Football ground names verified in songs, from Fulham to Bologna | Soccer
“Which football pitches are named in the songs? I’ll get the ball rolling with Hillsborough in Red Light Indicates the doors are secured by Arctic Monkeys,” writes Agatie Fan on Twitter.
Technically, as a few pedants have pointed out, the lyrics of Arctic Monkeys refer to the suburb of Hillsborough rather than the stadium. But we are in a good mood so we will allow it. And this song too, which checks out Old Trafford without actually naming it.
“There’s an obscure Herman’s Hermits song called It’s Nice to Be Out in the Morning, written by professional songwriter and future 10cc bassist Graham Gouldman,” writes Martin Crookall. “It’s like a travelogue from Manchester, culminating in a verse on ‘the United pitch where the champions score / a hundred goals and the Reds fans roar / for Bobby Charlton, Best and Law’, which is close enough to make no difference as far as I’m concerned.”
Let’s be honest, when we first read this question, we didn’t expect the Barenaked Ladies to provide an answer. But, as Neil Hickey points out, their 1998 megahit One Week mentions a football stadium in Canada. Not content to reference everything from LeAnn Rimes to Chickity China, Chinese Chicken, they also pay homage to “Birchmount Stadium, home of the Robbie…”
Birchmount Stadium, Ontario hosts the annual Robbie International Tournament, which bills itself as the largest annual charity youth soccer tournament in the world.
James Walker writes to remind us that Renato Dall’ara, a 2008 song by the crazy indie-pop septet Los Campesinos!, is also the name of the Bologna stadium.
“My favorite is Dopamine Clouds Over Craven Cottage by ambient drone duo Stars of the Lid, which appears on their And Their triple LP Refinement Of The Decline,” writes Richard Gunn. “Half of Stars of the Lid is songwriter Brian McBride, whose namesake was playing for Fulham at the time the album was released.”
And whose goalscoring exploits are included at the beginning of the song.
Finally, there are many more examples under the original Twitter question, including Billy Bragg, Eminem, Luke Haines, and, of course, Half Man Half Biscuit.
No one with either
“When was the last time the draw for the World Cup was made without the identity of all the qualifiers being known? tweets Alastair Horne.
We’re happy to report that we had almost no work to do on this one. In fact, all we had to do was embed this tweet from Paul O’Neill.
Oh go on then, might as well add some context. Spain and Yugoslavia finished level on points and goal difference, so they had to play on neutral ground. On February 13, 1974 in Frankfurt, West Germany, Josip Katalinski scored the only goal to send Yugoslavia to the World Cup. This game, by the way, should not be confused with a qualifier more violent between the camps for the 1978 World Cup.
Wild Variations in Crowd Figures
“What’s the biggest difference in home attendance from game to game?tweeted Jack Chesterman.
“The Scottish Third Division, which is rarely talked about, deserves a mention,” argues Cam McGlone. “On December 15, 2012, Queen’s Park hosted Elgin City, drawing 466 hardy souls to Hampden Park for a 1-1 draw. Their next home game was against Rangers on December 29 and drew a crowd of 30,117 – a difference of 29,651. That should be hard to beat without a team changing stadiums or playing behind closed doors.
A footnote: In the 1-1 draw with Elgin, watched by these 466 people, the Queen’s Park goal was scored by a teenager called Andrew Robertson. Yeah.
“When I was a student I started going to games at Queen’s Park, we had a star winger by the name of James Allan,” wrote Matthew Reid in 2011. “I often wondered what happened to him, until he reemerged as Glasvegas lead singer. When they backed U2 at Hampden in August 2009, he achieved the rare feat of playing in the same stadium both musically and footballically. Is it a unique achievement or has someone else pulled it off? Did Andrew Cole ever kick off Outstanding at Wembley?
It looks like knowledge reader Neil Wright beat Cole and co. “I’m not sure about professional players, but I myself managed to play football and music in the same stadium!” Neil chirps. “In May 2003 I played in the Southend & District Sunday Junior League Cup Final (Under 15) at Southend United’s Roots Hall. A few years later, I returned to the stadium to play guitar in the live band at a Promise Renewal service for local Scout districts.
So, uh, now you know.
Can you help ?
“Phil Foden has secured another assist for England in the Ivory Coast, his sixth or seventh in 15 caps depending on which source you believe. But who has the most assists for England? asks Matty Ellis.
“If Luton Town finish higher than 12th in the Championship, which is looking increasingly likely, it will be the seventh year in a row that they have improved their league position. Could this be a record? asks Bogdan Kotarlic.
“Costa Rican player Yeltsin Tejeda is named after the former Russian president. Are there other footballers named after politicians? Perhaps a Tony Blair or a Ronald Reagan practicing their profession in Serie B…”, thinks Peter Strang.
“Ivorian Serge Aurier was sent off against England last week in the 40th minute. Red cards in international friendlies are rare, and in the first half even more so – but what is the fastest red card ever given in an international friendlies?” asks Joe Scott.