The Top Five Greatest Ever FA Cup Final Songs

by Karl Hofer.

Sadly (or thankfully, depending on how you look at it) we have no cup final songs to offend our ears this year.

It’s a sign of the decline in importance of the FA Cup in an era where Premier League and Champions League are the be-all and end-all. Not that Arsenal didn’t celebrate with gusto last May, it’s still a tremendous competition, but there was a time when the nation (and chunks of the world) held its collective breath in anticipation of the big day.

Whole towns or cities would be decked out in colourful splendour to support their side, the nations media would interview local fans and business people who would gush with pride when talking about their team, bakers would make special cakes to mark the occasion, previously unknown players would become national celebrities and so on.

And, of course, the team would bring out a single.

They would follow that up with a cringe-worthy appearance on Top of the Pops and sometimes those songs would be cherished by fans for generations to come – and some would not.

So in the week of the cup final BOBBY has put together the top five greatest ever FA Cup final songs for your delectation. And before anyone pipes up with ‘What about ‘Blue is the Colour’, why isn’t that on the list?’ it is because that was recorded for the 1972 League Cup final v Stoke City – and not the 1970 FA Cup final v Leeds as many people believe. So there.

5. Arsenal – ‘Good Old Arsenal’ (1971)

The start of the seventies brought plenty of cheer for Arsenal, who scooped the league and cup Double in 1971 and were widely considered the best team in the land.

To celebrate, they released this catchy hit called ‘Good Old Arsenal’ which was more of a chant along to the tune of Rule Britannia.

It reached number 16 in the charts and there’s some great players and club legends singing along, including Bob Wilson, George Graham, Frank McLintock and Charlie George – and just look at Charlie’s face in this photo taken with Pan’s People, the boy looks delighted to be there!


The uncomfortable union between pop and football summed up in one photo.

4. West Ham United – ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ (1975)

Bellowed from the stands at the Boleyn ground since the 1920s (but sadly for only 12 months more), the West Ham club anthem was given a seventies makeover when John Lyall’s Hammers reached the 1975 FA Cup final, in which they beat their Bobby Moore led London rivals Fulham 2-0.

The hit wasn’t all that successful, however, charting at 31. It did beat the Cockney Rejects punk version to mark their cup final appearance five years later – that only reached 35.


Trevor Brooking of West Ham and Alan Mullery of Fulham on the old Joanna with some nice support before the ’75 Cup final.

3.  Arsenal – ‘The Hot Stuff’ (1998)

Donna Summer’s 1979 hit ‘Hot Stuff’ is regarded as a true classic. So the Arsenal took that successful platform and built on it (badly) by slipping in mentions of players in their squad.

That’s what Arsenal did to mark their march for the Double in 1998 and it made number nine on the countdown. Featuring lines like “You’re telling us we’re boring, We’ll just keep on scoring now, Hot Stuff” it reaffirmed the belief that football and music rarely mix well…


Even Ian Wright struggles to look cool in that garb!

2.  Liverpool – ‘The Anfield Rap’ (1988)

This memorable collaboration between Liverpool midfielder Craig Johnston and rapper Derek B – and also featuring the rap skills of John Barnes – was a parody of a number of hip hop tracks of the time and peaked in the charts at number three.

Liverpool had a dressing-room full of real characters at the time, and they all seemed to revel in recording this track which featured some great lines such as: “Steve McMahon sure can rap, it’s about time he had an England cap.”

Anfield Rap

John Barnes’ other rap success

1. Tottenham – ‘Ossie’s Dream’ (1981)

The Cockney Lennon & McCartney – or Chas & Dave as they’re also known – teamed up with their beloved team four times between 1981 and 1991.

Their (pre-Falklands) effort in ’81 was written in honour of the Argentine midfielder who, despite his all-trembly knees, was “gonna play a blinder, in the Cup for Totting-ham”.

Of course mocking foreigner’s accents is neither big nor clever. But in 1981 is wasn’t just accepted, most prime time TV seemed to revole around it!

Keep an eye out for a very young Chris Hughton in the footage below sporting an afro that’s almost as impressive as Micky Hazard’s!


