The Beatles: Which Football Teams Did They Support?

The club preferences of John, Paul, George, and Ringo...

The Beatles sit at the bedrock of British pop culture, achieving a lasting fame that few groups can rival. Dominating the chart landscape during the 60s, memories of their hits are naturally intertwined with football, including Liverpool’s rise, and England’s win at the World Cup in 1966. But who did the Fab Four actually support?

The group’s music – and artwork – contain a few clues, but those are often misleading. On the cover of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s…’ for example, the only footballer is one-time Liverpool record signing Albert Stubbins – yet he was only included at the behest of John Lennon’s father.

On ‘Let It Be’ curio ‘Dig It’ – essentially a jam – a lyric references Matt Busby; then manager of Manchester United, he previously played with Liverpool FC some decades before. Furthermore in Yellow Submarine an animated football match pits two teams against one another – could the Blues represent Everton, and the Reds represent Liverpool…?

The actual answer varies from musician to musician. Sir Paul McCartney has confirmed that he is, at heart, an Evertonian – favouring the blue side of the Liverpool divide.

“Here’s the deal: my father was born in Everton, my family are officially Evertonians, so if it comes down to a derby match or an FA Cup final between the two, I would have to support Everton,” he told Radio Merseyside.

“But after a concert at Wembley Arena I got a bit of a friendship with Kenny Dalglish, who had been to the gig and I thought ‘you know what? I am just going to support them both because it’s all Liverpool and I don’t have that Catholic-Protestant thing.'”

“So I did have to get special dispensation from the Pope to do this but that’s it, too bad. I support them both. They are both great teams. But if it comes to the crunch, I’m Evertonian.”

John Lennon isn’t thought to have been a football fan, while George Harrison famously ruled himself out of sporting rivalry, commenting: “There are three teams in Liverpool, and I prefer the other one.”

His son Dhani Harrison, however, is a regular at Liverpool, and can frequently be spotted at Anfield.

Curiously for a born and bred Liverpudlian, drummer Ringo Starr appears to have developed a fondness for another team in Red – North London club Arsenal. Both his sons are regulars at the stadium, while writer Andy Thompson has commented that Ringo seems to know a lot about the Gooners.

Related: Tweetle-Mania – Inside Beatles Stan Twitter

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