Football’s coming home – to York! Fab new England World Cup song and video hail from city

13 Jun 2018 @ 6.15 pm
| Entertainment, Sport

England have everything they need for the World Cup in Russia – new suits, an exciting young squad – but they lacked their very own anthem.

No longer. Step forward York footie nut, singer songwriter and star of stage and screen Alistair Griffin.

The song will be available on…

  • Amazon
  • iTunes
  • Spotify
  • Released June 14

He will release his fab footie song England Crazy on Thursday (June 14) – the opening day of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

And to accompany the single, he has filmed a video in York, which includes a fun recreation of England taking on West Germany to claim our only cup victory in 1966. Alistair said:

It was great to see so many people on the Knavesmire enjoying the video experience.

We had a beautiful day for filming and the local community really played its part. Their fun and enthusiasm make the video.

Phoenix from the flames

Alistair receives a plea from England boss Gareth Southgate in a still from the video

The song has quite a history. Alistair originally wrote it for the 2002 World Cup.

England Crazy looked like it might be England’s official anthem that year – until being gazumped by Ant and Dec’s On The Ball at the last minute.

Since then its been gathering dust in a drawer until Alistair ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the video.

Via social media he recruited a squad of local stars to be in it with him, including members of the Hamilton Panthers football club.

Filmed by Matt Crumpton from Leeds, it begins with Alistair in the Slip Inn on Clementhorpe, where he receives a text message from England manager Gareth Southgate appealing to him to write a song to inspire the team.

The video then follows him through the terraced streets of South Bank, gathering a crowd who arrive on Knavesmire to watch the big final.

Alistair, who lives near Bootham Bar, is not the only Griffin taking centre stage – his son Tom is with him at the end, waving an England flag.

Songwriter to the stars

This isn’t Alistair’s first sporty song. He wrote Just Drive, which became the theme song for F1 coverage on Sky Sports.

And The Road was the official song of the 2014 Tour De France’s Grand Départ in Yorkshire.

His music starred on television again last month. The BBC used Alistair’s version of song Only You in their Royal Wedding coverage to soundtrack Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day.

Alistair, who is originally from Whitby and is a Middlesbrough fan, has some history with England boss Gareth Southgate.

Gareth was Middlesbrough manager when Alistair created a new version of the famous ballad Hallelujah in homage to then Boro star Mark Viduka.

“Gareth got behind it and it really took off. Suddenly it was was all over social media,” Alistair said.

He describes England Crazy as a “singalong anthem with a big chorus. Nothing has comes close to Three Lions since Euro 96 but maybe this one will resonate with people if England perform on the pitch.”

And “like all football fans I live in hope” of England glory.

Three more local footie anthems

1. Disco Mister – Bring It Home

Highly catchy tune by two staff at Huntington School, it was the only new England song to get into the Official Singles Chart during the 2014 World Cup.

2. Clifton Green Primary School – Better Never Stops

Written by the school’s music teacher Jake Dalton, also known to music fans as frontman of York indie rockers the Y Street Band, it was a hope-filled contribution for England’s Euro 2016 campaign.

3. Alternative England – Hopes of a Thousand Men

With a vocal by comedian Chubby Brown, and based on Swords of a Thousand Men by Tenpole Tudor, it is the brainchild of Robin Ward of Thirsk. It was first released for the 2014 World Cup and has been re-released for the current tournament.