pop songs.

    Southampton fans deserve credit for managing to crowbar Jose Fonte’s name into Human League’s classic 80s hit, “Don’t You Want Me Baby”:

    "Jose Fonte, baby

    Jose Fonte, wo-oh-oh-oh!" 

15. Rafa’s Dirk

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    Another entry from Liverpool fans and their famous sense of humor.

    They celebrated then-manager Rafa Benitez finally signing Dirk Kuyt by singing, to the tune of “Let’s All Do The Conga” by Black Lace:

    “Rafa’s got his Dirk Kuyt,

    Rafa’s got his Dirk Kuyt,

    Nah nah nah nah.”

    Which, when pronouncing Dirk’s name “Dirk Out,” sounds a bit rude.

    You naughty Liverpool fans!

14. Sign Him Up

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    Another entry from Manchester City winding up their neighbors again.

    Manchester United fans have a tradition of singing:

    “Fergie, Fergie, sign him up!”

    Whenever the opposition team have a good player that the Old Trafford fans wouldn’t mind seeing in a red shirt.

    However, when Carlos Tevez, who left United for City under controversial circumstances, put two past his old club in a 2010 League Cup semi-final, the City fans sang:

    “Fergie, Fergie, sign him up!”

    Everybody needs good neighbors.

13. Perm envy

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    The Newcastle United fans think Fabricio Coloccini is just too good to be true, so to honor this they sing, to the tune of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”:

    “Oh Coloccini, you are the love of my life,

    Oh Coloccini, I'd let you s**g my wife,

    Oh Coloccini, I want curly hair tooooooooooo!”

    The Toon Army really know how to compliment a guy.

12. Clint Hill = Brazil

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    When a team is dominating and playing good football, it’s traditional for their fans to sing, to the tune of Blue Moon:

    “Brazil!

    It’s just like watching Brazil!

    It’s just like watching Brazil!

    It’s just like watching Brazil!”

    However Queens Park Rangers fans acknowledge their current captain by singing their own version:

    “Clint Hill!

    We just like watching Clint Hill!

    We just like watching Clint Hill!

    We just like watching Clint Hill!”

11. Rocking All Week with Toon

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    Similar to the Jose Fonte/"Don’t You Want Me Baby" entry, sometimes there’s nothing more wonderful then when a player’s name just fits into a song.

    Newcastle United fans changed The Happy Days theme tune to celebrate their Senegalese defender, Habib Beye. 

    “Sunday Monday Habib Beye,

    Tuesday Wednesday Habib Beye,

    Thursday Friday Habib Beye,

    Saturday, Habb Beye, rocking all week with you!”

    Honorable mention to a fantastically named fansite for the very man—www.beyewatch.co.uk.

10. Go on Dyson!

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    It’s probably worth pointing out first that a “vac’” in some parts of the world is a colloquial abbreviation for a vacuum cleaner.

    Huddersfield Town countered on this for their striker Lee Novak by wittily chanting, to the staple terrace tune of “Sloop John B” by The Beach Boys:

    “We’ve got Novak,

    We’ve got Nova-a-ak,

    Our carpets are filthy,

    We’ve got Novak.”

9. Houston, the Eagles have sang it.

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    Another fine example from Crystal Palace fans of fitting a player’s name into a popular song

    This time for French-Senegalese midfielder Alassane N’Diaye to the tune of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”:

    “N’Diaye-e-i will always love you-oo-oo-oo-ou!”

8. Andy Goram x2

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    While a staple chant for fans who aren’t feeling too creative but just want to celebrate a player’s talents is, to the tune of “Guantanamera":

    “There’s only one x!

    One x!

    There’s only one x!

    One x!

    Celtic fans sang of rival Rangers keeper, Andy Goram, who was reportedly suffering from a multiple personality disorder:

    “There’s only two Andy Gorams!

    Two Andy Gorams!

    There’s only two Andy Gorams!

    Two Andy Gorams!”

7. Mascot Abuse

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    Terrace abuse is usually only exclusively directed at players, managers or referees. But a particular harsh set of Ipswich Town fans decided to turn on Barnsley mascot, Toby Tyke.

    They sang to the poor, loveable, giant dog, to the tune of “La Donna E Mobile” from Verdi’s Rigoletto:

    “Your head’s too big for you! Your head’s too big for you! Your head’s too big for you! Your head’s too big for you!” 

    That really is dog’s abuse.

6. Mutual Enemy

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    It’s not always the case in football that your enemy’s enemy is your friend.

    During an international game between Wales and Scotland, the Tartan Army taunted the opposition fans by boasting, to the tune of “Bread Of Heaven”:

    “We hate England,

    We hate England,

    We hate England more than you!

    We hate England more than you!”

5. Oh My Darling

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    I’m not sure why I like this one so much, but it’s to the tune of American Western folk ballad “Oh My Darling, Clementine” and about Arsenal’s big centre back Thomas Vermaelen. 

    It might be down to the skillful and creative use of profanities.

    “Tom Vermaelen,

    Tom Vermaelen,

    Tom Vermaelen Number 5,

    F*** your Rooneys,

    F*** your Drogbas,

    ‘Cause he'll eat those c**** alive!"

4. Topical Reff-erence

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    When Manchester United beat Chelsea in a heated Premier League affair in November 2012, a lot of controversy surrounded the game and the decisions made by the match official. 

    The aftermath of the game saw Chelsea players complaining publicly and making accusations about the game’s referee, Mark Clattenburg.

    The luck of League Cup would have it that United and Chelsea played again a few days later. 

    As United went 3-2 up, they decided to get all topical and chant:

    “Time to blame the referee.” 

    Accompanied by a banner, mocking Stamford Bridge’s “Captain, Leader, Legend” tribute to captain John Terry, saying “Clattenburg, Referee, Leader, Legend.”

3. Song x1

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    When one set of fans feels their opposition supporters don’t have a wide back-catalog of chants, they will often sing at them, to the tune of Blue Moon: 

    “One song!

    You’ve only got one song!

    You’ve only got one song!

    You’ve only got one song!”

    However, Arsenal fans adopted this chant as a badge of honor, for their former midfielder, Alex Song: 

    “One Song!

    We’ve only got one Song!

    We’ve only got one Song!

    We’ve only got one Song!”

2. A Game of Two Scarves

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    In protest to the Glazer’s takeover of Manchester United, the Old Trafford faithful stopped wearing their traditional red clothing in protest and adopted their old green and gold colors that the team wore when they were known as Newton Heath on their formation in 1878.

    However, when playing Norwich City, the Canaries noticed the Man United protest colors were very similar to their own traditional colors and began singing, to the tune of “Sloop John B”:

    “We’ve come for our scarves,

    We’ve come for our scarves,

    We’re Norwich City,

    We’ve come for our scarves.”

1. Blame It On The Luis

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    Following accusations of unsportsmanlike conduct and racism against Liverpool’s star striker, Luis Suarez, last season, the geniuses on the terraces at The Britannia Stadium came up with:

    “He cheats,

    He dives,

    He hates the Jackson Five,

    Luis Suarez, Luis Suarez.”

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