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Why are England fans singing Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline?
8 July 2021, 10:56 | Updated: 8 July 2021, 12:20
After their monumental win against Denmark last night, England have secured their place in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
When Neil Diamond released Sweet Caroline in 1969, he likely had no idea it would be used by England football fans over 50 years later.
That said, it's not a song traditionally associated with the Three Lions.
While it has frequently been used by other sports teams around the world (you can learn more on that below), it's only recently been adopted by England fans.
Not only was it played after England's win against Germany, it was also blaring from the speakers after the team's triumph over Ukraine and again last night after Gareth Southgate's squad defeated Denmark.
Here's how it all began...
So, why are England fans singing Sweet Caroline after matches?
Thanks to Wembley DJ Tony Parry, Sweet Caroline has become somewhat of an anthem for the England team during the 2020 Euros.
Speaking of his decision to play the track after England v Germany, Parry said: “I was going to play Vindaloo, but went with my gut.
“Even the German fans were belting it out in the end. It’s a song that all fans can enjoy.
“The match director said in my in-ear: ‘The world’s been closed for 18 months… let ’em have it’.”
Ahead of yesterday's game against Denmark, Prince Charles also requested the Coldstream Guards Band play a rendition of both Three Lions and Sweet Caroline on the grounds of Clarence House, where he and the Duchess of Cornwall reside.
After the team's victory, players linked arms and danced to the song on the pitch, while fans sang along in the stands.
What are the lyrics to Sweet Caroline?
Where it began, I can't begin to knowing
But then I know it's growing strong
Was in the spring
And spring became the summer
Who'd have believed you'd come along
Hands, touching hands
Reaching out, touching me, touching you
Good times never seemed so good
I've been inclined
To believe they never would
But now I
Look at the night and it don't seem so lonely
We filled it up with only two
And when I hurt
Hurting runs off my shoulders
How can I hurt when holding you
One, touching one
Reaching out, touching me, touching you…
What other teams use the song?
As avid sports fans will know, it's not the first time the song has been used by fans; the Boston Red Sox baseball team has long been associated with Neil Diamond's hit. It's also frequently used by NFL team, the Carolina Panthers.
Closer to home, Chelsea and Aston Villa football teams often play the tune after wins.