There are many reasons for football fans to remember Italia 90 – Gascoigne’s tears and the agony of missed penalties against West Germany being just two.
Luciano Pavarotti’s timeless rendition of the operatic aria Nessun Dorma figures pretty highly too – not least because it captured the raw emotion of the tournament.
Fans will also remember England’s own song for Italia 90, crafted right here in Manchester by local band New Order and prominent actor Keith Allen.
It was called World in Motion and featured a guest rap by England footballer John Barnes. Other members of the side, including Des Walker and Chris Waddle, supplied backing vocals.
The single, recorded in March 1990 ahead of the summer tournament, turned out to be New Order’s only UK Number One. Released in May, it spent 12 weeks in the charts with two weeks in the top spot.
The whole World in Motion project started with a phone call from Football Association press officer David Bloomfield to Manchester record producer and presenter Tony Wilson.
Bloomfield wanted to record a World Cup track that would capture the public’s imagination – just as the anthem Back Home did in 1970.
He’d heard disc jockey John Peel play tracks by American football teams, picking the tunes on merit, and was looking for something of similar quality for the England side.
Wilson at the time was the head of Factory Records, New Order’s label, so the connection with the group was made.
World in Motion was created by New Order band members Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert with Allen co-writing the lyrics. The producer was Stephen Hague.
The project was not plain sailing though. Not all of England’s players wanted to get involved as they were wary of World Cup songs – and Gary Lineker had recorded his own single.
There were also problems with the track’s title. It was originally called E for England but the FA were worried about associations with the drug ecstasy. World in Motion was much safer.
Five England players turned up to the recording session at The Mill in Buckinghamshire on a Sunday afternoon before the squad met up for an international match at Wembley.
The trio of Barnes, Walker and Waddle were joined by Peter Beardsley and Steve McMahon.
For many fans, the stand-out feature of World in Motion is the Barnes rap towards the end. The Liverpool player got the job after a four-way contest with Beardsley, Waddle and Paul Gascoigne.
It was actually improvised at the recording studio with Barnes’ Liverpool team-mate Craig Johnston scribbling the words down on a piece of scrap paper.
Commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme’s famous phrase from England’s 1966 World Cup triumph – ‘They think it’s all over – it is now’ – is heard twice on the track. Wolstenholme made a new recording of it for the single.
Whether they were inspired by the song or not, England’s footballers reached the semi-final of Italia 90 after beating Belgium 1-0 in the Round of 16 and Cameroon 3-2 in the quarter-final.
They lost 4-3 in the semi-final penalty shoot-out after being locked at 1-1 with West Germany after extra time in an emotionally charged match. After that, they were beaten 2-1 by host country Italy in the Third Place play-off.
World in Motion resurfaced for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. Manchester United midfielder David Beckham was pencilled in for the rap this time, but the FA decided to veto the idea.
A further remix was made for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but its release was shelved at the last minute.
Techno-group LFO remixed the song for the album The Beautiful Game which accompanied the Euro 1996 tournament and the tune was also heard in the 1995 film Butterfly Kiss.
After cutting his teeth on World in Motion, Allen went on to write the unofficial England football song Vindaloo in 1998 with the group Fat Les.
It reached No. 2 in the singles chart, only to be displaced by another football tune – the 1998 remix of Three Lions by the Lightning Seeds with David Baddiel and Frank Skinner.
Allen was back with New Order in 1998 to perform World in Motion live at the Reading Festival and again at the Move Festival at Old Trafford cricket ground in 2002.
After World in Motion, New Order released the album Republic. It would be their last for Factory Records as the company was declared bankrupt in 1992.
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