Top Football XI who have tried to hang up their boots for singing

by Football XI Editorial | Posted on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

chris_glennAlthough sporting/musical crossovers are relatively common, very few professional footballers have managed to carve out a successful singing career. Many have tried over the years though, and in this article we’re going to look at the top 11 notable footballers who have shown off their musical sides. On the pitch Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle were a great tag team , off  the pitch in the Studio Booth , a different story…

“Glenn & Chris” (Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle)

Legendary footballers Hoddle and Waddle (known musically as Glenn & Chris), released a single in 1987 called ‘Diamond Lights’ that reached #12 in the UK singles chart. They even managed to secure an appearance on Top Of The Pops! In their professional career, Glenn Hoddle is best known for his per formances as Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, and Chris Waddle played for clubs including Newcastle United, Tottenham and Sheffield Wednesday. Both played internationally for England.

Julio Iglesias

Most people know Julio Iglesias as the bestselling Latin music artist in history, a singer/songwriter who has sold 300 million records around the world. But did you know he was a European goalkeeper for Real Madrid Castilla (Real Madrid’s reserve team) before a car crash ended his career?

John Barnes

The song was ‘World In Motion’ by New Order, England’s Italia 90 single. John Barnes’ contribution was a legendary 30 second rap about the beautiful game. His musical career might not have progressed any further, but Barnes’s rap will never be forgotten by England fans around the world.

Ian Wright

Ex English footballer Ian Wright enjoyed successful stints at clubs such as Crystal Palace and Arsenal scoring 387 goals during his career and earning 33 caps for England. In 1993 he released his one and only single ‘Do The Right Thing’ a dance-pop song that reached #43 in the UK singles chart.

Liverpool FC

Okay so this is a club performance rather than just one footballer/singer, however ‘The Anfield Rap’ by the 1988 FA Cup finalists is notable for featuring a musical performance from Bruce Grobbelaar, former footballer and manager, and is also the song where John Barnes began his legendary parallel career as a rapper.

Johan Cruyff

In 1969 former Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff released Oei Oei Oei (Dat Was Me Weer een Loei) at the age of 22. It saw some success in Holland, but did much better in Catalonia when it was released a few years later on Cruyff’s transfer to Barcelona (even though the song was in Dutch).

Kevin Keegan

Back in 1979 Kevin Keegan, former English striker/attacking midfielder, recorded a song called ‘Head Over Heels in Love’. It peaked at #31 in the UK singles chart. Kevin Keegan fans today are still rolling back the years and enjoying the song courtesy of Youtube!

“Gazza” (Paul Gascoigne)

Back in the early 90’s Gazza was hot property as a footballer. The Geordie’s football career began at Newcastle United while he also played for Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio and Glasgow Rangers. His musical foray included a collaboration with folk band Lindisfarne in their rerecording of Fog On The Tyne and actually hit #2 in the charts. In 1990 he released the ‘Geordie Boys (Gazza Rap)’ which peaked at #31. Probably a good thing he didn’t give up his day job!

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer was the first footballer to reach the German charts when he released a series of love songs that made Bavarian women weak at the knees. Some of his songs include the classic ‘Du Allein’ (‘You alone’), and ‘1-0 fur die Liebe’ (‘1-0 For Love’). As a footballer he spent the majority of his career with Bayern Munich while in later years he moved on to New York Cosmos.


Andy Cole

Andy Cole’s hip hop contribution is probably the most wholesome rap song to ever hit the airwaves. According to the lyrics the former Manchester United striker worked hard, played hard, didn’t take drugs and kicked out racism – the song embodies a life of virtue and is a far cry from the extravagant lifestyle of today’s rappers (and indeed footballers). Good clean fun for everyone and even suitable for the kids.

Ruud Gullit

In 1984 Ruud Gullit, professional footballer in the 1980’s and 90’s and twice named World Soccer Player Of The Year, released his song ‘Not The Dancing Kind’ with modest success. In 1988 he scored a #3 hit in the Dutch Top 40 with an anti-apartheid song “South Africa” with reggae band Revelation Time.


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