David Baddiel: How England’s victory ended “a huge story arc” for Three Lions

David Baddiel said England’s Euro 2020 victory over Germany looked like the conclusion of a “huge story arc” for his Three Lions anthem.

The actor, 57, recorded the track with Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds for the Euro 1996 tournament, where England were eliminated in the semi-finals by Germany.

On Tuesday night, Three Lions was sung by fans at Wembley as Gareth Southgate’s side took the win over former rivals with second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.

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Ian Broudie of Lightning Seeds and comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel (PA)

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Ian Broudie of Lightning Seeds and comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel (PA)

Baddiel, who was in the crowd with Skinner, said today on BBC Radio 4: “It’s like it’s a huge story arc for me and Frank Skinner and for our song because of course we were there- low in 1996 when Germany destroyed the dream that summer.

“And we’ve actually been together in other England and Germany games that England crashed into in major tournaments.

“So it was just amazing to think we could win this one. At the start of the game I was tense for quite a long time, until Jack Grealish came in and changed the game.”

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England manager Gareth Southgate celebrates (Mike Egerton / PA)


England manager Gareth Southgate celebrates (Mike Egerton / PA)

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England manager Gareth Southgate celebrates (Mike Egerton / PA)

Baddiel said Sterling’s second-half goal had left him “blind with joy”.

He said, “It’s one of those times where – I was there with my son and Frank and Frank’s son – and then everyone around us is just blind with joy for a little while.

“You can’t think of anything other than the euphoria you are feeling right now. “

Baddiel said the victory could offer a redemption for the ex-Southgate player, after missing a decisive penalty against Germany in the Euro 96 game.

He said: “Probably somewhere deep in Gareth Southgate’s subconscious, it is.

“He did an interview the other day where he said,” I’m not interested in talking about the past and some of the players weren’t even born when this game was played. “

“And there were no penalties. Since this is the German side, I think it would have been nearly impossible for everyone in the crowd who remembers it not to think, ‘Oh no, is that going to be it? Is this going to be the Southgate moment? ‘”

Writing in the Evening Standard, Baddiel explained how he and Skinner wanted to write a song about fan passion and England’s tendency to lose important games.

He said: “Three Lions is a song about loss: about England losing mostly. We, as fans – as Englishmen – invest heavily in the idea of ​​England and then, as experience suggests, England lets you down.

“We know it and yet, as version 98 says, we still believe. Football fandom, that’s it, it’s a magical thought, it’s hope rather than experience.

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