How ‘The Old Lady’ Got Their Black & White Stripes



Team: Juventus

Home or Away: Home

Years Active: 1984-1987

As Worn By: Michel Platini, Aldo Serena, Antonio Cabrini, Michael Laudrop, Zbigniew Boniek, Marco Tardelli, Paulo Rossi & Liam Brady


In Italy there’s a certain style and history to the vertical black stripes used by the big European powerhouses of Inter, AC Milan and Juventus.

English influence in the early years of Italian football is widely evident, perhaps most notably with the cross of St George on the club crest of AC Milan and the use of the English ‘Milan’ rather than Milano.


Platini. Back when we all liked him…

But elsewhere in North Italy the giants of Turin also bear evidence of English influence. When you think of Juventus you instantly think of the famous black and white stripes of their shirts, but the original colours of the club were in fact pink and black.

So where did the black and white stripes come from? Well, fed up with how the pink shirts would quickly fade after a couple of washes, Juventus asked one of their members, Englishman John Savage, if he had any contacts in England who could supply new shirts in a colour that would better withstand the elements. John had a friend who lived in Nottingham who duly shipped out black and white striped shirts to Turin as he was a Notts County supporter!

A good thing too – it’s hard to imagine those magnificent players from the mid-eighties holding aloft all those trophies wearing pink!


Brady seems delighted to have avoided the pink shirt option…

Footballers & Cars: Scottish Special Featuring Souness, Dalglish, Gray, Hansen, Smith & Stein



How 80’s Is That..?!?

Happier times for Rangers as then player-manager Graeme Souness and his assistant Walter Smith are pictured outside Ibrox with their Jaguars freshly delivered from Taggarts garage back in 1987. The pair led the club to tremendous success in the late 1980s and early 1990s, taking advantage of the ban on English clubs in Europe by bringing in the likes of Terry Butcher, Chris Woods and Trevor Steven.

After Souness left to manage Liverpool in 1991 Smith took over as the Rangers boss, and the success continued as The Gers won nine successive league titles, until Celtic finally broke their dominance in 1998 in their Centenary season.

Not sure the current incarnation of the club would be able to get their hands on a pair of Jags at present, not with their credit rating anyhow!




Driving Liverpool Forward

Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish plays the role of chauffeur here – at least we hope that explains the hat – opening a Rover SD1 door for his team-mate, the cherub-faced Alan Hansen.

You can tell it was 1979; the shirt collars aren’t too silly yet the flared trousers simply refuse to go away.

No surprise these two look pleased with themselves, both were a key part of Liverpool’s amazing success in the late 1970s and 1980s, winning countless league titles and a few European Cups to boot.




Take A Bow Son!

Here’s a great picture of Wolves striker Andy Gray outside his house with his Panther in 1980. Gray joined Wolves from local rivals Aston Villa for a then British record fee of £1.5m and would later help Everton to a league title in 1985.

Gray also played 20 times for Scotland scoring seven goals, but younger fans will know him best as a TV pundit and commentator for Sky rather than as a player.


A Lions Share

Celtic manager Jock Stein is clearly pleased with his new Ford Zephyr. Here he is pictured picking it up from a garage on Glasgow’s Cumbernauld Road in 1967 –  just two days before Stein led his side to European Cup glory in Lisbon with a 2-1 win over Inter Milan, meaning they became the first British club to lift the famous trophy.


When The Three Degrees Met the Three Degrees


The Six Degrees: The guys and gals get acquainted

by Karl Hofer.

Laurie Cunningham, Brendon Batson and Cyrille Regis were three exciting and gifted footballers, and back in 1979 they were the catalyst behind West Bromich Albion challenging for major honours once more.

They also happened to be black.

It is difficult to imagine now, but three non-white players in the same team was a highly unusual sight, certainly in the UK at least.

So with a trio of black singers known as The Three Degrees enjoying a period of great success in the charts with hits like When Will I See You AgainThe Runner, it seemed perfectly natural to nickname the players after the group.

When the group toured the UK a photoshoot was hastily organised at Aston Villa striker Andy Gray’s new nightclub, the Holy City Zoo, in which players and singers posed uncomfortably together. At the time, it appeared sweet, a little staged but innocent for the most part.

