Not many people know this…..

In 1997 I recorded a song with Andy Wilkinson (aka Smug Roberts) which entered the race to become the official world cup anthem 1998. It entered the charts and made it into The Guinness Book of Hit Singles. You might remember it: “Meat Pie Sausage Roll”. It was very quickly followed by “Vindaloo” but both were pipped to the post by a re-release of “Three Lions” which became England’s anthem for a second time. The interesting thing is not that we were in this race but how this song and its accompanying video came about.


Strange but true!

That year whilst working as a Spanish and French teacher, I appeared in the annual school play. I had the part of the Pharaoh King who would cast off his pharaoh’s clothes to reveal an Elvis cat suit beneath. Once his alter ego was revealed he would then launch into a song, Elvis style. The costume came with the naffest wig ever. That costume and wig spawned a character which would become one half of the duo, Granddad Roberts and his Son Elvis.

A song is born

Andy was performing as Granddad Roberts and had taken an old football chant to which he added a baseline. The chant was “Meat pie sausage roll come on th meat-pieOldham give us a goal”. Andy wanted to develop the chant and make a song for his comedy act and asked me to write some lyrics. Having developed some verses and a middle 8, I was doing a dress rehearsal in my Elvis costume when I was struck by the idea that Granddad Roberts could have a son whom he had called Elvis in the hope that he would sing like Elvis. However his son would sound more like Ashley Peacock from Coronation St. So when Granddad’s son tried to sing like ‘The King’, he was more Communards than Elvis! So we had a song with Granddad Roberts singing the chorus and his son, Elvis, singing the lyrics complete with falsetto voice. We decided to try it out at The Frog and Bucket in Manchester and I secretly borrowed the school costume to perform at the Frog that night. It went down a storm!

Making a few bob for Christmas

Well, we had a song for Oldham Athletic but the World Cup was approaching and we needed a few bob for Christmas. Obviously, change Oldham to England and we had a potential World Cup anthem, which people might just want to buy. Tongue-in-cheek we recorded it in Martin Coogan’s front room. He agreed to do it providing we didn’t tell anyone. After all he had his street cred to think about, having been a real success with the Mock Turtles and “Can you Dig it?” Key 103 played the song and listeners were ringing in to ask where they could buy it. We eventually sold 4000 copies within a week. We were chuffed that we’d made some money for Christmas and never in our wildest dreams expected to be sitting in Warner’s office discussing a record deal, but a record deal we had.

From Song to Video

Armed with money from Warner and a favour from Bernard Manning Jnr, who owned Radcliffe Borough Football Club, we made the video for “Meat Pie Sausage Roll” at Radcliffe Borough’s ground. Many of the kids in the video were kids I taught. A favour for a favour-After all I had used the Elvis costume from the school play!

You can catch the video on U Tube:

Or listen to The Handbaggers Version

AND just in case you want to sing the song in Karaoke here’s the lyrics on karaoke:

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