Why All Your English Mates Keep Telling You That Football’s Coming Home

Reports indicate that it's coming home

Rudi Edsall

10 December 2018

Rudi Edsall

Article heading image for Why All Your English Mates Keep Telling You That Football’s Coming Home

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If you’ve come into even incidental contact with an English person in the last few weeks, they will have made one thing painfully clear to you: football’s coming home.

It’s a sentiment that’s impossible to escape, but what the hell are they talking about?

It’s not hard to figure out that it’s World Cup related, but the origins of the saying actually go back over 20 years.

The line comes from a song called Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) performed by comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, and Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds in 1996 to mark the European Championships that were being held in England that year.

The song tapped into the Britpop phenomenon that was massive at the time, and is an anthem that both acknowledges the history of the England team and yearns for future success.

It starts with clips of pundits writing off the Poms, and acknowledges how long it had been at the time since England had achieved real success (“30 years of hurt”, referring to the 1966 World Cup victory.

It then switches to reminiscing about famous England moments, and saying that it could all come back again.

The song became a massive smash to the point that even rival teams jumped on board it, with Germany’s players singing it on the way to the stadium themselves.

It was such a success that another version of it was recorded for the 1998 World Cup, called 3 Lions ’98.

They changed the lyrics to reflect the England squad as it was at the time, and the new version was just as popular.

With the resurgence of the English team in the World Cup in Russia, the song has come smashing back into relevance as England fans start to believe.

Even Buckingham Palace has been in on it:


The public has jumped on board, with spontaneous renditions of the song stopping traffic:



Naturally, the memes have been rolling in:


So whether or not it actually comes home, the English team have captured the public’s attention, even as far away as here in Australia.

Plus, if it doesn't come home, how funny will it be to see them lose after all this excitement?

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