But the achievements of the footballing trio eventually worked wonders in terms of race relations and their part in highlighting race issues in Britain should not be forgotten.

Former team-mate Bryan Robson said: ‘We went to the opening of Andy Gray’s nightclub and Cyrille, Brendon and Laurie were there. So were the American supergroup, The Three Degrees. It was too good a photo opportunity to miss. Albion’s black players posed with the girls and from that moment on, we had our own Three Degrees.

‘I’m convinced that stunt helped break down prejudice. At the time, I remember away supporters leaving hundreds of banana skins at the Smethwick End. We have come a long way since then.’

West Brom had qualified for the UEFA Cup that season, earning a mouth-watering tie against Valencia and Argentinian World Cup winning superstar Mario Kempes in the Mestalla Stadium.

‘It was the match that earned Laurie Cunningham his move to Real Madrid,’ recalled Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown, who scored a staggering 218 goals from midfield.

‘There was no-one to touch him at that time. He was graceful. He used to glide over the pitch. He absolutely tormented Valencia’s right back.

‘All of a sudden, we were sitting there in the second half when Laurie received the ball. Hundreds of oranges started raining down on to the pitch. Their crowd had got that fed up with Laurie, they were pelting him with fruit!

‘One of the lads pointed it out to him afterwards and he said with a wry smile, “I suppose it makes a change from bananas…”.’

West  Bromwich Albion footballers Laurie Cunningham (2nd left) and Cyrille Regis with the American singers The Three Degrees in the VIP area at the Holy City Zoo nightclub in Birmingham, 7th April 1979. Left-right: Helen Scott, Laurie Cunningham, Valerie Holiday, Cyrille Regis and Sheila Ferguson. The Holy City Zoo was owned by Aston Villa Footballer Andy Gray. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

West Bromwich Albion footballers Laurie Cunningham (2nd left) and Cyrille Regis with the American singers The Three Degrees in the VIP area at the Holy City Zoo nightclub in Birmingham, 7th April 1979. Left-right: Helen Scott, Laurie Cunningham, Valerie Holiday, Cyrille Regis and Sheila Ferguson. The Holy City Zoo was owned by Aston Villa Footballer Andy Gray. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)




The Tigers Roar!
A Crime of Fashion but Fans Approve of Hull’s Matchwinner Kit


“…That’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat, I really love your Tiger kit!”


Team: Hull City

Home or Away: Home

Years Active: Aug 1992 – Dec 1993

As Worn By:  Alan Fettis, Wayne Jacobs, Ken de Mange, Paul Hunter & Dean Windass

Yes, it was the early nineties, and acid house fashions had impacted football kit design a tad, but Hull City produced a kit that certainly had plenty of bite when they brought this affair out – no doubt influenced by Del-Boy’s wallpaper.

The great thing about this kit was that if you didn’t fancy wearing it you could always put it over your car seat and – hey presto – you were in Huggy Bear’s ride!

This eye-catching effort from Matchwinner (who?) failed to inspire the Tigers to win many matches however, and they just staved off relegation from the newly created Division Two.

Despite widespread derision, the kit became a very popular one with the clubs fans. When Matchwinner’s contract was cancelled in late 1993, the company refused to hand over the design templates to the company who had taken over as Hull’s kit supplier, Pelada (who??).

Pelada were forced to produce their own version of the kit and went with a finer print design in a sort of dirty brown colour. Fans consider this version infinitely inferior to the original we have pictured here.

In conclusion, you only have to look at the amount of success, or rather lack of it, garnished by the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL to realise that mock Tiger skin designs and sports kits should be kept firmly apart.




Casuals Fashion: The Top Five Brands

by Karl Hofer.

The football Casuals; much has been written about them and their influence on fashion and music over the past few decades. Here BOBBY gives you the five finest fashion brands that UK football fans have embraced since the 70’s:



5. Pringle

The high end golf brand was readily adopted by the football Casual and the iconic diamond pattern became a feature at football games all over the country in the 80’s. They were serious players in the leisure and sportswear market, a fact confirmed by their sponsorship of top British golfers Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie. Perhaps the first luxury knitwear brand in the world, Robert Pringle founded the company in the Scottish borders in 1815 and over the years it expanded around the globe.


