You’ll Never Walk Alone! (by Gary Watton)


Flags_CelebrateI was amazed on my internet travels to discover that Chelsea supporters used to sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in bygone days. Check out the following two YouTube links.

Exhibit one: Notice how at 1:44 the Chelsea faithful have scarves aloft whilst chanting YNWA in the 1970 FA Cup semi- final trouncing of Watford on the beach of White Hart Lane!

Exhibit two: Listen out at around 2:56 for about twenty seconds. This London derby took place on Boxing Day 1981, so presumably YNWA survived into the 1980s. [Oh and that was a great goal from Mayes at the end. We soaked up pressure and hit them with two late sucker punches, back in the days when we were loveable underdogs, even against QPR!]

I started attending Stamford Bridge in March 1994 and I have never heard such an anthem sang by the Blues faithful, so the question that I would like to put out there to longstanding Chelsea followers is when did we ditch this tune from our terraces’ repertoire? My guess is that either the song just petered out in the ‘eighties, or more particularly Chelsea fans elbowed the sing-along after the Heysel disaster in 1985. What makes me think that? Well, I seem to recall that a number of silly Scousers or their media apologists were mischievously suggesting that the violence at Heysel was partially caused by Chelsea Headhunters! Quite why Chelsea ‘supporters’ would be attending a Liverpool European Cup final is beyond my comprehension. Anyhow, YNWA is admittedly a great, passionate song, and I think that it’s a pity that we let it go. Mind you, we could always revive it and edit the lyrics to the following:

“Walk on, walk on, walk on, walk onnnnn

With no hope in your heart

And you’ll never win the Premiership

You’ll nayyyver win the Premiership”

I’d be interested to hear from any of the pre-prawn sandwich brigade, some of the die-hards of bygone decades when they recall YNWA and when they reckon it went out of circulation in west London.

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4 thoughts on “You’ll Never Walk Alone! (by Gary Watton)

  • Peter Collins

    I”m always telling people this, but even older ones deny it: when I first started going to football in the 70s, most sets of fans had this song in their repertoire. It was just a football song, not a Liverpool-specific one.

  • Tony Davis

    I always wondered why my older brother used to love it as a football anthem… But I am led to believe that Chelsea were the first to sing it. This was due to the fact that we are the closest to the west end and if somehow permeated from the musical Caroussel to the terraces at The Bridge. A google search will throw up claims of Celtic and Manchester United as the first, but the story that we did, seems more plausible.


  • Hilary Edwards

    I started going in the late 60s and I certainly remember it being sung from then to the mid 70s at least – I moved away from London then so didn’t go for quite a few years

  • Thank you Peter and Tony for shedding more light on YNWA.

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