5 JULY 1986, Page 44


Viva FIFA!

Charles Seaton

In Competition No. 1427 you were asked for a bracing song which could be sung on World Cup occasions by players and foot- ball officials in unison.

Well, it's all over for this time round. The Louis Rimet trophy has been won and lost, and the millions of fans who sat up night after night to watch the matches on their TV screens can now relax. Until the next World Cup finals, that is — in Italy in 1990. Meanwhile, if the standard of the refereeing in a number of games in Mexico is anything to judge by, FIFA officials and some of the players — could well be in need of an inspirational song. Your efforts to provide one varied a good deal in style and tone, and some of those who put new words to well-known songs made some unexpected choices, which included the Eton Boating Song, 'Bless 'Em All' and `Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud'. About others there was more than a suspicion of Hymns Ancient and Modern. Commendations go to Charles F. Garvey and David Machin; the winners printed below receive £10 each and the bonus bottle of Comte de Robart Champagne (Rosé Brut), presented by the Ebury Wine Company, 139 Ebury St., London SW1, goes to W. S. Brownlie.

The Red Card From every land we come to play (Well, nearly — not the USA) Fraternal football every day; And total friendship we display.

In sportsmanship we'll live and die, For sponsorship we'll try and try; A band of brothers, never fear, We'll keep the red card flashing here.

Of fouling we've the deepest dread, We strain and strive, with no blood shed.

And in the years that lie ahead, We hope to earn our daily bread.

For sponsorship we'll try and try, In sportsmanship we'll live and die, Just playing fair — so never fear, We'll keep the red card flashing here.

(W. S. Brownlie) We'll sing a song of Soccer; It's World Cup time again, So welcome, everybody, Both managers and men, And all who've come together, From new world and from old, To flight the sphere of leather And win the pot of gold.

And let there be no aggro From crowds or on the pitch, And let the competition Go off without a hitch; Let refs have perfect vision, And linesmen have the same, That no unfair decision May spoil the perfect game. (0. Smith) Football, God of the People, our players are ten foot tall!

'Rugger's above the Nations but Football's over them all!'

Now as names are taken and foulers are marched away, Football, also Arena, give us strength for the day!

Football, God of the Telly, the players melt in the heat, The footballs scorch our foreheads, the dribbling burns our feet.

Now in the half-time rest — now lest we stiffen and drowse, Football, also Religion, keep us true to our vows!

Football, God of the Hooligan, stupid if not insane - Thou descending to violence, immortal to rise again!

Now when the game is started, now when the lot is drawn, Football, also a life-style, keep us pure as a practice dawn!

Football, brandy of millions, here when the Great Hope dies, Look on Thy players in darkness, Oh, take our • sacrifice!

Many stars Thou has fashioned — all of them go into the night.

Football, also a ball-game, teach us to lose aright!

(T. Griffiths) Stand up, stand up for soccer, The game all nations play; From Hampden Park to Wembley, From Rome to Monterey. So raise the swirling banners And let the chanting roll. Unite the world with football; Kick out and score a goal.

Around the globe are millions Who join the swelling throng, Who tightly pack the terrace And gladly sing this song: 'Unfurl the swirling banners And let the chanting roll. Unite the world with football; Kick out and score a goal.' (Sid Field) (To the tune from the 9th Symphony for Schiller's 'Ode to Joy') Football is the game for heroes, Football is our pride and joy, Rugger's only fit for pierrots, Football's best for every boy. Passing, dribbling, shooting, scoring, Working always as a team; Hear the fans' excited roaring, Hear the raving groupies scream.

International or local, European, League or Cup; Football is the game that folk'll Follow, never give it up. Players may be sold like cattle, Managers may come and go; Every game's a bloody battle, That's why we love football so.

(John Sweetman)