Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You're going home in a chartered charabanc

This week I was fascinated to discover that one of the very first football anthems was written by no less a person than Sir Edward Elgar.

The song, called 'He Banged The Leather For Goal' was apparently written in honour of an 1890s striker, Billy Malpass, who played for Elgar's team Wolverhampton Wanderers. Elgar is known to have sometimes cycled 40 miles from Malvern in Worcestershire to see the team play. Elgar's support for the club stemmed from his admiration for Dora Penney, daughter of the Rector of Wolverhampton.

Wolves historian Graham Hughes said Elgar 'loved coming' to the area. 'He used to watch the crowd going down to the match,' he said. 'Then one Saturday he said he'd like to go down to the match, so he went and that's how it started.'

Of course, Elgar's 'Land of hope and glory' has also become something of an anthem for England as opposed to the UK national anthem.

Source: BBC News (with thanks to Chris Hale for making me aware of it).

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