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Footballers Trying to Be Pop Stars: Paul Gascoigne, Clint Dempsey and More

Ed WymanCorrespondent IOctober 27, 2011

Footballers Trying to Be Pop Stars: Paul Gascoigne, Clint Dempsey and More

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    There are few things in life people are more interested in the sport and music. It makes perfect sense, therefore, that footballers should try their hand at music every once in a while.

    Having musical ability doesn't seem to be a requirement for giving it a go, judging by some of these efforts.

    Some of these entries were designed to support good causes, and regardless of their quality, they deserve some praise for using their fame for something worthwhile. Others have attempted to start a second career when they really shouldn't have bothered.

    Either way, here we have a list of footballers trying to make it in the entertainment business, so sit back and enjoy the marvels of players from several eras making their way through genres as wide reaching as ballads and hip hop and reggae and pop.

    Disclaimer: This is not a serious article. Don't bother reading if you're just going to tell me it's a waste of time.

Andy Cole

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    The chat Andy Cole must have got in the dressing room for this must have been horrific.

    This 1999 effort from the former Manchester United striker did not achieve a great deal of success; it failed to make it into the UK top 40. Naturally, this makes the song, and the title, particularly funny.

    "United forever, whatever the weather, less than a hundred percent? Never," are not exactly classic rap lyrics.

    I will never be able to look at Andy Cole purely as a striker with a decent goal scoring record again. Instead, I'm going to be stuck with the image of Andy Cole cruising round the streets at night looking thoroughly out of place...

Ian Wright

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    Putting aside the fact that Ian Wright appears to be stuck in 90s Disco hell, and, second only to the guy in the video giving out cards every now and then, is wearing the most ridiculous hat of all time, this song is a travesty.

    Wrighty got Chris Lowe, of Pet Shop Boy fame, to help him write the song, but it didn't really help. I can't say I really understand what's going on in the chorus. "You're out of your mind / By these in swing / You're at the strength / Do the right thing" has little meaning to me, if I'm honest.

    This hit from 1993 found its way to number 43 in the UK charts. That does mean it charted, which is more than most people can claim to have achieved in the music industry, depressingly.

Paul Gascoigne

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    Somehow, this song made it to number two in the UK charts, making it the most successful musical effort by a footballer.

    That is a fact that makes this song seem a lot less worse than it is. Gazza helped prove that footballing skill and musical ability are not closely related talents with a song that, while amusing, is also an embarrassment when you consider what the Geordie was capable of on the pitch.

    After failing to understand most of what was being said, I looked the lyrics up on lyricsmode.com, but that didn't really help.

    "Could a copper catch a crooked coffin maker, Could a copper comprehend, That a crooked coffin maker is just an undertaker, Who undertakes to be a friend," is still absolutely meaningless to me.

    Nonetheless, hats off to Gazza for giving it a shot. At least the chorus is catchy.

Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle

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    Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle released this duet in 1987 under the name "Glenn and Chris." Clearly they should have been called "Hoddle and Waddle," but that probably wouldn't have improved the song.

    If you've seen the video, you'l probably agree that they should have stuck to performing on the pitch. The song reached number 12 in the charts, probably due to a noble effort by Tottenham fans.

    Still, it could have been worse, they could have been booed off stage.

    Watch out for Hoddle missing his lip sync at 2:40.

Vinnie Jones

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    Vinnie Jones developed a reputation for being a terrifyingly aggressive player during his career with sides such as Wimbledon and Chelsea; he was once booked for a foul just three seconds into a match.

    He has carried that persona into his acting career, which has seen him feature in films such as "Snatch," "Eurotrip," "X-Men: The Last Stand," and "The Midnight Meat Train."

    The former Welsh international also released a blues/jazz album entitled "Respect." 

    The song in the video, "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," is a cover of a '70s hit in the USA. It rather undermines his tough guy reputation and is not actually as bad as I was suspecting in the seconds leading up to the video starting.

    Kudos to the big man.

