An original World Cup song performed by the 1966 team has been released this month, complete with never-before-seen footage of the players in the recording studio, to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
The song ‘We Were There’ was written in 1982 by original founding member of The Dallas Boys, Bob Wragg, to wish luck to that year’s World Cup team. Now 82-years-old and long after Britain’s so-called ‘first boy band’ stopped making music, Bob thought it was time the song was released.
The single was performed by the 1966 England team, organised via Bob’s friend Gordon Banks, the cup-winning team’s goalkeeper. The song was recorded in Leicester, where the band are from, with all of the 1966 England team, bar three who were unable to attend.
A video was also shot of the recording, showing the team throwing balls around, laughing, and playing guitars, violins and drums, and Bobby Moore with a tambourine.
The song was to be released by EMI but, when the Falklands War broke out, it was considered inappropriate for wartime and was shelved.
It wasn’t until 2016, when Bob saw a newspaper article about three members of the 1966 squad living with dementia that he thought to look for the song and video. Martin Peters, Nobby Stiles and Ray Wilson have all been diagnosed with dementia.
Now, 34 years later, the single has finally been released, just in time for the 50th anniversary of England’s World Cup win and ahead of this summer’s UEFA Euro 2016 Championships. It is available as a CD/DVD set, including the historic, never-before-seen footage of the players recording the song.
Saddened to hear that so many of the 1966 team were affected by dementia, Bob decided that all profits from the CD/DVD bundle should go to Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity.
Bob Wragg, who now lives on the Isle of Man, said:
“I was saddened when I saw a picture of the 1966 team in the newspaper, reporting on how several of them now have dementia. I know quite a few footballers from my showbiz days, and a number of them have been diagnosed.
“Seeing the story reminded me of the song we recorded in 1982. We were overjoyed with it at the time and even after all these years, I got quite emotional watching the video. I decided it was time to release it and if we can help fund research into this dreadful condition, that would be amazing.”
Alzheimer’s Research UK powers world class studies, focusing on diagnosis, prevention and treatments for dementia. There are currently no treatments that can stop or slow down the condition.
Ian Wilson, Director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We’re grateful to benefit from the release of this nostalgic and poignant anthem from our nation’s most famous football heroes. Fans will get a real buzz from seeing the squad members having fun in the studio in a relaxed mood as they sing out the chorus. The support from Bob Wragg could not be more important, with 225,000 people in the UK set to develop dementia this year, the need for new treatments that offer hope is critical. Research has the power to defeat dementia and bring hope to thousands of individuals and families whose lives have been turned upside down by the condition.”