Top 10 Fan Anthems (British Clubs)


Over the next few weeks we'll be detailing our favourite 10 anthems from British clubs...

No.1 Stoke City Delilah

Opposition fans often ask why they sing it, and are usually met with the response "Why not?". We were told by a Stoke forum that there's no significant reason behind the singing of this Tom Jones classic, and that it was started in the 1980's by a Stokie nicknamed TJ. Hence the song started with chants of "TJ! TJ!" at which point he would get onto his feet and start it off. The rest of the Stoke fans would just join in at the end of each line with a "Whooooaaahh!" until they get to "She stood there laughing" and then they all go for it. If it's been a particularly loud version they will clap each other at the end of it. And why not too.

Anyone who's heard this, particularly the beginning where they start it off, has to doff their caps to them for creating such a classic piece of random English terrace culture.

[Single Person] At break of day when that man drove away I was waiting.
[Whole Crowd] Whooooooaahhhhhhhh!
[Single Person] I crossed the street to her house and she opened the door.
[Whole Crowd] Whooooooaahhhhhhhh!
She stood there laughing - Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
I felt my d*** in her hand - and she laughed no more.
Why? Why? Why? Delilah?
Why? Why? Why? Delilah?
So, before, you come to break down the door,
Forgive me Delilah I just couldn't take anymore.

Repeat chorus...
Why? Why? Why? Delilah?

No.3 Sheffield United The Greasy Chip Butty

The Blades anthem celebrates the simple pleasures of life in Sheffield. The song has been copied and adapted by a number of other clubs, such as Burton Albion and Rugby League giants St Helens. For those younger readers from down south you may need some clarification on the terms used: Woodbines were a brand of cigarettes, Snuff is tobacco that has been ground down and is used to stick up your nose (seriously), and Magnet is a bitter by John Smiths (although there's usually some confusion from opposition fans as to whether they're singing "Like a gallon of maggots", in reference to fishing bait).

You fill up my senses,
Like a gallon of Magnet,
Like a packet of Woodbines,
Like a good pinch of snuff.
Like a night out in Sheffield,
Like a greasy chip butty.
Like Sheffield United,
Come fill me again.
Na-Na-Na-Na-Naa-Naa-Naaaaa. Oooh!

No.4 Manchester City Blue Moon

This classic ballad has been sung by such legends as Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan and er... Showaddywaddy. The song has also been adopted by City fans as their anthem - an unusual choice as far as football anthems go because the original is pretty mellow and soft, yet City fans have made it their own and belt it out with fervour. It's worth giving Crewe Alexandra a mention as they claim they were actually the first fans to sing it - during the late 1980's at away games when they were playing in their blue kit.

Blue Moon, You saw me standing alone
Whitout a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Blue Moon, You knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I could really care for

Then suddenly they'll appear before me
The only one my arms could ever hold
I heard someone whisper "Please adore me"
And when I looked my moon had turned to gold.

Blue Moon, now I'm no longer alone
I have a dream in my heart
I have a love of my own

No. 5 West Ham I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

Opposition fans often sing "You've only got one song" at the Hammers, and it may almost be true. But what a song. It's probably the 2nd most famous terrace anthem after You'll Never Walk Alone, but in the eyes of West Ham fans young and old, it's the best. However, a dip into the archives reveals that Swansea City lay claim to singing it first back in the 1920's and that West Ham adopted it shortly after a 1922 FA Cup tie against them. We'll let the Swans fight that particular pedantic battle, what's for sure is that by the late 1920's the Boleyn Ground's famous 'Chicken Run' terrace was swaying to the sound of thousands of voices singing "Bubbles". All these years on and the song is still boomed out at every home game, and is used to great effect when the Hammers needs urging on. It's a fitting song for what is one of the most passionate sets of fans in the country, and it's use is not just restricted to football grounds either - weddings, anniversaries, and general family gatherings in this community are all a great excuse for the tune to be pumped out and sung-along to by anyone from 4 to 94.

And for those of who've been living on the moon for the last 90 years...

I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high,
Nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams,
They fade and die.
Fortune's always hiding,
I've looked everywhere,
I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.

Hibernian Sunshine on Leith

One of the more thought provoking football anthems, the Hibees 'Sunshine on Leith' refers to the district of Leith, situated at the north of Edinburgh, and the home of the football club.

