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Monday, 18 March, 2002, 14:18 GMT
Football's most tuneful fans
Bolton's fans were deemed the worst singers
Southampton have pipped Manchester United to the league title - for the quality of their fans' singing.

Are Saints fans all they are cracked up to be?


Professor David Howard, from the University of York, studied recordings of crowds singing at every Premiership club.

  Singing League
1. Southampton
2. Man Utd
3. Derby County
4. Newcastle
5. Liverpool
6. Charlton
7. Blackburn Rovers
8. West Ham United
9. Everton
10. Leicester City
11. Chelsea
12. Sunderland
13. Arsenal
14. Middlesbrough
15. Ipswich Town
16. Leeds United
17. Fulham
18. Aston Villa
19. Tottenham
20. Bolton Wands

He concluded that Southampton's fans are the most tuneful, while Bolton's apparently tone-deaf fans languish at the foot of the table.

The report is bound to upset fans across the country previously convinced they could belt out a tune with the best of them.

Are Saints fans really such angelic warblers? Or send us your favourite songs.


Well done Southampon. To be honest I do not see what the fuss is about. So they outsing Man's not exactly hard is it? It's nice to see one of the smaller clubs getting some praise.
Bea, England

Coming from Scotland, I have to disagree with the lot of you - Hearts fans make the most noise in the UK - FACT (anyone who watched HMFC vs Stuttgart will testify to that!)
Stevie, Scotland

Those people saying Highbury is dull should think again. Anyway, our ground holds approximately 38,000. Compare that with Old Trafford's capacity and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to deduce that they are bound to make more noise at OT.
Mitesh Shah, UK

What about lower league teams? Plymouth's fans make some of the most noise.
Jamie Fadge, UK

I had to laugh at the Arsenal fan who said nowhere could produce as much noise as Highbury
Palin, UK

13th is about right for Arsenal, with Highbury well known as the Library, quiet please. '1- 0 to the Arsenal' doesn't really make them good tunesters.
Seamus Wilkinson, Ireland

They should use this in the Champions league instead of the current system for determining positions for teams on equal points. It certainly makes more sense, and more people would be able to work out who will qualify from Liverpool and Arsenal's groups this week!
Nick, England

I had to laugh at the Arsenal fan who said nowhere could produce as much noise as Highbury. He should know that the ground has been called 'The Library' for about twenty years, and the atmosphere is always dull and muted.
Palin, UK

As a Liverpool fan, my favourite terrace tune has to be:
(Tune: Seasons In The Sun)
We have joy
We have fun
We have Jari Litmanen,
He's got style
He's got flair
Got a mullet
We don't care.
Kujan Paramanatham, UK

I'm a season ticket holder at Bolton and I've lost my voice many times this season
Wayne Kennedy, Armagh

It's good to see that Southampton fans actually have something to sing about. I for one would be ashamed to be seen at a Southampton game with the way that the team is playing, let alone publicise the fact that I'm there by belting out the words to some of the worst songs on the planet!!
Martin McKibbin, As far away from Southampton as possible.

I'm a season ticket holder at Bolton and travel over every few weeks and I can't believe were bottom of the singing charts. I've lost my voice many times this season and the last few weeks (big relegation scraps) the noise has been unbelievable!
Wayne Kennedy, Armagh, N Ireland

Southampton have fans? I think Andy needs to check his facts. Since moving to St Mary's it is a miracle if the ground isn't sold out at over 32,000, and every single one with a voice like an angel!
James, UK

What other teams' fans maybe fail to realise (unless of course Saints are playing them at the time) is that we sing regardless of the team's performance, because we are just as passionate when we are down the bottom of the table. Just look at our gates, even when we were struggling this season. Can the same be said of other teams' fans? And we don't need the tannoy accompaniment that Sp*rs employ either! What utter nonsense that is.
Jon Stallard, England

How did Man Utd get near the top of the table? I didn't realise that their fans sing? Surely the award should go to Newcastle United or Sunderland, as they at least seem to be the noisiest.
Jon, Hong Kong

At the Library you can hear a Pires drop (writhing in fake agony)
Matt, NZ (ex pat)

What? Southampton is number one and Man Utd number two? Gimme a break. Liverpool fans are tops! And Professor, please put your hearing aid back on.
Dick Yoong, Malaysia

