Euro 2016

Will Grigg 'is on fire' - but on the bench

2016-06-20 11:55
soccer, will grigg, euro 2016
Will Grigg (Getty Images)

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Paris - Northern Ireland striker Will Grigg will hear thousands of supporters sing his name in the Euro 2016 match against Germany on Tuesday - and he probably won't even be on the pitch.

A re-working of the 1996 dance track "Freed from Desire" by Gala featuring a tribute to Grigg in place of the original words has become a hugely popular chant wherever the Northern Irish have played in France.

"Will Grigg's on fire, your defence is terrified," the fans chanted during the 1-0 defeat to Poland in Nice and then again at the raucously celebrated 2-0 win over Ukraine in Lyon.

The only problem is that 24-year-old Grigg hasn't played a minute in the tournament - and he looks unlikely to do so against Germany in the do-or-die final Group C match at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

But Grigg, despite just a handful of international caps, has become such a cult figure that Northern Irish fans even wore masks of his face during the Ukraine match.

The chant first caught on as Grigg netted 28 times in 43 appearances in all competitions this season to help former English Premier League team Wigan Athletic win promotion to the Championship.

In May 2016, Wigan supporter Sean Kennedy uploaded a video of the rejigged song to YouTube.

The beauty of the song is that it can be easily adapted by other teams - just add your striker's name.

The self-effacing Grigg told his club's TV channel after they clinched promotion in May that hearing supporters singing the song spurred him on.

"It's unbelievable, it's a great feeling, it does give you that extra boost and it's been the main song for quite a while now," he said.

Wigan chairman David Sharpe has given Kennedy a free season ticket to thank him for "for inventing the best chant ever known to man".

Read more on:    northern ireland  |  euro 2016  |  soccer


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