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Why do Manchester City supporters sing ‘Hey Jude’ at matches & full lyrics of fan version

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

Manchester City fans can be heard belting out Beatles classic 'Hey Jude' in celebration of their team's achievements, with home matches at the Etihad Stadium characterised by the tune being blasted out on the public address system before kick off.

It is curious, however, as to why a song from a band that hails from Liverpool has been adopted by the Sky Blues due to the intense rivalry between the two cities.

Manchester, of course, has a rich musical history, with Liam and Noel Gallagher of Oasis both ardent supporters of the club. As such, 'Wonderwall' has been adopted as an anthem of the team, notably being sung by the players in the dressing room in celebration of their 2018-19 Premier League title success, a clip that went viral around the globe.

Other big-name Manchester acts include the Bee Gees, the Verve, the Smiths, New Order and James, so there has been no shortage of anthemic hits to pick from.

The choice of Hey Jude, however, dates back to 1968, which was the year that City won their second English league title. It would be the last time they were kings of England before the Abu Dhabi United Group took charge in 2008 and led them to success four years later.

It is a triumph, then, that is treated with a great deal of nostalgia and fondness by the club's support - particularly the old guard, who were starved of success for so long and followed the team to the pits of English football's third tier before their spectacular renaissance.

Coincidentally, 1968 was the year that the Beatles released 'Hey Jude', which was to become arguably the greatest crowd-pleasing tune in their broad repertoire. Although the song only became No.1 in the UK three months after City won the title, it became associated with the golden age of the club and has since become a fixture on the terraces.

Of course, it helps that the Paul McCarthy-written track is incredibly chantable, with the chorus of 'Nahh, na, na, nahh-na-na, nahhh' welcoming almost any two-syllable word, which the Manchester hoards have hijacked to install 'City'.

As the song reaches its crescendo from a low-key beginning, it oozes euphoria and is, therefore, a perfect footballing chant, having also been adopted by Arsenal fans to celebrate the achievements of Olivier Giroud.

It is, however, the Etihad that is the spiritual home of the song in a sporting sense.

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