Chart-topper finally scored with the squad

Comedians David Baddiel, left, and Frank Skinner who wrote the footballing anthem Three Lions with the Lightning Seeds (Picture: Yui Mok/PA).
Comedians David Baddiel, left, and Frank Skinner who wrote the footballing anthem Three Lions with the Lightning Seeds (Picture: Yui Mok/PA).
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‘THREE LIONS’ may now be the archetypical football song but it was a slow burner, at least among the players.

The collaboration between the Lighning Seeds and Fantasy Football hosts David Baddiel and Frank Skinner twice topped the charts during Euro 96. Its chorus was also adopted by fans across the country but, as Stuart Pearce reveals, the players were initially not so sure.

“When Baddiel and Skinner came into the hotel and played it a couple of months beforehand everyone was a bit non-plussed about it,” the former left-back recalls.

“It didn’t catch on straight away but, all of a sudden when the games came and the fans picked it up, it just became the most synonymous thing about the whole tournament. It is a wonderful song to listen to and even when I hear it now it evokes great memories.

“It’s a song you listen to when you’re in the shower. I like it as a tune now as well as the memories it holds for me.”

Terry Venables, meanwhile, used the song to get his players’ blood pumping before arriving at the stadium.

“We played it when we left the hotel all the way to Wembley, for each match, and all the players sung it,” says the former England manager.

“It was good. Everyone played a part in that summer and it was just beautiful.”