My heart was broken, my heart was broken.
Sorrow sorrow sorrow sorrow.
My heart was broken, my heart was broken.
You saw it, you claimed it.
You touched it, you saved it.
My tears are drying, my tears are drying.
Thank-you thank-you thank-you thank-you.
My tears are drying, my tears are drying.
Your beauty and kindness,
Made tears clear my blindness.
While I'm worth my room on this earth,
I will be with you.
While the chief, puts sunshine on Leith.
I'll thank him for his work,
And your birth and my birth.

No.7 Birmingham City Keep Right On To The End Of The Road

Now this is a real football anthem, one that has the lot - rousing, moving, long, and traditional. It was first adopted by the Blues back in 1956, during one of their best ever seasons when they finished 6th in the league and reached the FA Cup final, and it's been sung ever since. It's the sort of anthem that, when it's being sung in all its glory, at full throaty volume in a packed St. Andrews, simply makes the opposition fans stand and stare.

Birmingham City - Keep Right On To The End Of The Road

The song, in all it's full-blown glory, goes something like this..

As you go through life,
It's a long, long road,
There'll be joys and sorrows too,
As we journey on, we will sing this song,
For the boys in royal blue,
We're often partisan, la, la, la,
We will journey on, la, la, la,
Keep right on to the end of the road,
Keep right on to the end,
Though the way be long,
Let your hearts be strong,
Keep right on round the bend,
Though you're tired and weary,
Still journey on,
Till you come to your happy abode,
Where all the love you've been dreaming of,
Will be there. Where ?
At the end of the road.
Birmingham! Birmingham!

No.8 Newcastle Utd The Blaydon Races

The Magpie's famous anthem is different to many other top football anthems in that it's basically a regional folk song that relates to life in the North East in the 'olden days. Written back in the 1800's by George Ridley, Newcastle fans will argue that theirs is in fact an older anthem than Norwich's 'On the Ball City'. The song was made really popular by a local comedian in the early 1900's, becoming almost the national anthem of the Geordie nation. Rousing and uplifting, it was adopted by the Toon Army and has been sung in stadiums and pubs all over the world ever since. The original song has plenty of verses, but what you'll most likely hear belting out from the Gallowgate End or the Geordie hordes in the away section is the main chorus...

Oh me lads ye should a' seen us gannin',
Passin' the folks upon the road,
Just as they were stannin'
There was lots o'lads and lasses there,
All wiv' smilin' faces,
Gannin' along the Scotswood Road...
T'see the Blaydon Races.

No.9 Norwich City On the Ball City

Ok, so it's not as tribal or tub-thumping as some of the others in our list, but as it's allegedly the world's oldest football anthem, it deserves it's place here. Originally sung at local sides Norwich Teachers, Caley's FC, Swifans and CEYMS, no one can definitely say when it was first sung at Norwich City, but popular opinion seems to be 1902, immediately after the club was formed, with the song also being mentioned in the Eastern Daily Press back in 1905. Whilst the Canaries are often tagged as a bunch of easy-going country bumpkins, there's no doubting that when Carrow Road is packed to the rafters for a big game and they're giving 'On the Ball City' 100% it's pretty impressive.

Like Newcastle's Blaydon Races, the original full version of On the Ball City is about 4 or 5 verses, but the popular chorus most likely to be heard at a game is...

Kick off, throw it in, have a little scrimmage,
Keep it low, a splendid rush, bravo, win or die.
On the ball, City, never mind the danger,
Steady on, now's your chance,
Hurrah! We've scored a goal.

No.10 Wolves The Liquidator

Totally different to all the others on our list as it doesn't really have any lyrics. "That's pants!" you may say, but anyone who's witnessed the sheer ferocity of this before a Black Country derby or a big cup game will know why it's on the list. The Liquidator in question is the ska classic by Harry J Allstars and used to be pumped out over the Tannoy before the teams came out. We say 'used to' because it was eventually banned at the request of the West Midlands Police after they claimed it was working the home supporters into such a frenzy that it was resulting in crowd trouble ! When the opening chords first started to crackle out over the loudspeakers, and that bass kicked in, followed by almost everyone in the ground joining in, it almost seemed like Molineux's foundations were about to crumble, with the away fans being given a furious aural beating before the match had even started. Indeed, one reporter even suggested that some of the home fans were frightened by it. Interestingly, local rivals West Brom also adopted the same anthem, and it's since been banned from the Hawthorns as well.

For what it's worth the 'lyrics' (without the swearing) go something like...

[CLAP] [CLAP] [CLAP] [CLAP] "The Wolves"