FLAKY FA bosses yesterday ditched plans to axe England’s Three Lions anthem — after The Sun exposed their plot.
As The Sun exposed a ridiculous bid to axe England’s Three Lions anthem as our World Cup anthem in Qatar, flaky FA bosses ditched their plotCredit: Dan Charity
1966 hero Sir Geoff Hurst said: ‘Thank goodness they’ve seen sense’Credit: The Sun
1966 hero Sir Geoff Hurst said: “Thank goodness they’ve seen sense.”
Furious England fans yesterday halted the FA’s ridiculous bid to axe Three Lions as our World Cup anthem in Qatar.
They were joined by legends of the game and showbiz stars in forcing footie chiefs into a weaselly u-turn.
After The Sun revealed the plot yesterday, the FA was mauled on TV and radio for six hours before announcing it was backtracking. And woke bosses shamelessly tried to suggest they hadn’t discussed ditching the song.
We had told how they feared using the classic 1996 tune in stadiums before World Cup kick-offs — because other nations viewed it “arrogant” to sing about England being the home of football.
The FA had even considered replacing it with American singer Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline.
England 1966 World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst, 80, led our swift counterattack and said: “I appeared in the original Three Lions video and have loved the tune ever since.
“It’s a song about football for English football fans. I can’t believe anyone would want to replace it with Sweet Caroline, which is American and has nothing to do with the game.
“Three Lions is light-hearted and full of fans’ hopes and dreams and I can’t see how anyone could find it offensive. And if we win the World Cup again then football really will have come because we are the country that invented the game.
“Why get so serious? It’s just fun and I’m pleased we’ll be singing It’s Coming Home loud and proud in Qatar.”
Striker Sir Geoff, whose hat-trick clinched England’s 4-2 win over Germany, also spoke of his joy at singing and dancing to the tune at a Lightning Seeds gig in London before last year’s Euros final.
Sir Geoff said: “I was asked to introduce the song but ended up getting pulled on stage with the band and singing my heart out with (creators) David Baddiel and Frank Skinner. It’s that kind of song. It gets fans going and will always be my No1.”
All 32 nations competing at Qatar are required to nominate an official song, with choices submitted this summer.
Woke alarm bells sounded last year when Uefa stopped Baddiel and Skinner from singing the hit before the Euro 2020 final branding it too “partisan”.
Yet Croatia’s players used the song for motivation ahead of their 2-1 triumph over Gareth Southgate’s England team at the 2018 World Cup semi-final in Moscow.
And Italian fans sang “It’s coming to Rome” after their penalties win over the Three Lions in the Euro 2020 final.
Yesterday there was a national outcry following our front page. BBC Radio Two star Jeremy Vine was flooded with calls from fans after asking phone-in listeners: “Is it wrong to ditch the Three Lions song?”
He added: “The FA is apparently thinking about dropping the iconic song over fears it is ‘arrogant’. Is that a good idea or just woke nonsense?”
The FA is apparently thinking about dropping the iconic song over fears it is ‘arrogant’. Is that a good idea or just woke nonsense?
BBC Radio Two star Jeremy Vine
Former England World Cup star Peter Reid blasted moves to replace the song on Nick Ferrari’s LBC show.
Peter, 65, said: “England fans are great, they sing and get behind the team. I don’t see that offending anybody or making us seem arrogant.
“I had a look at the lyrics and they’re brilliant. Nothing in there, I don’t think, makes us arrogant or offends anybody.”
TV star Vernon Kay said the song was part of our football history, adding: “It unites England fans.”
Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, led political support. She said: “For more than 25 years, Three Lions has endured as the anthem of English football.
HARRY IS BAND!
THE Sun’s England mascot Harry Mane leads a four-piece brass band to Wembley to blast England’s Three Lions anthem at tone-deaf FA chiefs.
But the stunt got poor Harry escorted off the premises by security when he tried to access the FA offices.
“It perfectly captures what it means to be an England fan; the hope, the heartbreak but above all the belief in the team. I fully expect England fans to be singing it at games throughout the World Cup.”
Tory Julian Knight, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said plans to scrap the tune were “nuts”. He added: When the Germans won Euro 96 they adopted Three Lions and sang it on their victory parade. You really do wonder about the mentality of the FA if they can’t just let sleeping lions lie over this issue.”
‘You can’t take that song off us’
Tory MP Lee Anderson, a Nottingham Forest fan, said: “This is unbelievable arrogance from the suits at the FA. It only shows how far the people at the top are from the ordinary football fan.
“The wokery nonsense seemingly about the entire country has now affected the FA.”
Senior sources at the FA had given The Sun detailed accounts of how bosses wanted to get rid of the song. Yesterday England legend Paul Gascoigne told us: “You can’t take that song off us. This woke nonsense has no place in football.”
TalkTV presenter Piers Morgan added: “This song is all about wallowing in 30 years of pain and hurt and not winning anything. How can anyone say it’s arrogant?”
In their feeble bid to downplay us rumbling their plot, the FA said yesterday: “Contrary to reports this morning, the FA still plays Three Lions at major Wembley matches and has never had any intention of doing otherwise.
“The song belongs to the fans and is about the hope of following the England team.
“It was requested by the FA to be played as one of our team songs at the 2018 World Cup and at the Euros last summer, and this is our plan at tournaments going forwards.”
Furious fans were joined by footie legends and showbiz stars to push chiefs into a U-turn. Pictured: song creators David Baddiel and Frank SkinnerCredit: Anthony Upton
England legend Paul Gascoigne told us: ‘You can’t take that song off us. This woke nonsense has no place in football’Credit: Getty
Sir Geoff added: ‘I appeared in the original Three Lions video and have loved the tune ever since’Credit: Not known, clear with picture desk
OUR story on Three Lions facing the axe dominated discussion on the airwaves yesterday.
Callers bombarded radio shows, social media went into a frenzy and talk shows couldn’t get off the subject.
TalkTV’s Julia Hartley-Brewer spoke about the Football’s Coming Home controversy on her breakfast show and made it her “question of the day”.
Sky Sports News covered the topic all day. TalkSport also argued against flaky FA fears while Nick Ferrari had ex-England ace Peter Reid call LBC to fight the anthem’s corner.