To Anthony the Arsenal fan: what are you on? What singing are you talking about at Arsenal home games? Have you ever been to one? Not for nothing is Highbury nicknamed The Library by the fans of all the London Premiership clubs. You can hear a Pires drop (writhing in fake agony) there.
Matt, NZ (ex pat)

I am sorry, been to The New Den recently, 15,000 Millwall fans are as loud and tuneful as 60,000 Man U. Their songs maybe a little more about dismembering people and with the odd spot of racism, otherwise, Sunday night at the opera.
Lee Currier, Canada

How about the idea of staging an individual song contest at every ground to find the most tuneful individual? With the international mix of fans that populate the stands at Old Trafford, it would like the Eurovision Song Contest!
Chris T, Australia

Well done Southhampton, that must be the first trophy you have won for a considerable amount of time!
Peter O'Farrell, Liverpool fan, UK

It shouldn't be the tunefulness that is measured, but the loudness! I can't imagine players caring a jot about whether the songs are sung well so long as they're sung loud.
Alex, England

The noise at Highbury is surely Wenger moaning
Mark Cleminson, Canada

Hah! The comments are quite remarkable. An arsenal fan reckons the Highbury 'library' is louder than anywhere in the Premiership. I think these stats may not be perfect, but I don't see much wrong with them.

The prawn sandwich eating Man Utd fans have taken stick, but I must admit they do sing, and are tuneful, and far more than the Arsenal fans. But to be honest, I think the North East clubs (not Boro), Newcastle and Sunderland have the most passionate fans by far.
Nick, England

Anyone who has been to Old Trafford in the last three years knows that Man U only make noise at Champions League games, tell professor David Howard that his research is unreliable and invalid.
Adonis Prime, England

The noise at Highbury is surely Wenger moaning. Without that, it would be as quiet as a cemetery.
Mark Cleminson, Canada

It's more difficult to get 36,000 Spurs fans to sing in tune than both of the Saints fans!
Robert Henson, UK

How did Man U come second? I thought that people were complaining about the lack of atmosphere at Old Trafford? Were the scientists mistaking the sound of 60,000 people eating their prawn sandwiches as chanting? Chomp, Chomp, Chomp.
Ian (Hammers fan), England

As an exiled Saints fan who gets to see the odd game, I must say the singing at St. Mary's has improved. Not just tuneful, but funny - other fans rolling in the aisles at the improvised verses.
David Griffiths, Spain

Both Southampton fans had both been taking singing lessons in preparation for this research
Craig Scandrett, UK

When they were up St James' they certainly created an atmosphere. I don't know about their tunefulness but it's a feat in itself to be even heard whilst 50,000 Geordies are flowing. Good on the Saints fans.
Kieraen "Toon mad" Ross, England

Not only are we the best chanters but week in, week out, we play the best football too. Arguably.
Bill, UK

Yes, Andy, Southampton do have fans. They had both been taking singing lessons in preparation for this research.
Craig Scandrett, UK

One way or the other Man U would be in the top three of everything, do I sense favouritism for the club. What next, best dressed supporters!!! Manchester Utd again would be in the top three.
Ola Ray, UK

If had wanted be an altar boy I would not have chosen to stand in the Holte End. What a waste of time and resources!
Tony, Bristol, UK

Give it until the end of the season, Man Utd will probably be top of this league as well!
Garry, UK

What about the fans with the best sense of humour - ie Stockport fans doing the conga on Saturday at Wimbledon with relegation staring us in the face!
Stockport fan, UK

As a Leeds fan down the table, does this mean I should take singing lessons now?
Andy, UK

Fair comment - may not be the most creative songs ever but you can't have everything...
Paul, UK

As an Arsenal fan I feel aggrieved that a scientist has decided this table on tunefulness, when there is much more to singing, such as passion and volume. Nowhere can produce as much noise as the Highbury faithful, even though it holds under 40,000 people.
Anthony Jackson, UK

It's nice to hear some light hearted banter about football in the wake of all the controversy and negative press in recent months. As a Leeds fan down the table, does this mean I should take singing lessons now?
Andy, UK

Southampton have fans?
Andy, UK

I'm pleased to hear they do have such lovely singing voices. They've probably had a lot of practice as their teams football isn't much to look at! Will they be singing as sweetly if they get relegated? What will they come up with next? The supporters who are the best dressed?
Rob Morris, UK (N'pton Town fan)

See also:

18 Mar 02 |  England
Southampton top 'singing league'
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