As the FIFA World Cup reaches it's zenith this weekend (at least for England so far...), we met up with the musician whose been the soundtrack of Sky's Premier League coverage all year - Tom Grennan.
And, on the back of some of this years' biggest singles, his first album "Lighting Matches" is released today. Last week we caught up with Tom, pitch-side, and chatted about his love of football, playing for the Luton Youth Team, his passion for music... and, or course, Manchester United!
Corinthian 1882: So Tom, football or music, which would you say was your greatest passion?
Tom Grennan: I’d say now music is obviously my passion but the love I have for football is different. It’s a game that will never get boring and music is something that came into my life later on and I'm now in love with music and the feeling it gives me.
C: It must have been a dream come true to have your song be the anthem of Sky’s football coverage this year - was that a bit surreal? How did that come about?
TG: Yeah it still is pretty surreal for me to hear my song as the Sky Sports song. Every time I’m watching the football I forget and then I’m like, oh yeah, aha! Sky Sports asked if they could use it and obviously I was honoured.
C: Growing up you played a bit didn’t you? Tell us about that, how close did you come to making it...?
TG: I played a bit yeah. I played for Bedford, Luton, Northampton and Stevenage. I don’t know how close I was to making it really but I wasn’t good enough in the end. The boys I was playing with were really good.
C: So you played for Luton but were a massive Man Utd fan! What’s your best memory of watching them as a boy? Who was your hero growing up?
TG: Yeah, I’ve always been a United fan. My hero was Paul Scholes - the way he played the ball, moved on the ball and off the ball was amazing. He could finish and always find the net. I just wanted to be him, ha!
C: So now, if you were offered either playing for United in a Champions League final or playing the Pyramid stage to close Glastonbury - which would you take?
TG: I would love to say the Champions League final but I would be lying these days. To close the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury would be a dream come true and something I’m now aspiring to do.
C: When are you next playing a game of football then? What does a game of football mean to you these days?
C: It seems like you must have been sitting on your album's release for ages, as we’ve heard so many great singles from it. You must be so excited to finally get it out now.
TG: Yeah, it does feel like I’ve been sitting on it for ages but the time feels right now so I’m just so excited for it to come out and for people to own it and make it their own.
C: You're touring later this year. How are you feeling about taking it on the road?
TG: Playing live is the thing I love the most. I’m at home when I’m on the stage. People seem to be reacting well to the songs so I’m buzzing for them to actually hear them on the album.
C: Through your music you’ve popped up in some incredible places. What’s been the stand-out pinch-yourself moment where you can’t quite believe what’s happened to you?
TG: I definitely had to pinch myself when I met David Beckham. He knew my songs so that was pretty crazy and mind blowing!
C: Corinthian 1882 obviously believe in the Corinthian Spirit of Sportsmanship. Is fair play something you believe in too? Were you a clean player?
TG: Yeah I believe in fair play 100%. I’m a very competitive guy but never a cheater unless it’s Monopoly, aha! I was a clean player so no need for dirtiness or being malicious when playing!
Tom's Lighting Matches is out now.