A song for Europe by a group of Northern Ireland fans - with the aid of some local celebrities - is almost ready for general release following a final recording session.
Penned by Hillsborough man Vincent Soye, the Euro 2016 anthem has been titled ‘On Our Way to France’ and will raise money for a good cause as well as spurring Michael O’Neill’s men on to victory.
Cool FM’s Pete Snodden, News Letter columnist and BBC football pundit Liam Beckett, and UTV sport’s Ruth Gorman all stepped up to the mike with the guys from the ‘Oui Norn Iron’ group to belt out the track they hope will be embraced by the Green and White Army.
Radio presenters Andy Baird of Cool FM and Paul McKenna of U105 were also among the media personalities giving their time, and singing talent, to the fans’ initiative.
Three decades after he co-wrote a song for Northern Ireland’s Mexico 86 World Cup squad with his late brother Maurice, Vincent said he’s excited about the imminent release.
“It’s definitely getting a bit more exciting now we’ve to this stage and everyone did really well today,” he said after the session at Gerard Dornan’s recording studio in Co Down.
“It’s coming together and it all sounded great so it’s up to Gerard to put the finishing touches to it, and a team from Belfast Met are working on a video to go along with it.”
The Belfast Metropolitan College video crew is made up of students from the college’s HND in moving images course who are using their creative talents to support the project - and the Tiny Life charity dedicated to reducing premature birth, illness, disability and death in babies born in the province.
One of the diehard fans behind the initiative is Warren Currie from Hillsborough. He said Wednesday’s recording session went according to plan the song should be available to supporters within weeks.
“It’s too early to say exactly when it will be officially released but it will be out in good time before the Euros,” he said.
Warren said his dad Walter has been a great support in recent months, and praised everyone who has helped get the song over the final hurdle.
“The guys involved are from the Lisburn, Dromore and Lurgan areas. They are all dedicated Northern Ireland fans and the atmosphere in the studio was just like Windsor Park,” Warren added.
The song’s lyrics include the lines: “Northern Ireland are the greatest, what a football team; We’ll sing it out loud for the boys in green; We’ll cheer them on wherever they play; We’re the Green and White Army we’re on our way.”
It goes on: “They said we couldn’t make it, we didn’t have a chance; Now they’re gonna believe us, we’re on our way to France.”