MM’s top five… FA Cup final songs – 20 years on from Manchester United’s UK number one

The FA Cup has been criticised for losing its appeal and traditions in recent years as the lucrative Champions League and Premier League have been priorities for English sides.

One of the traditions which have been lost in recent years is the FA Cup final song which was sung by players from the clubs involved and released into the music charts.

Songs featured footballers dodgy dance moves, some fashion faux pas and even rap and to little success commercially.

However, 20 years ago Manchester United bucked the trend and became the first and only club side to reach number one in the UK single charts with their song ‘Come on you reds’.

The record which saw them combine with rock legends Status Quo spent two weeks at number one and even topped the charts in Denmark.

The catchy number was recorded for the 1994 FA Cup final against Chelsea and featured the like of Steve Bruce, Bryan Robson and a young Ryan Giggs.

The singles success off the pitch rubbed off on the players as United went onto beat Chelsea 4-0 at Wembley to complete their first league and cup double.

So, to mark this anniversary and with Arsenal and Hull primed for battle in this year’s final on Saturday, MM looks back at five other memorable FA Cup final songs… but beware, it’s far from easy listening! 


5. Hot Stuff – Arsenal 1998 

The Donna Summer song had a revival during the mid-nineties thanks to it featuring in the 1997 film the Full Monty.

During the film the lead characters learn the dance moves to the song by copying Arsenals famous offside trap routine a popular tactic by George Graham’s sides of the late eighties and early nineties.

So when Arsenal reached the FA Cup final the year after the players adopted it for their song which reached number six in the singles chart.

It proved to help Arsenal as they defeated Newcastle 2-0 to secure a league and cup double in Arsene Wenger’s first full season as manager. 


4. Glad all over – Crystal Palace 1990 

The song originally released by the Dave Clark Five was a hit during the 1960s on both sides of the Atlantic and became popular on the terraces of Selhurst Park.

So when Crystal Palace reached the FA Cup final back in 1990 the players recorded their own version of the song.

However, the Palace squad featuring the vocal talents of Alan Pardew, Mark Bright and John Salako did not prove to be as big a hit as it only reached number 50.

If the failure in the charts wasn’t bad enough Palace suffered heartbreak in the final as they lost to a single Lee Martin goal in an FA Cup Final replay against Manchester United.


3. I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles – West Ham United 1975

The song featured in Broadway musical ‘The Passing Show’ became a hit in London’s music halls during the 1920s.

The song eventually became a hit on the West Ham terraces after Swansea fans began singing it on a visit to Upton Park.

It became the East London sides song which was used before Hammers matches so when they reached the 1975 cup final what better song was there for the players to sing? 

Despite it only reaching number 31 in the charts, the Hammers went on to defeat a Bobby Moore inspired Fulham side 2-0 at Wembley to claim their second FA Cup.


2. Anfield Rap – Liverpool 1988

Possibly the most comical of the bunch, Liverpool’s efforts in 1988 did reach number three in the charts making it one of the most commercially successful FA Cup final songs.

Liverpool attempted to exploit the growing rap scene in the UK with this number as they merge ‘You’ll never walk alone’ with John Barnes’ rapping skills.

The video also sees the likes of John Aldridge and Bruce Grobbelaar attempt to rap whilst donning all in one colourful tracksuits.

If the humiliating video wasn’t bad enough for the players, Wimbledon’s crazy gang pulled off a shock 1-0 victory to secure the famous old trophy.


1.      Ossies Dream – Tottenham Hotspur 1981

By far the most well-known FA Cup final song saw Tottenham Hotspur combine with cockney duo Chas and Dave before their final against Manchester City in 1981.

The song based around Spurs’ Argentine midfielder Osvaldo Ardiles reached number five in the charts back in May 1981.

Despite some questionable singing from the likes of Garth Crooks and Chris Hughton the song served as a good luck charm for Spurs as they overcame City after a replay. 

The final’s replay saw Tottenham’s other Argentine Ricardo Villa star, as he scored one of the best goals ever scored at Wembley to secure a 3-2 victory.

Main image courtesy of thefacup via YouTube, with thanks.

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