“I’ve just discovered that Slade’s 1978 single, Give Us a Goal (it flopped), had a video filmed at Brighton’s Goldstone Ground. What other music videos have been filmed at football stadiums?” tweets Phil Withall.
We’ve ignored official club songs, for obvious reasons, so let’s proceed directly to what was, by some distance, the most popular answer in our inbox. “My local band in Prestwich, the Fall, filmed the video for their single Kicker Conspiracy at Burnley’s Turf Moor,” writes Michael Mand. “It ends with the legend, ‘filmed in Burnley’.”
Mark E Smith was a Manchester City fan, so if anyone knows how the Fall ended up at Turf Moor, do let us know. In the video, he puts the football world to rights – “Under marble [Bert] Millichip/the FA broods/how flair can be punished” – from various points within the ground. It’s quite a time capsule, with everything from barbed-wire fencing to adverts for Stones Best Bitter.
Here’s what Smith had to say about the song in a When Saturday Comes interview:
You couldn’t mention football in the rock world then. We were on Rough Trade and I told them ‘this is about football violence’ and it was all: ‘You don’t go to football, do you?’ I remember Melody Maker saying: ‘Mark Smith’s obviously got writer’s block having to write about football.’ About five years later, the same guy reviewed something else saying it was a load of rubbish and ‘nowhere near the heights of Kicker Conspiracy’. And now, of course, all the old music hacks are sat in the directors’ box with Oasis.”
Some of the video for Victoria, the Fall’s Kinks cover, was also filmed at a football ground. We’re not entirely sure where, but one of the many Fall resources on the internet suggests it was at the Surrey Docks Stadium, former home of Fisher Athletic.
Smith wasn’t the only icon who had the idea to film at a football stadium in 1983. “The video for the Style Council’s hit Solid Bond in Your Heart was filmed at Kingfield, home of Woking (Paul Weller’s home town club),” writes John Chubb.
Fulham’s Craven Cottage has provided the backdrop for at least a couple of videos: Billy Bragg’s The Boy Done Good and Beautiful Life by Ace of Base. Chelsea allowed Culture Club to film a snippet for The Medal Song video before a game against Watford in 1984. The bassist Mikey Craig scores for Chelsea (at least that’s what the video implies; the story goes that he kept missing the target, which led to some creative editing) and then lifts a cheap-looking trophy to an adoring crowd.
Next up, the feelgood hit of 2005. “Coldplay’s video for Fix You features Chris Martin walking and then running through streets at night before emerging on stage with the rest of the band,” reminisces Clive Matthews. “The stage in question is at the ground formerly known as the Reebok Stadium, home of Bolton Wanderers. I was there that night as we had to listen to the song three or four times while they made sure they got the shots they needed for the video.”
Erwin Cifuentes is among those to mention the Pixies, whose video for Allison, a short and sweet song on their magnificent album Bossanova, was filmed at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam in September 1990.
The video for Outlet, by Desiigner, which featured Paul Pogba, was shot at Old Trafford in 2017.
Let’s finish for now, in no particular order, with a few more of your suggestions on Twitter: Louis Tomlinson (Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster), Sigrid (Color Line Stadium, Ålesund), La Trinca (Camp Nou), Skank (Mineirão, Belo Horizonte), Jaime Roos (Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, and featuring the mighty Obdulio Varela) and Soprano (Stade Vélodrome, Marseille).
Golden boots galore
In last week’s Knowledge, we looked at players who have won the golden boot in two or three different countries. And there are a few serial netbusters we overlooked …
“John Charles topped the charts in England (38 goals for Leeds) in 1956-57,” begins Gordon Smith, “and then Italy (28 goals for Juventus) the following season.”
“Giorgi Demetradze was the leading scorer in Georgia in 1996-97 (26 goals in 26 matches for Dinamo Tbilisi), Russia in 1999 (21 goals in 29 matches for Alania Vladikavkaz) and Ukraine in 2003-04 (18 goals in 28 matches for Metalurh Donetsk),” writes Dirk Mass. “Viðar Örn Kjartansson became top scorer in Iceland in 2013 (13 goals in 22 matches for Fylkir, Norway in 2014 (25 goals in 29 matches for Vålerenga) and Israel in 2016-17 (19 goals in 33 matches).”
Finally, Adam Rees has an even more recent example. “What about the amazing Sam Kerr?” notes Adam. “She’s won seven golden boots in six years across three leagues: Australia/New Zealand with Perth Glory (2017-18, 2018-19), North America with Sky Blue FC and Chicago Red Stars (2017, 2018, 2019), and England with Chelsea (2020-21, 2021-22). Not just three leagues, but three continents.”
A colossal caretaker
“Has a caretaker manager ever saved a Premier League club from relegation?” tweets Jonnie Dance.
Oh aye. Blackburn legend Tony Parkes, the caretaker manager’s caretaker manager, had multiple spells in temporary charge at Ewood Park. The longest, and most important, was during the 1996-97 season. When Ray Harford resigned in late October, Blackburn – who had been champions 18 months earlier – were winless and bottom of the table.
Parkes took over for the rest of the season (Blackburn were waiting for Sampdoria coach Sven-Göran Eriksson, who agreed to join them in the summer of 1997 but then changed his mind). Parkes stabilised the team immediately – they took 32 points from his first 19 league games (W8 D8 L3), including wins over title challengers Newcastle and Liverpool. Though they finished the season poorly, Blackburn were officially safe with a game to spare after a 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough in a rearranged game (yep, that one) at Ewood Park. They finished the season in 13th, two points above the relegation places, and Parkes’ work was done. Until the next time.
“Is the incident involving CSKA Sofia and Levski Sofia the first time a match has ever been delayed by a snowball fight?” wondered Nathan Fisher in 2014.
Nope, it was not. On 19 December 2010, Larissa fans took advantage of a rare snowfall in Greece to hurl icy missiles at Olympiakos’s Vasilis Torosidis. On the same day in Belgium, Anderlecht’s Jonathan Legear and Mbark Boussoufa came under heavy fire from Club Brugge fans, with the referee forced to take the players back to the dressing room for seven minutes before the game restarted. Anderlecht went on to beat their rivals 2-0, with Legear pelting his own fans in celebration, much to the displeasure of a Club Brugge steward who shoved the Belgian player. This is the footballer, remember, who caused £240,000 worth of damage by crashing his Porsche into a petrol station in 2012.
In 2012, the Dynamo Moscow striker Zvjezdan Misimovic received a suspended one-match league ban and a £1,300 fine for kicking snowballs at Spartak Moscow supporters during his warm-up, or “provocative acts that created a threat of starting disturbances in the stadium”, according to the Russian Football Union. Spartak fans responded in kind.
Can you help?
“A new play has a Gareth Southgate character,” begins Nick Williamson. “Which real-life football people have appeared most frequently in dramas or in fictional form?”
“After almost 30 years, Neil Warnock has returned to take over at Huddersfield. Has any manager had a longer gap between spells at the same club,” wonders Daniel Djan.
“Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benítez have both managed Everton, Napoli, Real Madrid and Chelsea. Is four teams a record between two managers or is there a duo who can beat that?” asks Darrien Bold.
“Loris Karius could make his Newcastle debut in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United. Ryan Bertrand famously made his European debut for Chelsea in the 2012 Champions League final – but are there any players who played their only game for a club in a cup final?” asks Sam Milne.
Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU.