Football

Why do England fans sing Sweet Caroline? Reason why Three Lions supporters have adopted Neil Diamond hit

England fans are famous for making their voices heard as they follow the Three Lions at major international tournaments.

Across World Cups and European Championships, England supporters travel in their thousands, filled with confidence of seeing their team clinch glory and finally “bring football home”.

Despite falling short of winning a major title in men’s football since lifting the 1966 FIFA World Cup on home soil, the optimism of supporters always seems to be high, even when performances on the pitch don’t quite match up to expectations.

Their loud support includes a variety of songs, with a more recent addition to the playbook being Neil Diamond hit ‘Sweet Caroline’.

So, why do England fans sing it?

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Why do England fans sing Sweet Caroline? 

There are plenty of theories behind why England fans have adopted Sweet Caroline as an unofficial anthem for the team.

The main link centres on England’s march to the final of Euro 2020, held in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as Wembley DJ Tony Parry started a trend.

Following England’s quarterfinal win over Germany, Parry opted to play Sweet Caroline over the top of previous fan favourite ‘Vindaloo’ and fans loved it.

From then on, it has been included on the pre- and post-game Wembley playlist when England play alongside being adopted by fans on the road and back home. It is usually sung with gusto following a victory, not least when England’s women won the Euro 2022 title at Wembley Stadium.

England fan songs: “It’s Coming Home” and other chants

England fans are never short of songs to sing at big international games and Sweet Caroline is the latest on a long supporter setlist.

Previous tournaments saw some slightly awkward attempts from the players to create “official” tournament songs including John Barnes’ rap as part of New Order’s World in Motion ahead of the 1990 World Cup.

However, the most famous England song emerged ahead of hosting Euro ’96, as comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner partnered with rock band The Lightning Seeds to record the iconic ‘Three Lions/It’s Coming Home’.

The song was updated for the 1998 and 2022 World Cups and remains the go-to song for England fans following their team. That’s why you’ll often hear “It’s coming home” belted out from the stands during an England match — and why Leonardo Bonucci bellowed “It’s coming Rome!” into the camera after Italy won the penalty shootout at Wembley in the Euro 2020 final.

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