Sir Edward Elgar penned world’s first football chant

September 27th, 2010 - 2:52 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sept 27 (ANI): Late British composer Sir Edward Elgar, who is well known for his classical music, was the one who penned the world’s first football chant.

Elgar, who composed ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, composed ‘He Banged The Leather for Goal’ more than 100 years ago in honour of his beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers.

He became a football fan in February 1898, when he was in the crowd at Molineux for a game between Wolves and Stoke City, two of the founder members of the Football League.

Elgar was inspired enough by rugged striker Billy Malpass, and newspaper headlines reporting about the way he “Banged The Leather for Goal”, to put the lyric to a short piece of piano music.

There is no evidence if the tune was ever played during his lifetime, but on September 26 it got its first-ever known public performance at a charity concert in the city.

The choirs of St Peter’s Collegiate Church, under the baton of Wolverhampton Symphony Orchestra conductor Peter Morris, sang the chant at a concert to raise money for the church’s organ restoration fund.

Former England women’s cricket captain Rachel Heyhoe-Flint - now a director at Wolverhampton Wanderers - helped to organise the concert.

“Over the years we have learned more and more about Elgar’s association with the club, and we’re very proud to have counted him as a supporter,” the Telegraph quoted her as saying.

“This was the first live rendition of He Banged The Leather For Goal.

‘The song was discovered by Dr Percy Young, who was the club historian back in the 1940s and 1950s, and was an expert on Elgar.

“Personally I’m delighted about this, I’ve been a Wolves fan since I visited Molineux in nappies back in the 50s, so I’m very happy that we’re celebrating our heritage in this way,” she added. (ANI)

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