John Peel - Football and Music

A slight self indulgence with this podcast…

I am taking this opportunity to cross post and promote my other gig at Keeping It Peel.

The subject as you can see is two things which were a passion of John Peel and also of mine.
I did a football and Peelie podcast a few years ago, but there is still lots more material to explore with these subjects.

Today’s sub category then is bands named after football players or teams that John Peel played on his show.

This pod was inspired by the John Peel wiki ( and specifically the Football page in which I was given the task of finding the references to teams/players which led me to compiling this playlist.

As mentioned it is cross posted and this version will concentrate more about the football players/teams the bands named themselves after. Keeping It Peel highlight the band biography part.

An additional thank you to @LippyKidMusic who has some music you should hear.


  1. From the 19th March 1990 – The pod begins with the last item on a news update and Peel’s reaction, he then mentions about seeing the best own goal he’s ever seen scored by Ronnie Whelan (Match report)
  2. Kempes – Hightime Perfection Dude (27th January 2004)
    Before he plays the song, John complains that someone has stolen his headphones. Again. Uncertain if this note he posted relates to the same incident.   Dutch band named after the footballer Mario Kempes, they released one E.P. in 2003.
  3. Arsenal – Little Hitlers (17th October 1990)
    This was an American band with the former Big Black guitarist Santiago Durango. Probably didn’t name themselves after the football team.
  4. Saint Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart – A Mix Of Two Halves (3rd July 1990)
    Peel wrongly introduces the song as the Official Saint Etienne World Cup Theme, which was actually the B side of the 12″ single.
  5. Bocca Juniors – Raise – 63 Steps To Heaven (26th July 1990)
    They were a Terry Farley, Andrew Weatherall, Pete Heller and Hugo Nicolson co-production, the name was in-joke and play on words on the football team.
  6. Salako – My Booroo Clow (Peel Session) – show broadcasted from Peel Acres (3rd February 1999)
    The band were named after the Crystal Palace player, the lead singer Luke Barwell now records under the name Bitmap.
  7. Red Star Belgrade – Too Far (23rd July 1981)
    Band originally from Great Yarmouth, named themselves after the Serbian team. This is a very old and muffled recording we’ve tried to clean up. There is a more up to date version on You Tube.
  8. Van Basten – King Of Death Posture (Number 38 in the Festive Fifty – 29th December 1995)
    Mid 1990’s prog/acid trio from Milton Keynes who named themselves after the Dutch striker.
  9. a) Roxy Music – Over You
    b) Lorimer – Over You (6th March 2002)
    A band from Leeds named themselves after the Leeds United player .
  10. Salako – Don’t Be Afraid (Peel Session) 3rd February 1999
    See note above.
  11. “I don’t know whether you are interested in football, certainly should be really….sometimes I think that football is the only thing that holds the fabric of society together.”
  12. Lofthouse – Hypnotise (25th April 1992)
    They are a 5 piece indie/rock band from Bolton who are still going Named themselves after the legendary Bolton Wanderers player .
  13. Accrington Stanley – High Rise (3rd February 1991)
    As mentioned by Peel before the track this band come from Southampton.
  14. John talks to his wife on the phone about the Ipswich v Everton match (played on 30th October 1993) Match details
  15. Pele – Testosterina (15th April 1994)
    Liverpool band obviously named after the footballer. The lead singer went on to form Amsterdam and write one of Peel’s favourite songs Does This Train Stop On Merseyside.
    Pelé – the player himself – likes to sing
  16. Boa Morte – Clarence White (5th June 2003)
    As Peel says in the introduction, they are from Cork, Ireland and are still going. The band named themselves after the Portugese winger.
  17. Johnny Cobnut – Ipswich Football Calypso
    Another mention for Ipswich Town – John plays this after the poor performance from the team that evening (30th October 1993). Since he lived near to Ipswich he went to watch a few of their matches.
  18. Ian Rush – Dal Heb Fy Nal (29th May 1993)
    They were a Welsh-language indie band from Mold, North Wales – see the entry on Peel Wiki.
    John got to interview the player himself on Chain Reaction
  19. Albert Whelan – Pass! Shoot!! Goal!!!
    Taken from Pig’s Big 78 which were old 78rpm records which Sheila, John’s wife would pick out for him to play on the show. This was released in 1931 and was actually the B side of the record.   Additionally: It was also recorded by Rochdale’s very own Gracie Fields and again it was on the B Side. (Audio).

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