John Barnes Rap from “World in Motion” World Cup anthem reprised for a Mars TV advert, evoking happy memories of Italia 90

April 15, 2010

The news that Mars have persuaded footballer John Barnes to re-create his rap from New Order’s World Cup song “World in Motion” for a TV commercial, evokes happy memories of Gazza’s tears and Pavarotti’s “Nessum Dorma” tournament anthem, from possibly the best World Cup, Italia 90.

World Cup 1994 in the USA came a close second in terms of American razzmatazz and the high quality of the football. The skill levels Italia 90were incredible, with Georghe Hagi’s Romania and Hristo Stoichkov’s Bulgaria reaching the Quarter and Semi Finals respectively. And then there was Roberto Baggio’s goals taking Italy through to a lacklustre final, that saw him and Franco Baresi miss vital penalties in the shoot out to gift Brazil the World Cup for the first time in twenty four years. There was just one thing missing from USA 94………England!

However four years earlier, the vital ingredient for an England fan was there: Bobby Robson’s Boys were in attendance, a squad that included the enfant terrible, Paul Gascoine. Before the tournament Robson described Gazza as being “as  daft as a brush”………but that brush swept all before him, taking all the accolades as the most skillful player in a tournament that included Diego Maradonna and Roberto Baggio.

PavarottiHowever the presence of England alone does not qualify Italia 90 as the best World Cup in the last fifty years. For once there was a half decent England World Cup song, by a group with genuine musical credentials. New Order were “commissioned” to write “World in Motion”, and in turn invited squad member, John Barnes, to perform a rap section half way through. However beyond “this sceptred isle”, the tournament will always be remembered globally for the official World Cup theme, Pavarotti’s “Nessum Dorma”. Everytime a BBC World Cup programme started with that incredibly moving, poignant song, the hairs on the back of your neck stood to attention like fans on the terraces standing to celebrate a goal!

To support the great soundtrack and FIFA’s fantastic marketing of the tournament, Esso released an England World Cup Coin Esso 1990Collection for the one and only time since the legendary collection in 1970. I will always recall, having acquired a surplus of Gary Lineker and Terry Butcher coins, bribing an Esso petrol attendant at a garage in East Finchley with a £10 note, to hand over a bag of coins in order that I could secure the elusive Peter Shilton, Peter Beardsley, Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle!!

David PlattMusic soundtracks and merchandising alone do not define a great World Cup. Drama and success are imperative for an England fan. By hook, crook and a last gasp David Platt volleyed winner against Belgium, England managed to engineer a passage through to the Semi Finals, where they met West Germany spearheaded by the Holy Trinity from Inter Milan, of Lothar Matteus, Jurgen Klinsmann and Andreas Brehme.

The rest is history…………a Paul Parker deflected own goal, a Gary Lineker equaliser, Chris Waddle hitting Gazza 90the woodwork in an extra time period which also saw Gazza booked for a second time, meaning he would have missed the Final. Not to worry though, the dreaded penalty shoot out put pay to any hopes of a Final appearance, with Chris Waddle and Stuart Pearce missing their spotkicks. The match will always be remembered for Gazza’s tears, but for me the sight of football hard man Stuart Pearce on his knees in tears will always be my abiding, poignant memory.

So is the re-release of the “World in Motion” rap a  lucky omen? Will Esso release another Coin Collection, and more importantly will the most talented England squad since Italia 90, match their predecessors by reaching the Semi Finals and going one better, and reaching in the Final. They have stiff competition in Brazil, Spain and Argentina, but anything is possible with a rousing anthem being played in the dressing room before matches. Maybe it’s time for a “New Order” in World football!!

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  9. Gabby Barnes says:

    John Barnes is my great-cousin..I only saw him once though!! I saw him in the movie, “Bend It Like Beckham with my friend..!! I am not lieing i could tell you that his cousin was born in Canada…. John Barnes cousin is my dad!