4. Ralph Lauren

This is a brand that has evolved from one that originally catered for the elite classes to one that is now the preferred fashion choice of Mexican drug traffikers. Ralph Lauren was brought to the masses by young working-class men watching football matches at the weekend and the cut of the design coupled with the simplicity of the shirts saw their popularity rocket.

That phenomenal popularity led to an explosion of fakes of inferior quality during the 90’s – but the true Casual connoisseur could tell ‘a moody Ralph’ from a mile off.


 3. Burberry / Aquascutum

Hitting it’s peak in the early to mid 80’s, Burberry and Aquascutum went from the Royal courtyards of Buckingham Palace to football terraces across the country. It’s important to note that at that time Burberry didn’t manufacture baseball caps. People that wear Burberry and Aquascutum caps are not to be confused with the stylish casuals of yesteryear. They are a late 90’s phenomena worn by petty thieves and chavs (or ‘neds’ for the Scottish among you) and are a badge of the not-to-be-trusted.

In recent years Burberry has successfully turned around the Chav-like reputation that it had acquired by removing the brand’s iconic check-pattern from all but 10% of the company’s products and re-branding itself with advertisement campagns in GQ, Esquire, Vogue, Tatler, and Harper’s Bazaar.


2. Stone Island

The Stone Island jacket is such a common sight in every football hooliganism based film – such as Green Street Hooligans and The Football Factory – it is now regarded as the uniform of the new breed of Football Casual.  The adoption of high end designer clothes has always been a driving force behind casual fashion, the exclusivity of certain clothing and one up-man-ship drove fans to seek out the latest and the best that fashion labels had to offer.


1. Adidas

Right from the off Adidas has always been popular among casuals. The original Forest Hills came in white and gold and the shoe had various incarnations between 1979 and 1983. Forest Hill re-issues have been coming out since 1999 and their classic style still stands the test of time. Originally designed as a tennis shoe they still look as eye catching on the high street today as they did on the terraces in the 80’s. Other Adidas trainers that were embraced by the casual movement include the Samba, Trimm Trabb, LA Trainer, Grand Slam, Stockholm, Dublin and Handball Special.


Pele: With His New Mercedes & Dressed For The Ladies…


With the World Cup upon us it’s only fitting that the master himself, Pele, is our featured driver this time around.

Here he is looking very dapper in his big-collared silk shirt in front of his Mercedes W115 back in 1970, which if my memory serves me right was quite a good year for the Brazilian superstar.

He’s clearly pleased with his new Mercedes-Benz, a car that cost a whopping £2,400 when it launched.

The Mercedes-Benz W114 and W115 models were a series of coupes and sedans introduced in 1968 and manufactured through 1976. They were distinguished in the marketplace by nameplates designating their engines.

There was a strong family resemblance to the S-class, but these were shorter and lighter cars, though being on the same wheelbase as the S-class means they have excellent interior space.

W114 models featured six-cylinder engines and were marketed as the 230, 250, and 280, while W115 models, like the one in our photo, featured four-cylinder engines and were marketed as the 200, 220, 230, and 240.

All were styled by Paul Bracq, featuring a three-box design.

Beginning in 1968, Mercedes marketed their model range as New Generation Models, giving their ID plates the designation ‘/8’ (due to their 1968 Launch year). Because they were the only truly new cars of the so-called ‘New Generation’ and because of the ‘/8’ or ‘slash eight’ designation, W114 and W115 models ultimately received the German nickname Strich Acht, loosely translated into the English Stroke Eight.

Like its saloon variant this car also boasted advanced technological innovations. 1969 saw the introduction of the Bosch D-jetronic fully electronic fuel injection system into the 250CE. This was the first ever production Mercedes-Benz to use this system.

Other innovations in the W114/W115 models include a center console (a first in a Mercedes sedan), ribbed taillights in 1974. All coupe models used the 6-cylinder engine (and thus were W114s) and were designated with a “C” in the model name.

