Belfast Telegraph

Video: Northern Ireland Euro 2016 anthem - Liam Beckett, Pete Snodden and Ruth Gorman join recording session

By Allan Preston

A new anthem for Northern Ireland football fans to belt out from French terraces during the European Championships is a step closer - thanks to some celebrity supporters.

Cool FM DJ Pete Snodden, UTV sports presenter Ruth Gorman and former footballer and sports pundit Liam Beckett lent their voices to yesterday's recording session.

The Belfast Telegraph can now exclusively reveal that the unofficial anthem has been dubbed On Our Way To France, by Oui, Norn Iron & Guests.

Inside a countryside recording studio outside Ballynahinch, there was barely room to move as fans and well-known faces got into the Euro 2016 spirit.

With a choir of football fans arm in arm and teasing each other in between takes, it's hoped the raucous new tune will capture the excitement of the supporters making the trip to France to see their team take on Poland, Ukraine and world champions Germany.

Liam Beckett was front and centre for the recording, and while he liked the tune, he had also joked about having a number of reservations regarding the singing talents of his peers. "I think it's been fabulous," he said.

"I'm a Northern Ireland fan and I always was a Northern Ireland fan, so to be part of their new song is great.

"We got into the swing of it after a couple of takes."

And he laughed: "Ruth Gorman struggled a bit, but we got her on key. Snodden was hopeless, by the way."

At one point he suggested Pete would be of more use leaving the recording and looking after the cows outside.

Taking the pointers on board, DJ Pete replied: "To be honest, Liam Beckett is the closest thing I'm going to get to meeting Simon Cowell, very scathing at times but I take it with good humour.

"If we qualify for the World Cup and another song comes along, I'll really have to up my game for that."

Making her singing debut was sports reporter Ruth.

"This was a very new experience for me," she said.

"I'm not known for my singing voice, so to be invited along to this was a nice surprise.

"I didn't really know what to expect.

"We're in the lovely studio here in the middle of nowhere. I drove through a lot of potholes to get here and thought I was in the wrong place.

"Mr Beckett and Mr Snodden got me up to speed really quickly on the lyrics, so it's really great fun.

"It's a great incentive as well, with Tiny Life the charity that all the proceeds go to."

On Our Way To France was penned by Hillsborough songwriter Vincent Soye, who also wrote the 1986 World Cup anthem Come on Northern Ireland. with his late brother Maurice.

"It's great to see everyone chiming in there," he said.

"They've all done very well.

"It's a bit of a change from last time.

"Liam Beckett, he's a geg isn't he, he puts some energy and life into it."

It's hoped the song will be released in the coming weeks.

The next step is a music video which is being filmed by students from Belfast Metropolitan College.

Warren Currie, who helped to organise the project, said he thought yesterday's recording captured the magic of Northern Ireland qualifying for their first major competition since the 1986 Mexico World Cup.

"I think it just sums up what you hear at Windsor Park, when the fans are there and it's good craic, which I think is sometimes missing from football songs. But I definitely think you could see everyone getting into it there."

Belfast Telegraph


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