Asamoah Gyan

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    This auto-tune heavy dance tune has lyrics that are almost impossible to understand in parts, but that did not stop it becoming a chart topper in Asamoah Gyan's native Ghana.

    The Sunderland striker, currently on loan at Al Ain, created a show business nickname for himself, "Baby Jet," especially for this song.

    The song was so popular that Castro, a school friend of Gyan's, invited the striker back for a second record, "Do Da Dance."

    Unfortunately, it seems that the Ghanaian international, best known for missing a crucial penalty in the 2010 World Cup, has quit the music industry saying "I have to concentrate on my football career," according to Ghanamma.com.

    A sad loss.

Johan Cruyff

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    This song sounds like the accompaniment to a circus act, or is that just me?

    Either way, this song is something different to say the least. According to Google translate and sweetslyrics.com, the song is about a boxing cousin who gets knocked out, and their adventures with said cousin.

    Sounds like the perfect lyrics to accompany some boxing clowns.

    The song found a degree of success in the Netherlands, where it reached 21 in the charts, and in Catalonia, when Cruyff signed for Barcelona.

Kevin Keegan

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    In the 1970s, Kevin Keegan was a superstar. He won back to back European footballer of the year awards in 1978 and 1979 and looked to capitalise on that fame with a spot of crooning.

    The song reached number 10 in the German charts, where Keegan played at the time, and made it to number 31 in the UK.

    The haircut is as bad as the song, but luckily his prodigious ability on the field overshadows his failings on the microphone.

Ruud Gullit

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    This song reached number three in the Dutch charts in 1988, an impressive showing.

    However, Gullit didn't bring much to the song, merely getting in a "South Africa" every now and then.

    That is not really the point with this song, however. Gullit was lending his undoubted star power to a noble cause, abolishing apartheid in South Africa, and he deserves credit for that.

    The former LA Galaxy manager had a hit in 1984, entitled "Not the Dancing Kind," but this is a more important song, even if Gullit's contribution is small.

Franz Beckenbauer

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    Franz Beckenbauer's soothing songs from the 1960s and 70s are actually quite good. There's a language barrier, but it still sounds good, so props to the legendary West German player and manager.

    This song, Du Allein, meaning "You alone" is from 1966 when Beckenbauer was just becoming one of the best players in the world.

    That the Bayern Munich player managed to release several, decent, songs as well as be one of the best players of the 20th Century is an impressive feat to say the least.

Royston Drenthe

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    Unfortunately I couldn't find a translation of this song (I don't speak Dutch) so I can't tell you what the song is about, but it doesn't sound bad by any means.

    Drenthe does a good proportion of the rapping and I certainly wouldn't have realised he wasn't a rapper if I hadn't recognised him.

    U-niq has featured on a song with rapping superstar Nas, so Drenthe's friend is hardly an amateur either.

    The Dutch international has got off to a good start on loan from Real Madrid with Everton, scoring a stunning goal the other week, and shouldn't need to fall back on a rap career, although it looks like he could.

Clint Dempsey

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    Fulham's star American midfielder released this song to help promote the 2006 World Cup to Americans.

    The hip hop song is certainly not ground breaking, but it is far from an embarrassment. Clint Dempsey, going by the alias "Deuce," makes some good points.

    He says "I was born with a drive, I got that from no coaches." Something that not enough people realise matters. It is not enough to be a good footballer, you have to really want it.

    Deuce is not the next Eminem, but he has managed to tread water alongside two rappers who do this for a living. 

    The song is a tribute to Dempsey's sister, a promising tennis player, who died when she was 16.

Terry Venables

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    Terry Venables' cover of Evlis Presley's classic hit reached number 23 in the chart as England fans dreamed of ending 44 years of pain at the 2010 World Cup.

    The pain didn't end for fans, but the song shouldn't have added any more agony. In my opinion, it's a decent effort, especially considering he had to do half of it on top of the O2 Arena.

    As you can see at the end of the video, the song was a charity effort for Help for Heroes and Malaria No More, two worthy causes, so more points for El Tel.

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