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In 1991/92 FA Women’s Premier League side Doncaster Rovers Belles won the Women’s FA Cup and the national league without losing a single game. The men’s side (who should be Doncaster Rovers Garcons) cannot boast of similar success – they have never won the top division or the FA Cup.
That means that while the men’s side has never had the opportunity to release an FA Cup final song, the Belles did, recording ‘Northern Pride’, the first ever female FA Cup song in 1992.
The song includes a lengthy rap, boasting about the squad and their achievements. The Belles sing the chorus in a manner which one local paper described as “subtle and delicate” and which the composer of the song, Mark Morris, described as “very powerful when they all pile in”. Which isn’t a compliment – no one wants their singing compared to a rugby scrum.
‘Northern Pride’ is not the only musical achievement from Doncaster. Doncaster Rovers fan John Parr is better known as a singer whose greatest hit was the 1985 US number one single ‘St Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)’.
The song ‘St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)’ appeared on the soundtrack of the film of the same name. But it was not inspired by the film, instead the song tells the story of Canadian athlete Rick Hansen.
Rick was 15 when he was paralysed from the waist down. After he was injured he excelled at wheelchair sports, especially long distance races, winning 19 international wheelchair marathons. To raise money for Spinal Injury research Rick set out to circle the world in his wheel chair. It was a journey of 26-months and 40,000 km through 34 countries and he successfully raised $26 million. The lyrics in the song reflect his journey.
“Soon be home, only just a few miles down the road
I can make it, I know, I can
You broke the boy in me but you won’t break the man”
Despite the success of the song it never appeared on a John Parr album, only on the official soundtrack. Another song which doesn’t feature on any of his official albums is ‘Walking Out Of Darkness’, which he recorded in 2007 especially for Doncaster Rovers. Unlike ‘St Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)’, ‘Walking Out Of Darkness’ has never been number one in the US charts.
John was inspired to write the song when Doncaster Rovers reached the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. He wanted to tell the story of the club and how they had transformed themselves. Only a few years earlier they had almost been relegated from the conference league but now had a final and a brand new stadium.
“Put your hands in the air
Can’t you see their running scared
I can feel it
I can taste it
Walking out of the darkness
Into the light
The future is bright”
The B-side to the song is called ‘Dream On’ and is a tribute to Doncaster Rover’s greatest player – Alick Jeffrey.
Alick was a young player who was described by Jackie Milburn, the former Newcastle United and England forward as: “This boy has everything. He is by far the best youngster I have ever seen”. Unfortunately a bad leg break in an England International game when he was 17 curtailed his talent. He went onto play for Rovers but never reached the heights of the game that he should have. The street next to the stadium is named in his honour – Alick Jeffrey Way.
‘Walking Out Of The Darkness’ is played at every home game when the team walks onto the pitch. Ironically, the tunnel is very well lit.
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About the Author
After too many years as season ticket holder at Parkhead, Andy Todd renounced the SPL three years ago to support Queens Park. One team is a rank bunch of amateurs who play in a state of the art stadium and the other is…(I think we can all see where this is going).
Andy has been performing comedy for 18 months but is currently ‘between gigs’ while he writes a book on Scottish property law to be published in Summer 2012. Its potential audience will be less than 300 but his mum will be very proud.
Follow Andy on Twitter: @toddandy
Check out Andy’s website: www.toddandy.com