'Russia calling!' - Sheffield man's World Cup song scores big with football fans

(L-R): Tom Corley, James Mullholland, Joe Ellard
(L-R): Tom Corley, James Mullholland, Joe Ellard

As England get off to a flying start, a Sheffield man's catchy World Cup song is scoring thousands of views on YouTube and winning praise from big names in football including Robbie Savage.

Along with football-themed bunting and proudly-displayed St George flags - no World Cup is complete without a good sing along to one of the vast array of World Cup songs firmly ingrained in the nation's consciousness.

This year, Sheffield-based Joe Ellard hopes Russia Calling - the World Cup song he made with school friend James Mullholland through their outfit, The Diamond Formation - will be the only anthem football fans need to soundtrack the 2018 tournament.

With lyrics delivered to Alan Partridge-esque perfection and a catchy chorus of 'Russia Calling, England scoring, lions roaring' put to electro-synth beats it's easy to see why the song has already racked up over 17,000 views and been Tweeted by the likes of Robbie Savage and BBC Sport presenter, Jake Humphrey.

"The normal response so far has been: 'it's actually not rubbish', and people seem to like it. It's nice when people tell you they've watched it, or you see it being shared. I think it's better than the other World Cup songs that have come out this year, anyway," said Joe, of Nether Edge.

The 33-year-old added: "The idea was to make it a bit of a laugh. It's similar to the music we like anyway, so thought we'd give it a football theme."

The video, which you can watch here, includes footage of the host nation fortuitously taken by James during a recent trip to Russia.

"James happened to take quite a lot of videos of different things he saw when he was in Russia, way before we knew we were going to do this," added Joe, whose favourite World Cup anthem is New Order's 1990 hit, World in Motion.

Commenting on England's chances of winning the World Cup, Joe said: "We won the first game, and I'm feeling pretty optimistic now."

On a personal note, Joe and James hope their World Cup song will also help to raise money for their friend, Roisin Pelan, who is fighting cancer alongside her sister and needs to pay for plane tickets so they can visit each other.

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