Football Diary: The Blues in three chords

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The Independent Online
THE FA Cup final score is . . . Chelsea 3, Manchester United 1. But only in the record shops. So delighted were the Blues brothers to reach a Cup

final (the Bridge programme once printed a picture of the FA's famous pot to remind readers it existed), that they rushed en masse into recording studios, producing three singles: two official and one without the club's backing. All are woeful, in good old Cup-final single tradition. The players' love song 'No One Can Stop Us Now', currently at No 30, is amiable tosh ('When we score a goal, we're gonna rock 'n' roll'), the good bits coming from Eddie Newton, a serious music man, what with his love of Jodeci and Silk. The official fans' number, The Boys From The Shed's 'We'll Keep The Blue Flag Flying High' possesses a certain hypnotic awfulness and is notable mainly for featuring the words Blue 73 times and Wembley 34. The unlicensed re-mix of 'Blue Is The Colour' has irritated the club, despite the sampled line 'Ken Bates - probably the greatest chairman in the world'.

From the Bridge, with all its hip King's Road associations, Shed wit (from mowing to celery) and managerial experience of 'Diamond Lights', such poor pop comes as a surprise. Sure, their 1970 offering, 'Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep' with Peter Osgood taking the mike, was hardly in New Order's 'World In Motion' class, but it at least boasted an unforgettable hook-line, as did the triumphal 'Blue Is The Colour' which reached No 5 in time for the 1972 League Cup final. The best Chelsea sound is unarguably the terraces' raw chorus of 'Blue Flag', currently back in vocal vogue after its first airing in the Sixties. The enormous blue flag that accompanies the song weighs, fans claim, more than their striker, John Spencer.

RYAN GIGGS'S sensational new Reebok commercial, featuring the United winger scoring from a build-up involving, among others Mitten, Best, Law, Coppell and Charlton (don't ask how, just watch it), is shown for the first time tonight in the commercial slot before Taggart. Now, what was the players' nickname for Alex Ferguson?

ED STEIN, brother of Chelsea's Mark and Barry Fry's No 2 at Birmingham City, was surprised to receive phone calls at St Andrews regarding his club car. Blues had placed it in Exchange and Mart. Keep right on to the end of the road . . . but not in a company car.

CHELSEA will hope the Racing Post's verdict on Ooh Ah Cantona proves prescient. The gelding trailed in embarrassingly last in the 3.05 at York on Thursday, provoking the esteemed racing organ to comment: 'Prominent until half-way, weakened under pressure, soon behind'.

THE season's final bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon for freak fact of the week goes to B J Kinnersley, of Lincoln, for the following stat of Motsonian proportions . . .

'Last weekend provided an interesting squad of Premier League players and officials whose namesakes could have represented New South Wales during the period 1835-40. The list of transportees contains those convicted in Lincolnshire only: Miller (Arsenal) 1838 (transported), life (sentence); Wright (Arsenal) 1838, seven years; Watson (Everton) 1836, life; Hughes (Man U) 1835, seven years; Lee (Newcastle) 1836, life; Palmer (Sheff Wed) 1837, seven years; Marshall (Ipswich) 1838, 10 years; Taylor (Swindon) 1837, seven years; Jones (Wimbledon) 1838, seven years; Allen (Southampton) 1837, seven years; Ward (Sheff U) 1840, 10 years; Richardson (A Villa) 1835, seven years; Hutchison (Liverpool) 1837, seven years. PFA Rep: Taylor 1836, seven years. Manager: Atkinson (Villa), 1835, seven years. Referee: Cooper 1836, seven years.

By this time, John Motson had already taken up residence in 1833, for the rest of his days, and a certain Clough was making his home in nearby Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in 1840. Referees Hackett and Midgley were also in the area. (Source: 'Convicts of Lincolnshire', Published by Lincolnshire County Council).

Clutching a copy of 'Convicts of Lincolnshire', the Football Diary retires to the beach until August. Thanks to all correspondents and stats entrants. Enjoy the summer.

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