"Two World Wars and One World Cup" is a football song sung by supporters of the England national football team to the tune of Camptown Races as part of the England–Germany football rivalry.[1] The chant refers to the United Kingdom's victories in the First and Second World Wars, and England's 4-2 victory against West Germany after extra time in the final game of the 1966 FIFA World Cup.[2][3] The chant has also spawned similar chants such as "Stand up if you won the war".[4]


The chant is believed to have been created in the 1960s, after England had won the World Cup against West Germany.[5] It was created by England fans to reflect on England's historic achievements.[6] In 2006, Market traders in Leicester, Leicestershire, were banned from selling T-shirts with "Two World Wars, 1 World Cup" on them by Leicester City Council amid fears that the shirts "could cause offence".[7] Before the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office attempted to dissuade England fans from singing "Two World Wars and One World Cup" while in Germany.[2] England players David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard also took part in videos filmed to be played in fanzones before England matches, asking for fans to be respectful towards Germany.[3] Despite these attempts, the chant was widely used by England fans whilst in Germany.[8]

The chant has been criticised as "jingoistic", although a number of England supporters feel they are justified in singing it against Germany.[9] However, it has been praised in some foreign media with one Australian commentator stating envy of England fans for being able to use it during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[10] A Canadian reporter also said that the chant reflected "a deeply historic sense of national honour".[11] During the 2010 FIFA World Cup South African communications company, MTN Group ran a television advertisement on South African television involving the chant.[12]

Other uses

"Two World Wars and One World Cup" is also the name of an episode of BBC documentary, Everyman.[13]

See also


  1. ^ Mason, Mark (2005). Bluffer's Guide To Football. Oval Projects Ltd. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-903096-49-9. 
  2. ^ a b "Two World Wars and One World Cup: England Prepares to Invade Germany". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  3. ^ a b Craven, Nick (2005-12-10). "Don't mention the war!". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  4. ^ Lister, Graham (2010-06-27). "Two World Wars, one World Cup and the 'Achtung!' chaos - the complex and violent history of England vs Germany". Goal.com. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  5. ^ "Tales from the terraces: The chants of a lifetime". London: The Independent. 2006-04-22. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  6. ^ Nauright, John (2012). Sports around the world. ABC-CLIO. p. 25. ISBN 9781598843019. 
  7. ^ "Ban on 'offensive' T-shirt sale". BBC News. 2006-06-16. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  8. ^ Milloy, Courtland (2006-06-28). "Drinking in World History by the Cup". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  9. ^ "Not so magnificent seven". BBC Sport. 2000-06-16. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  10. ^ Deshon, Giles (June 2010). ""Two World Wars and One World Cup, doo dah, doo dah"". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  11. ^ "Two world wars and one World Cup?". The Vancouver Observer. 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  12. ^ England (2010-06-27). "England v Germany: two World Wars and one World Cup". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  13. ^ "Two World Wars and One World Cup". Everyman. 25 April 1993. BBC.