Last season was like no other for football fans. Watching from the television just wasn’t the same; as even artificial crowd noise couldn’t fill the void of emptiness. But on the 11th of June, the beautiful game returned – and so did the fans. When we think of the sounds of football, we think commentary, but in truth, football is nothing without supporters in the stands. The authentic crowd sound is back, and it’s never sounded so good.
To add to the euphoria, there’s a possibility football may finally be coming home this summer. Sound familiar? On the street, in the pubs and on the radio, Baddiel and Skinner’s song is being belted out louder than ever, 25 years on from its release date. But when we turn on our televisions, supporters are spurred on by the sounds of a Frenchman. Last week, ahead of England’s knockout match vs Germany, the BBC’s official theme song ‘Force Majeure’ by artist Gaspard Augé, set the tone for the action ahead. Augé describes his music as having “a kind of survivor feel to it, something very epic, like when something is about to happen” – and the soundtrack worked perfectly in building anticipation for the on-field drama.
However, at full time, a very different song sparked wild Wembley celebrations. Manager Gareth Southgate proclaimed “You can’t beat a bit of Sweet Caroline,” and it seemed 40,000 fans agreed as they roared the lyrics out to leave England Captain Harry Kane speechless.
With the final on Sunday, no one knows what twists and turns lie around the corner, but one thing’s for certain: the sights and sounds will be spectacular. Music and football continue to offer an escape from everyday life, and after a difficult year for everyone, the relationship between the two has never been stronger.