Late comic and beloved actor Rik Mayall‘s World Cup song Noble England has cracked the top 10 of the UK’s official singles chart, even though the song was originally recorded for the last World Cup in 2010.
When the track debuted in 2010 it failed to make the charts, but thanks to a social media campaign and an outpouring of support following Mayall’s death last Monday, the song has found its way to number seven. Meanwhile, the official World Cup anthem, We Are One (Ole Ola), by Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte, sits at number 29.
“Football chants are one of the great traditions of following football and Shakespeare is also part of our national heritage,” said Mayall in 2010. “It seemed only natural that they should go together. I’m doing my bit, just like every other Englishman. As we stand shoulder-to-shoulder, doing out bit, stiff upper lip – apart from when you’re screaming out the lyrics to Noble England.”
Reports The Guardian, the campaign to get Mayall’s track on the charts was spearheaded by English rock DJ and social media campaigner Jon Morter. He has previously helmed similar campaigns to stop singles from The X Factor contestants from becoming automatic Christmas number ones. He’s backed various alternative singles by the likes of Rick Astley in 2008, Rage Against the Machine (2009) and Nirvana (2011).
Rik Mayall, who starred in the cult British comedies The Young Ones and Blackadder, died last week after suffering a sudden heart failure following a run. He was 56 years old. In her statement on Thursday, Mayall’s wife Barbara said the family had received “thousands and thousands of messages of condolence” from around the world. “We always knew that Rik was well-loved but we are all overwhelmed by so many joining us in our grief,” she said.
Watch: Rik Mayall – Noble England