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Who Are Ya? By Gershon Portnoi

Release date: 27th October, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

List Price: 9.99
Our Price: 5.89
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Who Are Ya?
By Gershon Portnoi

When it comes to delivering a steady flow of chants and singalong songs, the wit and originality of football fans is well-documented. While some tunes become established classics and thunder down the terraces for years, perhaps the most innovative are those created in an instant, a musical riposte to an opposing player's (or his team's) misfortune.

In this perfect, laugh-out-loud Christmas stocking filler (though not for the easily offended) author Gershon Portnoi even devotes a very short chapter to the 'evolution of the football chant'. While less than highbrow (thank goodness) he does quote former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion who refers to the football chant as "an aspect of poetry".

Portnoi selects several club anthems, many of which have been around for decades. The words to Newcastle's Blaydon Races, Stoke City's Delilah, Liverpool's You'll Never Walk Alone and Manchester City's Blue Moon are reproduced so that readers need never wonder what fans are singing the next time they're heard on the box.

Helpfully, the author has also added a section which provides us with the names of the original songs before they were modified by armies of supporters keen to sing their collective heads off.

While anthems and their tunes are an integral part of British football, it is fans' spontaneity that is most admirable. Who could fail to laugh at West Brom supporters who, when a Hull City supporter went onto the KC Stadium pitch at half time to propose to his girlfriend, chanted "You don't know what you're doing", a cry normally reserved for officialdom?

For my money, one of the best in this amusing little book was sung by Chelsea supporters (to the tune of Go West) when they entertained Galatasaray in a Champions League fixture at Stamford Bridge.

"You're shish,
And you know you are!"

Priceless,. And I'm not even a Chelsea fan


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