Why England legend Butcher was cut from 'Three Lions' anthem

Ipswich Town and England legend Terry Butcher celebrates a World Cup qualifying win over Sweden in 1

Ipswich Town and England legend Terry Butcher celebrates a World Cup qualifying win over Sweden in 1989. Photo: PA - Credit: Archant

With England about to kick-off off their Euro 2020 campaign, it's been revealed just how close Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher was to getting his own line in the football anthem 'Three Lions'.

Butcher, the most passionate of Englishmen, was capped 77 times by his country and is best known for an iconic image of him finishing a game against Sweden in 1989 wearing a blood soaked head bandage.

Ahead of this summer's major tournament, David Baddiel shared an image of the original lyrics penned for the song which proved to be the soundtrack to Euro '96. 

Frank Skinner's hand-written note shows that after the line 'And when Lineker scored', he had planned for 'Terry Butcher at war' before crossing it out and changing it to 'Bobby belting the ball'.

Gary Lineker tweeted his dismay at Butcher's omission, with Baddiel replying: "Sorry. As far as I remember that crossing out happened after the FA told us the image of him “at war” wasn’t acceptable..."

With England playing on home soil in a major tournament for the first time since '96, there's every chance 'Three Lions' becomes a summer anthem once again.

Gareth Southgate's men take on Croatia in their Group D opener at 2pm.

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