Musical Premier League Players

The number or musicians in English football has sadly been dwindling for some time. The glory days of footballers with music careers was before the Premier League with: Kevin Keegan (Head Over Heels In Love) [1] Glen Hoddle and Chris Waddle (Diamond Lights) [2] and Paul Gascoigne (Fog on the Tyne) [3]. But, can Stoke City’s new signing Jesé have the first hit single since Andy Cole (Outstanding) [4] in 1999? Here are a few Premier League stars who are also musicians:

Jesé (Jey M) – Stoke City

Stoke City signing Jesé on loan for the 2017-18 season seems like something of a coup for the Staffordshire club. The PSG winger came up through the ranks at Real Madrid and has an undoubted pedigree. However, off the pitch he is also experiencing mild success as a singer/rapper.

In 2014 he started a Reggaeton group called Big Flow but left in 2015 to pursue a solo career as Jey M. His first single Yo Sabia (I Knew) has over 30 million views on YouTube. I assume though this is due to his ability as a footballer because it’s pretty rubbish. Jesé nasally struggles his way through lyrics such as: “I am for you. I am going to give you pleasure.” Calm down pal.

The video itself ticks every rap cliché possible with scantily clad women, super cars and champagne. Unfortunately, Jesé is joined by three other rappers and the group end up looking like a Latino Jersey Shore spin off. But, with Spanish-language Despacito currently ruling the world maybe there is still a chance for Jey M.

Leroy Fer (Lerra F) – Norwich City, QPR and Swansea City

Dutch midfielder Leroy Fer has long been established a bit of character. In 2012 he bought his girlfriend a pet horse only to find out she couldn’t keep it as she was living in a flat [5]. Though when he’s not being a dozy mare, or playing football, the Swansea player likes to rap.

Misgunners is a collaboration with former Premier League players Ryan Babel (Rio) and Vurnon Anita (JR). After Babel and Anita have both had a turn, Fer announces himself about three minutes in: “Yeah! Lerra F is in the building! Football remains number one.” Always good to see footballers mention football in the songs they sing. Lerra F then goes on to say: “Bloggers have nothing on me so mount your keyboard”. That’s me told then.

Petr Cech – Chelsea and Arsenal

Drumming and goalkeeping seem to go together very well. Adidas have released an advert starring Manchester United’s David De Gea on drums [6] but he is yet to match Petr Cech. The Premier League legend has been uploading drum covers on his YouTube channel since 2014 [7]. His 38,000 subscribers have been treated to versions of Foo Fighters, Coldplay and even Rihanna.

Above, Cech is performing a cover of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit on an outside stage in his home country of the Czech Republic. He has yet to release any music of his own though. What seemingly began as a hobby he was passionate about has probably become a helpful way of taking out his frustration after he’s just played with Rob Holding.

Slaven Bilic – West Ham and Everton

Slaven Bilic is better known as a manager these days but in the 1990s the Croatian had a decent career as a player. He played for Hajduk Split, Karlsruher, Everton and West Ham United – who he now manages. He also got 44 caps for his country and, after retiring, was Croatia manager from 2006 to 2012.

In Euro 2008 Bilic then had a fairly unique idea where he and his band Rawbau recorded an unofficial anthem for the team. Vatreno Ludilo (Fiery Madness) is a rock tribute to Croatia’s performance at World Cup 1998. A Balkan Three Lions. After a few ohs at the start the singer starts listing teams they beat – Japan, Netherlands, Romania and Germany. The nationalistic pride remains throughout.

The video is quite wonderful. It takes place on a roof – as if they are the next Beatles or U2. Unfortunately, not many people are watching. The fashion is right out the 2000s – with all of them apart from Bilic wearing a white long sleeve undershirt. The song didn’t inspire the team Euro 2008 glory as they went out to Turkey on penalties in the quarter-finals.

Youri Djorkaeff (Youri) – Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers

Youri Djorkaeff was always known to be a creative player.  The French World Cup winner showed his flair to the Premier League in the early-2000s in a wonderful Bolton team that also had Jay Jay Okocha. But, Sam Allardyce can’t have been a fan of Djorkaeff’s pop career.

Two years before joining Bolton, in 2000, ‘Youri’ released Vivre dans ta Lumiere (Living in your Light). The song is the epitome of euro-trash. Youri raps over a beat that sounds like a Black Box album track. The lyrics include: “Fragile as blotting paper, wet by your tears that fall in my heart like a sacred rose.”

The video is dramatic as well. The French midfielder gyrates around a black room while two dancers writhe alongside him. It is seemingly supposed to be sexy but ends up looking more like Take That’s embarrassing early phase [8]. He is yet to release a follow up single.

Ian Wright – Arsenal and West Ham

Ian Wright is a man of infectious charisma. The Arsenal legend has been a regular on TV screens since retiring from playing in 2000 and his enthusiasm is well known. However, this charisma certainly did not transfer to the music scene.

Wrighty has never looked as uncomfortable as he does in the video to his 1993 smash Do The Right Thing – a terrible pun. Perhaps its because he’s wearing a diabolical hat, or because his jumper is ridiculous, but he certainly doesn’t look like he’s doing the song out of choice.

It’s a shame because the video is brilliant. It starts with a fist bump – just to show you how cool they are. There’s then some kids playing football. But, the best bit is about two-and-a-half minutes in when Wright sits down and starts talking to the kids in black and white. The kids nod along in unison as he says: “If you’ve nothing to say just keep the peace.” The song reached number 43 on the UKTop40 [9].

Have any quality Premier League musicians been missed? Let me know.


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