August 31, 2020

Sports Sheffield United: Who wrote club anthem Greasy Chip Butty?


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Media captionSheffield United’s Greasy Chip Butty Tune

From You’re going to By no come Disappear Alone to I am Forever Blowing Bubbles, determined songs enjoy change into synonymous with particular soccer golf equipment.

In Sheffield, the crimson half of it as a minimal, that anthem is the Greasy Chip Butty song, belted out to the tune of John Denver’s 1974 hit file Annie’s Tune.

You dangle up my senses

Admire a gallon of Magnet

Admire a packet of Woodbines

Admire a pretty pinch of snuff

Admire a night out in Sheffield

Admire a greasy chip butty

Admire Sheffield United

Contrivance dangle me as soon as more

Nonetheless how did a sentimental tribute to the US nation superstar’s spouse come to be remodeled as a terrace anthem?

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BBC Radio Sheffield Reporter Simon Thake characteristic out to jabber the origins of the song

I’ve lived in Sheffield for over 20 years and enjoy constantly been fascinated referring to the Greasy Chip Butty song and enjoy long wondered who wrote it.

To me it speaks of a bygone era, a romanticised time before Twitter and all-seater stadiums, when video games kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon and followers comparatively possibly drank a gallon – eight pints – of John Smith’s Magnet bitter before the game.

So, in any case those years of pondering I determined to glimpse if I may possibly well possibly leer its origins.

My first port of call became as soon as my Radio Sheffield colleague and lifelong Blades fan Helen Bailey.

She suggested me what it come to supporters. “In phrases of the lyrics, I deem it sums up Sheffield comparatively wisely; all people loves a greasy chip butty, all people loves a night out in Sheffield.”

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PA Media

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Sheffield United striker Billy Absorbing grew up singing the song

Club captain and boyhood Blade Billy Absorbing grew up singing the song on the terraces of Bramall Lane.

“I did now not know after I became as soon as a kid exactly what one of the most lyrics supposed, but I have in mind singing along to it,” he suggested me.

“It is beautiful a extraordinarily catchy song that silent gives me goose-bumps to as of late after I hear it before the game.

“I construct now not know the keep apart it came from or who created it, but it absolutely’s certainly Sheffield United’s anthem.

“Before every home sport after they play that song and the followers advise it, I constantly get myself singing it as the game’s beautiful kicked off.”

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PA Media

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Bramall Lane is one of the oldest grounds on this planet silent weak for skilled soccer

So or now not it’s far a song that’s obviously very predominant to Blades followers, and has been for many years, however the story of the way in which it made its come to Bramall Lane has long been a thriller to most.

For the length of my compare, I stumbled on claims on-line referring to the song having first been heard within the heart of an away sport against Stoke Metropolis on the outlet day of the 1985-86 season.

On the replacement hand, in Matthew Bell’s book, Blades Tales: A Sequence of Recollections, Tales and Anecdotes of Supporting Sheffield United, fan Darren Reid remembers first hearing the song even sooner than that, on an away outing to Southend United in 1984.

This became as soon as the earliest demonstrate of it I may possibly well possibly get so I made up my recommendations to track Darren down, in the end discovering him at St Peter’s in Chains Church in Doncaster, the keep apart he’s the parish priest.

He suggested me he vividly remembered the hearing a community of older males in their 20s and 30s “having a pretty snicker and singing along to Annie’s Tune” on the terraces at Southend’s Roots Corridor stadium, but he may possibly well possibly now not expose me who they had been.

I quizzed Blades tale Keith Edwards, who played in that 1-0 preserve at Southend, but he admitted: “If they weren’t singing about me, I wasn’t actually .”

Sports What makes a pretty soccer song?

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Art work Zelin/Getty Pictures

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John Denver wrote Annie’s Tune for his spouse Annie Martell – they divorced in 1982

Dr Simon Warner, a visiting researcher in popular music at Leeds College, says there are just a few key ingredients.

“An even soccer song has to enjoy that memorability, one thing folk can have in mind the phrases to without be troubled, one thing they may possibly well possibly be a a part of in along with instant and instant; or now not it’s far ceaselessly got to enjoy a pretty rhyme to it,” he talked about.

