FA drops Gary Barlow's official England 2014 World Cup song from starting line-up

 

When the FA announced that Gary Barlow was to record the official England 2014 World Cup song, the football body hailed the star for gathering an “incredible line-up” of “pop’s finest stars”.

But Barlow no longer appears to be first choice on Roy Hodgson’s team sheet after it emerged that "Greatest Day", featuring the Take That singer, Gary Lineker and 20 celebrities, has been quietly dropped as the nation’s anthem for Brazil.

The song, featuring Michael Owen, Kimberley Walsh and Katy B, was recorded before Barlow was ordered by the High Court to pay back millions of pounds which he sheltered in the £340m Icebreaker tax avoidance scheme.

Barlow’s image as a “national treasure” was tarnished amid calls that he should return his OBE.

With England’s opening game against Italy just a fortnight away, the FA admitted that it now has no plans for Greatest Day to be released as a single.

A video of Greatest Day, which includes vocal contributions from Pixie Lott and Mel C, was made available to download on iTunes during the Sport Relief fundraising effort in March.

It was understood that the song would be released as a single in June to coincide with World Cup fever spreading across England.

A chart-topping single, sung heartily from the stands, would give the team a boost as they embark upon their South American mission.

But the FA appears to have distanced itself from Greatest Day as the big kick-off approaches.

A spokesman said: “Although we have given our endorsement, it is very much their (Comic Relief) production and any release would be managed by them with all proceeds going to their Sport Relief charity.” The FA could not give a “definitive answer” over whether its official song would be released.

A Comic Relief spokesperson told The Independent: “There are currently no plans to release the version of Greatest Day shown on the Sport Relief 2014 night of TV as a single. The video will be available to view on YouTube during the World Cup.”

Greatest Day has not even been selected for The England Players’ Playlist, an official album of “upbeat chart hits and dance anthems” personally hand-picked by Wayne Rooney and his teammates, which is released on Monday.

Even before Barlow’s tax affairs became public, fans gave Barlow’s reworking of Take That’s 2008 hit a thumbs down.

David Baddiel, who sang the landmark 1996 England anthem "Three Lions", described the 2014 effort, which includes contributions from Gary Pallister and Carlton Palmer, as “a bit rubbish”.

Sources suggested there had been some confusion over who owned the rights to the song after Sport Relief. There were hopes that a major record company would step in and release the song as a an iTunes track download before the tournament begins.

The affair may end for good the FA’s endorsement of an official song. Former coach Fabio Capello banned a 2010 England song, saying he wanted to be “fully focused on the football”. An unofficial song, "Shout", featuring James Corden and Dizzie Rascal, reached number one.

With Greatest Day ruled out of the tournament, a number of alternative England anthems are pushing for selection.

"Come on England (Don’t Break My Heart)" by Mansfield fans Mark Estell and Stephen Goalby is already on iTunes. Estell said: “We got the idea to do an England song when we heard Greatest Day, or ‘great dismay’ as we call it. You can’t sing along to it and it’s not motivational.”

Kaiser Chiefs are pushing for their single "Coming Home" to be the soundtrack to the England team’s eventual departure from the tournament, preferably with the trophy.

The Sun newspaper has consigned Barlow’s effort to history and named "I'll Never Find Another You" by London band Dexters as its “official England anthem”.

Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson on stage

film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
art

‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us