Which was all very snazzy. After all, when you’re the world’s best footballer its important to drive a car that reflects that very fact…




Admiral’s Finest Hour
The Birth of the Modern Kit PLUS: England’s 2014 World Cup Strip


Woodcock never looked cooler than when wearing this England shirt

Team:  England

Home or Away:  Home

Years Active:  1980-1983

As Worn By: Kevin Keegan, Trevor Francis, Glenn Hoddle, Trevor Brooking, Graham Rix, Bryan Robson, Tony Woodcock, Steve Coppell, Paul Mariner & Mick Mills.


Admiral took over the making of the England Kit in 1974 and it was the first time that a manufactures symbol was added to the kit worn by the players. It was also the first time a licensing deal was paid to the FA allowing Admiral to market replica kits and the era of the modern kit began. They believed that a market was there for teams to create strong identities for themselves with the advent of colour television, and they were proved right despite a lot of opposition in the game at the time.

This kit was Admirals second design for England and was first worn in the 3–1 win over Argentina at Wembley Stadium on 13 May 1980. This shirt added a new dimension to the national team’s look with its coloured panels and became very popular with fans when it was worn in the 1980 European Championships in Italy, England’s first major tournament for a decade.

Despite this success the 1980s marked a period of decline for the Admiral brand as it began to lose its contracts with the major clubs to domestic rival, Umbro, and new international entrant, Adidas.

Even though Admiral still held the England kit contract, one of the most valuable in the world, the company was declared bankrupt in 1982. The brand reappeared on the market for the 1983–84 season producing the same double pinstripe design for both Leicester City and Notts County.

Rate This Kit: 

World Cup 2014

EnglandTop-634x431Nike are set in the next few days to reveal England’s kit for the World Cup finals this summer.

A photo was leaked to the internet recently which shows it to be v-neck, minimalist and retro in it’s style.

It will be an white ensemble given FIFA’s bizarre preference that all countries shall be dressed top-to-toe in the same colour to make the most of HD TV coverage from Brazil.

So that should make the change strip all red.

Unless there is a diversion, like the decision at the the 1970 World Cup to go for all sky blue, as worn when England beat Czechoslovakia that summer in Mexico thanks to an Alan Clarke penalty.

Insiders suggest it is likely that there will be a retro feel about the kits.

For further info in the next few days, it might be worth checking back here at

Peter Osgood wears England's all sky-blue kit in 1970

Peter Osgood wears England’s all sky-blue kit in 1970


BOBBY’S Jukebox
Classic Sports TV Theme Tunes Revisited

Classic TV sports themes from yesteryear available at your fingertips.


‘Goal Crazy’ by Rod Argent

‘The Match’ theme (ITV 1988-1992)

1989-05-26TheMatchNow Rod is an interesting fella. He has many credits, not least playing keyboards on The Who’s album ‘Who Are You’, and in 1972 he formed a band called ‘Argent’ who recorded the original version of ‘God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You’ long before Petra and KISS made it famous.

Somehow he found himself writing football TV themes for ITV, and after successfully masterminding their World Cup theme for 1986 (under the guise ‘Silsoe’) he then came up with this for ITV’s new Sunday afternoon live coverage called ‘The Match’.

You only have to suffer 2 minutes of Adrian Chiles introducing ITV’s football coverage nowadays before you find yourself asking the question; ‘Whatever happened to Elton Welsby..???’


The Big Match – Theme from 1974 – 19801984-04-01TheBigMatch_zpse068db08

A true classic; Remember getting comfy in your seat as Brian Moore was about to share his tremendous enthusiasm for the game with you? Muddy pitches, bad haircuts, forthright opinion – it was all coming your way – and you loved it!



‘Aztec Gold’ by Silsoe1986-06-03ITVWCc (1)

ITV’s World Cup Mexico ’86 Theme Tune

This is one where ITV hit the spot, so popular was this tune that it was used for various other shows many years after Mexico ‘86, most notably ‘Saint and Greavsie.’

ITV went with the same Aztec-oriented style that the BBC embraced but with a modern twist, something they always tried to do. It was a brighter and more melodic number than it’s BBC rival could produce, so much so the song was eventually released as a single which reached number 48 in the UK charts.