“I counsel Annie’s Tune, which has got a actually strong and much chorus, actually fits the mold. It is now not a advanced tune, or now not it’s straightforward to keep in mind and as soon as you enjoy learned the phrases you enjoy the plump kit.

“[The Greasy Chip Butty song] also says one thing about working-class life, it says one thing about footballing life and it says one thing about social history; or now not it’s got some actually though-provoking ingredients to it.

“Sources [for football songs] are many and varied and it can possibly seem a little bit of outlandish that a John Denver song, a nation song, ended up on the Sheffield United terraces, but it absolutely’s beautiful one of many locations that soccer followers enjoy gone to over time.”

With my see the thriller Sheffield United fan foundering, I started to hear rumours that the song may possibly well possibly now not enjoy originated within the Metallic Metropolis in any admire – but on the replacement facet of the M1, in Rotherham.

Then instantly I got an email from a individual is known as Popeye who talked about I wished to get Gavin Hancock, a member of a community of Sheffield United followers who called themselves the Rotherham Blades.

From that level my search began to retract up bustle.

Gavin suggested me how he and his pals weak to drink in a pub called the Mail Coach, in Rotherham metropolis centre, and how within the early 1980s he heard one of the most regulars singing an amended version of Annie’s Tune.

One man specifically, he talked about, became as soon as singing – a Rotherham United fan called Terry Moran.

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PA Media

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The final drag location of my musical quest in the end proved to the Rotherham suburb of Masbrough

“We had been in that pub most weekends after we weren’t at the soccer,” Gavin suggested me.

“We would advise songs and banter with one any other and he [Terry] sang that song to me.

“It became as soon as about a night out in Masbrough and about Magnet, which is the beer we had been all drinking at the time.

“This means that of this truth I changed it to suit Sheffield United after which we started singing it on the coaches and minibuses after which it beautiful spread from there, actually.”

So, there it became as soon as – I may possibly well possibly stumbled on the person that had introduced the Greasy Chip Butty song to Sheffield, but my quest wasn’t over. I silent wished to focus on to Terry Moran.

About a cell phone calls later and it became as soon as performed – Terry agreed to meet me and expose me every little thing.

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Terry Moran says he wrote the Greasy Chip Butty song as a celebration of life as a Rotherham United fan

He outlined that the lyrics had first come to him one night within the Mail Coach. He remembers scrawling the outlet traces on a bathroom wall, but says it became as soon as constantly referring to the beer and now not the butty.

“For some reason I have in mind taking my biro out and scribbling down ‘tha fills up mi senses esteem a gallon o’ Magnet’.

“Gallon of Magnet became as soon as constantly the foundation – greasy chip butty became as soon as beautiful fraction of the things that accomplish a pretty outing at the same time as you happen to are going to the soccer.”

He talked about the song became as soon as a celebration of life as a Rotherham United fan standing on the terraces of the club’s old trend Millmoor ground, and drew its inspiration from the punk era to dismantle the “schmaltzy, sympathetic long-established”.

“[Millmoor] became as soon as a hellhole, but it absolutely became as soon as our home ground and there’s an affection and an affinity to the pickle so let’s enjoy time it one come or one other,” he talked about.

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Hugh Hastings/Chelsea FC thru Getty Pictures

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Millmoor can also want been a “hellhole” but it absolutely became as soon as the scene of a wisely-known 6-0 drubbing of Chelsea in 1981

At final, my search became as soon as over. What had started out as a hunt for a lyrically ingenious Sheffield United fan had resulted within the invention that the terrace anthem sung week in week out for many years at Bramall Lane had actually been penned by keen on 1 of their South Yorkshire competitors.

The final thing I wished to know became as soon as how did Terry feel about this?

“It annoys me a little bit… actually or now not it’s annoys me comparatively quite a bit, especially as they get the phrases depraved.”

Tha fills up mi senses

Admire a gallon o’ Magnet

Admire a packet o’ Woodbines

Admire a pretty pinch o’ snuff

Admire a night out in Masborough

Admire a greasy chip butty

Admire Rotherham United

Cannot dangle me ample

To listen to the documentary Admire a Greasy Chip Butty hear to BBC Radio Sheffield from 18: 00 on Monday 31 August.

Extra reporting by Oliver Wright

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