World Cup Willie (Lonnie Donegan)

11 JULY 1966

The 1966 World Cup finals opened as England played out a 0-0 draw with Uruguay at Wembley. The theme song for the Finals, ‘World Cup Willie’ by fading skiffle star Lonnie Donegan (a Scotsman, no less), had rather strangely been released an entire seven months earlier, and it failed to even break the Top 100 in the UK charts.

This is hardly surprising, as the style of the sing was heavily dated and the lame lyrics - in awestruck praise of the World Cup mascot ‘Willie’ (a lion) - spoke of him being
‘Dressed in red, white and blue, he's World Cup Willie
We all love him too, World Cup Willie
He's tough as a lion and never will give up
That's why Willie is fav'rite for the Cup’.
A shame, as Lonnie played a massive part in early British rock history and deserved better material than this.

B-side. 'Where In This World Are We Going?'
Length. 2:39 
Label. Pye Records ‎– 7N 15993
Producer. Tony Hatch

World Cup Willie (Lonnie Donegan)