Sing When You’re Winning 2 – “Give Him A Ball (And A Yard Of Grass)” by The Sultans Of Ping FC

Sing When You’re Winning 2 – “Give Him A Ball (And A Yard Of Grass)” by The Sultans Of Ping FC

“Sing When You’re Winning” is our look at some of our favourite football related songs.

Whether that means songs by proper bands about football, songs by themed bands about football, or songs by teams and players about themselves, you’ll find them all here. (If you missed part one, then you’ll find it HERE)

We continue the series with a song by an Irish band we’ve seen countless times live over the years – The Sultans Of Ping.

The Sultans Of Ping FC (as they were first known, before dropping the FC, then the ‘Of Ping’, before adding that back in again) came from Cork and were around the first time from 1988 till 1996, before taking ten years or so off and reforming for the occasional gig here and there and even some new material.

The band were big football fans and drummer Morty McCarthy was editor of the Cork City fanzine “No More Plastic Pitches”, a fact which got us talking to him a lot at the Sultans’ gigs when he was often manning the merchandise stall before/after they went on. They even gave away free football cards of themselves with their “U Talk 2 Much” CD single.

Their first album, “Casual Sex In The Cineplex” had a few football themed lyrics scattered through it (and I’m sure another song or two will feature in this section as we go on).

None more so than “Give Him A Ball (And A Yard Of Grass)”.

The song is a tribute to the legendary Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough and is named from a quote he gave about his Scottish left winger John Robertson.

“John Robertson was a very unattractive young man. If one day I was feeling a bit off colour, I would sit next to him. I was bloody Errol Flynn compared to him. But give him a yard of grass and he was an artist. The Picasso of our game.”

The song was given away as a promotional flexi disc by the band (and possibly with a Forest fanzine at the time) and subsequently featured as track seven on their debut album.

Not only is the song named after a Clough quote, it’s also full of other gems inspired from Cloughie quotes from over the years and carries some messages I’m sure we can all relate to.

Here’s a video of the audio of the song from the album, with the lyrics below so you can sing along!

And as a bonus, there’s also a live version of the song from 2008. It’s more distorted, but you get to see just what a showman lead singer Niall is!

Enjoy!

Give him a ball and a yard of grass
He’ll give you a move with a perfect pass
Give him a ball and a yard of space
He’ll give you a move with godly grace

ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta

He’s a nice young man, with a lovely smile
He’s a nice young man, with a lovely smile
He’s a nice young man, with a lovely smile
He’s a nice young man, with a lovely smile
Scout him out

Give him a ball and a yard of grass
He’ll give you a move with a perfect pass
Give him a ball and a yard of space
He’ll give you a move with godly grace

A man can have no greater love
Than give 90 minutes to his friends
A man can have no greater love
Than give 90 minutes to his friends
A man can have no greater love
Than give 90 minutes to his friends
A man can have no greater love
Than give 90 minutes to his friends (ace)

Give him a ball and a yard of grass
He’ll give you a move with a perfect pass
Give him a ball and a yard of space
He’ll give you a move with godly grace

If god meant the game to be played up there
He would’ve built goal posts in the air
If god meant the game to be played up there
He would’ve built goal posts in the air

If god meant the game to be played up high
He would’ve built pitches in the sky
If god meant the game to be played up high
He would’ve built pitches in the sky (die)

A man can have no greater love
Than give 90 minutes to his friends
A man can have no greater love
Than give 90 minutes to his friends
A man can have no greater love
Than give 90 minutes to his friends
A man can have no greater love
Than give 90 minutes to his friends (ace)

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Authored by: Michael McColl

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  1. Pingback: Sing When You’re Winning 3 – Love v Hate On The Terraces | AFTN

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