Composers who loved football: a comprehensive XI

Composers who loved football: a comprehensive XI


norman lebrecht

October 25, 2017

The composer James MacMillan feels an empathy with others in his vocation who cannot stay off the pitch.

Did you know, for instance, that Edward Elgar was ‘mad about Wolverhampton Wanderers’ or that a living Finnish composer is obsessed by Everton (poor chap).

Read the full lineup in this month’s Standpoint.


  • Step Parikian says:

    Comprehesive? Partial, more like..
    Add Graham Firkin for starters

  • Jean says:

    One composer missing is Kalevi Aho. He has written an anthem for the FC Lahti football club.

  • John Borstlap says:


  • Chris says:

    There’s a work by Enrico Chapela from 2003 called Inguesu that details a 1999 match between Mexico and Brazil. The winds and percussion each represent a player (i.e. Trumpet 1 is Ronaldhino). Towards the end of the work, the conductor give a red card to the bass trombone player.

  • Frederick West says:

    And let’s not overlook David Golightly’s Middlesbrough Symphony.

  • Frederick West says:

    I believe that part of Ronald Binge’s Saturday Symphony is a reference to a football match. I’d get out more but I’m waiting for my cup final tickets to arrive:)