Mischievous football fans have never been shy of revering (or berating) their heroes in song, but terrace songsmiths have definitely developed their repertoire as the years have gone by.
We’ve come a long way since Georgie Best, Superstar, or Nice One Cyril, or Careless Hands, The Kop’s famous paean to accident-prone Leeds’ keeper, Gary Sprake.
Many are downright offensive, others utterly hilarious, but if you play football at any level and you’ve got a name that scans in song-form, then you are very definitely fair game.
Here are five of the best (well, cleanest!).
To the tune of Dean Martin’s timeless classic That’s Amore, an homage to a player whose name, height, dubious first touch and abject year at Tottenham, simply demanded derision at every opportunity.
Newcastle fans used to sing something similar about Sunderland frontman Jozy Altidore though if memory serves, that contained more expletives. Fellaini, Elano, Ronaldo, the list – and variations – goes on and on.
Will Grigg’s on Fire
A song in honour of the Wigan and Northern Ireland striker, written by a YouTuber whose efforts were so well regarded by the Latics they gave the bloke a season ticket.
The song, an adaptation of the dance hit Freed from Desire by Gala, included lines like: “He will score goals, he will just score more and more. He will score goals, that’s what we signed him for. Will Grigg’s on fire, your defence is terrified.”
It was so well-regarded Northern Ireland supporters adapted it for their own purposes at Euro 2016 and beyond.
Ai Ai Yippee Sun Jihai
Hard to know where to start with the reservoir of tunes which garnered a chuckle or two at Man City, from Feed the Goat to Niall Quinn’s Disco Pants and many more besides.
But a special mention to this little belter in honour of their Chinese midfielder, sung to the tune of She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain, and containing the princely outro, “singing ai ai yippee, his father runs a chippy, singing ai ai yippee Sun Jihai”.
Sunday, Monday, Habib Beye…
Even footballers of precious little repute can be immortalised in song, as was the case with ex-Newcastle right-back Habib Beye.
The Gallowgate End took to their Senegalese defender and wittily concluded that the theme tune to the hit American TV show Happy Days simply begged to have Beye’s full name plonked in there. And a cult hero was born.
You to Me Are Everything…
The funky masses at Old Trafford love a bit of The Real Thing, especially given the chance to acclaim Eric Bailly while namechecking Eric Cantona to the tune of You To Me Are Everything.
“You to me are everything, The finest Eric since the king, Oh Bailly, oh Bailly…”
Being sung about because your name (kind of) sounds like Baby is surely better than not being sung about at all.