7 things you never knew about Baddiel and Skinner’s Three Lions

20 years after the song topped the charts here are five things you should know

Three Lions turns 20 Has it really been that long?

On June 27 1996, David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and Ian Broudie from the Lightning Seeds made football/pop music history after hitting the no.1 spot with Three Lions.

Though it was not the official song of Euro ’96 – that honour went to Simply Red with the atrocious ‘We’re In This Together’ – it was a song that captured the hearts of a nation.

And a few weeks later, as England went down to Germany on penalties in the semi-finals of that fateful competition, it could be heard loud and clear all across Wembley.

With another European Championship and hope of ending 50 years of hurt just around the corner, here are a few things you may not have known about Three Lions.


The crowd noise heard in the track’s intro was actually recorded by Ian Broudie during a UEFA Cup tie between Liverpool and Danish side Brondby at Anfield in October 1995.

Having held the Reds to a draw at home, the Danes advanced with a 1-0 victory on Merseyside sealed with a goal from Dan Eggen. The noise you can hear in the intro is the Brondby fans jubilantly cheering their team on.


German fans took a liking to Three Lions upon its release, with the song climbing to the heady heights no.16 in the charts.

Big in Germany
Big in Germany

Baddiel and Skinner even agreed to perform the song live on German TV that same year, though they insisted on wearing replica England 1966 shits


Three Lions is one of only three songs to reach the top of the UK charts on two separate occasions with two different sets of lyrics.

It is joined by Mambo No.5, which was done by Lou Bega and later Bob the Builder, and Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid and Band Aid 30.


Just last year Three Lions courted controversy after a Scottish branch of Morrisons was forced to ban the song from being played during the 2014 World Cup.

Apparently several shoppers complained about the use of the track, claiming that it simply reminded them of Scotland’s footballing woes.

The gang
Frank Skinner He can't be happy. David Baddiel might be.

Shopper Christopher Vale told the Daily Record: “It’s just rubbing in the fact that England are playing in Brazil and Scotland didn’t qualify.”

Probably reminds them of that penalty at Euro ’96 too.


BBC veteran John Motson ranks Three Lions as his favourite football song.

Motty's Moment
Motty's Moment

When a rendition of the song broke out among England fans during the Three Lions’ 1-0 victory over Paraguay at the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt Motty said:

“As football songs go, Three Lions is certainly the best”


Three Lions has featured in the UK Top 40 on no fewer than seven occasions since the song’s original release. Having peaked at no.1 twice, the track was most recently on the charts in 2014 when it reached no.27.

The most bizarre incident came in 2010 though, when a re-recorded version of the song featuring Russell Brand and Robbie Williams reached a rather disappointing no.21.

It was made all the more galling for the fact that a re-released version of the originally reached no.10.


French teams are notorious for adopting rather odd songs to welcome their players on to the pitch.

For several years, Paris Saint-Germain players would walk on to the dulcet tones of Phil Collins’ 80s hit Who Said I Would.

Three Lions fans
Three Lions fans It's all a bit odd

Racing Club de Strasbourg, however, adopted Three Lions and have walked on to the track at every home game ever since.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.