‘Aztec Lightning’ by HeadsAztecLightning

BBC World Cup ’86 Theme Tune

The BBC are the Daddies when it comes to sporting themes, they’ve been kicking ITVs butt in this department for decades.

You can almost feel the uber-confidence exuding from their TV Theme Department (where else does the licence fee go..?) as you listen to this epic anthem. An extravagant, rousing piece with traditional Mexican instruments, this one by Paul Hart and Helmut Zacharias for the 1986 World Cup was a fine effort by anyone’s standards.

The problem was it wasn’t as good as ITV’s…


Sportsnight’ – by Tony Hatch

sportsnight_t1305b-smallSportsnight was the BBC’s midweek sports offering between 1968 and 1997. Presenters included legends such as David Coleman, Frank Bough and Des Lynam. The theme for the show was (rather imaginatively) called ‘Sportsnight’, and was composed by Tony Hatch, himself a legend of TV themes.

The piece is famous for its ‘morse code’ opening signature, giving the effect of speed. Hatch composed many other TV themes including Crossroads, Emmerdale and Neighbours. Hatch was no stranger to the pop charts either, being particularly well known for his collaborations with Petula Clark. The pair’s most famous song is the 1964 classic ‘Downtown’.


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No Penalty This Time for Lee as he Drives a Jaguar XJ Series 1

Francis 'Franny' Lee with his Jaguar XJ Series 1

Here is the legendary Franny Lee, posing à la Steve McQueen in front of his Jaguar XJ series 1 in 1972. It may have been another rainy day in Manchester but this could still be a shot from a movie poster.

Lee had every right to be a trifle smug, after all he had helped City to the league title in 1968, the FA Cup in 1969, and European Cup-Winners’ Cup in 1970 – and went on to represent England at the World Cup that year.


In the 1971–72 season Lee set a British record for the number of penalties scored in a season, with a staggering 15 of his 35 goals scored from the penalty spot.  Some journalists were of the opinion that Lee gained a number of penalties by diving, so they gave him the name ‘Lee Won Pen’ instead!

Lee also holds the record for the most goals in Manchester derbies, scoring 10 goals in all against Manchester United – a tally that equalled Joe Hayes’ record – although Wayne Rooney looks set to eclipse that figure soon as he also has ten.

You can understand why Lee was keen to dress up for this photo. This, after all, had been the car you bought if you’d made it. Whether you were Morecambe and Wise at the height of their fame, or an England international footballer like Franny Lee, a Series 1 would always be in the backdrop.

From the 1968 launch of Sir William Lyons’s final masterpiece, the Jaguar XJ Series 1 was recognised as “the best car in the world”.

His vision of the new XJ (standing for Experimental Jaguar) replacing all of the company’s saloon worked and would in fact support the company until the end of the century.

In later V12 form it was also the world’s fastest saloon, nudging 140mph. Driving a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow felt, in comparison, like a terribly luxurious stagecoach.

Finest Jaguar Ever

The car was introduced in September 1968. Power-assisted steering and leather upholstery were standard on the 2.8 L De Luxe and 4.2 L models and air conditioning was offered as an optional extra on the 4.2 L. Daimler versions.

In a series of television advertisements featuring Sir William he referred to the car as “the finest Jaguar ever”. An unusual feature, inherited from the Jaguar Mark X and S-Type sedan, was the provision of twin fuel tanks, positioned on each side of the boot / trunk, and filled using two separately lockable filler caps: one on the top of each wing above the rear wheel arches.

Victim of its own success, early deliveries were slow as Jaguar’s attempt to meet the demand and were hampered by delays in body manufacturing; the first cars were suffering from quality control problems. Despite these, the XJ6 was so superior to its competition that buyers were willing to wait and could even resell their just delivered XJ6s at a profit should they want to.

In 1972 Jaguar launched the XJ12, which was Sir William Lyons final achievement before his retirement that same year and the numbers speak for themselves: one of the fastest production four seaters in the world at 225 kph and 0-100 times of 7.5 seconds.

Like Mr. Lee, a true classic.