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When Sport and Music Collide: The ten worst songs by athletes

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Manny Pacquiao - the Filipino Subo. Pic: Pat Roque/AP
Manny Pacquiao - the Filipino Subo.  Pic: Pat Roque/AP

Fame does funny things to a person.  For one, it convinces them - either through hangers-on or some weird chemical mix-up in the brain - that no matter what they're actually famous for, they can have a crack at being a singer.

Sportsmen and women - though mainly, it has to be said, men - are the worst.  The bargain bins of record stores across the world are littered with dusty CD cases and slightly unspooled cassettes featuring the sort of vocal stylings that would make most karaoke singers stop and say, 'Well, at least I'm not that bad."

Paring the list down is a challenge in itself.  There's so many to pick from - former England and Marseille footballer Chris Waddle's responsible for three all by himself after all - that this list can barely scratch the surface.  But, like Casey Kasem or Mark Goodier, let's count down the top 10.

10: World in Motion - New Order ft the 1990 England World Cup Squad

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love New Order.  Have done for years, even made pilgrimage to the block of flats that now stands on the site of the Hacienda.  It starts out as a slightly cheesy but still eminently likeable piece of late 80s electro-pop, and it looks like the England squad's appearance will be limited to pitch-corrected chants of 'Express Yourself' and some daft mugging to camera.  But then.. then THAT bit happens.  You know what bit I mean.  And you can never look at New Order in the same light again...

9: John Daly - I Found It

The notorious golfing bad boy has done many things in his time that have raised an eyebrow.  His battles with drink and drugs.  His many marriages.  Claiming to have blown as much as $60m (Dh220M) in gambling debts.  And then there was his album - I Only Know One Way, a predicably slice of bluegrass and country.  I Found It doesn't feature on the album, although it might as well.  Surprisingly, he doesn't cover Wild Thing either.

 

8: Manny Pacquiao - Sometimes When We Touch

Manny Pacquiao is many things.  A fantastic boxer.  A great humanitarian.  Susan Boyle, however, he isn't.  Even allowing for the fact he's singing in his second language, this is still pretty torturous to listen to.

 

7: Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle - It's Goodbye

Everyone knows about the horror show that was Diamond Lights, one of the most earnestly-performed bad songs in history. But the follow up single It's Goodbye gets a lot less attention - largely because it was withdrawn after Glenn Hoddle signed for Monaco and scuppered any chance of promoting it. The video was released onto YouTube last year for the first time. Monaco's gain was the top 40's... well, gain, too.

 

6: Shaquille O'Neal - (I Know I Got) Skillz

Maybe at basketball, son.  Not at rapping.

 

5: Kevin Keegan - Head Over Heels In Love

What is it with the Germans and singers with big bubble perms?  They kept Hasselhoff going for years, and before then somehow contrived to get the former England and Liverpool star's singing career into the top 10 in West Germany.  Head Over Heels, a collaboration with Smokie's Chris Norman, only charted at 31 in the UK.  The follow up, thankfully, sank without trace.

 

4: The 1986 New York Mets team - Get Metsmerized!

Novelty songs by cup final teams had been a stable worrier of the middle reaches in the UK top 40 for years (more of which later) but as always it takes the Americans to show everyone how it's done.  Horrible cod-rapping over some early 1980s beats (shame this is 1986).  "Dwight's my name/what can I say?"  How about as little as possible, Dwight?  Cheers...

 

3: Chris Waddle and Basile Boli - We've Got A Feeling

It's that man again... after his move to Marseille, someone had the bright idea of pairing Waddle with defender Basile Boli to record this - which, long before Joey Barton started impersonating Officer Crabtree in press conferences, Waddle puts on a comedy French accent which, on top of his Geordie one, makes for some truly distinctive vocals.  Boli, meanwhile, just looks terrifying in the video.  A year later he'd headbutt Stuart Pearce while playing for France v England in Euro 92 - still only the second most painful thing he's ever done with an England footballer...

 

2: Deion Sanders - Must Be The Money

Many people regard autotune as the bane of modern music.  And then this comes along, an ode to himself by the NFL hall of famer, and you wish someone had run it through pitch correction once he'd left the studio.  A case of more money than sense.  Or talent.  At times, he sounds like he needs his adenoids done.  Still, big Deion's laughing all the way to the bank these days...

And your number one is...

1: The 1988 Liverpool Team - Anfield Rap

Well.  What else could it be?

Former Aussie footballer Craig Johnston has had some remarkable ideas in his time.  The Predator boot.  The automated hotel minibar. But the Anfield Rap is not one of them.  Not even close.  For a start, it inspired John Barnes to think he could rap (he can't).  Nor, come to think of it, could anyone involved in the song, which is also heavily influenced by the previous year's Beastie Boys track Fight For Your Right.

Incredibly, this song made it to number 3 in the UK charts.  It didn't inspire Liverpool to success though - they got beat by the Crazy Gang of Wimbledon 1-0.  There's karma for you...

Disagree with our picks?  Or have we missed any off that you think should be in our hall of shame?  Let us know below or @SprtNationalUAE