This story is over 5 years old.


The 80s footy rap hit and the man who dreamed it up

An Aussie rap called We love football was a Top 40 hit in 1988, but it left the writer with a bad taste in his mouth.

Artwork by Ben Thompson.

Warwick Capper in skin tight acid wash jeans and white sneakers moonwalking on the MCG turf while players from other VFL teams are swaying clumsily to a slow rap beat. No, it's not a fever dream, it's the film clip for the 1988 VFL All Stars rap, "We Love Football". The single was a top 40 hit and Channel Seven played it at half time of the Grand Final.

The song is a weird and amazing footnote in the history of the AFL - imagine today's players being involved in such a wondrously embarrassing project. But it was the 80s, and a member of one of Australia's first rap groups had an idea. Main Man Yuri Worontschak was a footy fan with a beat and a line to translate his love of the game to song.


"It was my idea to write 'We Love Football' and I was going to sell it to Channel 7. Then a million people got on board, but trust me, I wrote it.

"I had an idea to get a whole bunch of footballers together to do a rap and holy fuck it happened – I don't know how it happened, it just did. Most of those guys couldn't sing. The funniest was St Kilda full back, Danny Frawley. He was the only one who could sing and he sang like W.C Fields. We had to replace a couple of the voices. Gerard Healy was terrible and that's my voice when he's singing."

For a bit of an idea of who these young footballers became, the clip features a future Victorian State Government Minister (Carlton's Justin Madden), a couple of long time media commentators (St Kilda's Danny Frawley and Sydney's Gerard Healy) and the future CEO of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup (Melbourne's Steven Newport). Some highlights from the video: Paul Salmon's snake arms dance move and Warwick Capper's headband and shimmy. And the terrible lip syncing. I mean, come on. Dale Weightman couldn't even mouth the words to accompany the vocal track.

"Remember, this is pre sampling. There was no editing and no pitch shift – you just had to get the vocal right. And sometimes it took ages and ages but we got there in the end. It was pre-media. These footballers were just shy boys. They had no media savvy which was good because they were quite malleable."


Main Man Yuri was a footy fan and had played in his teens until music became more important. But he approached the song with fans at the front of his mind. But once all the stakeholders saw the hit potential, things started to get out of hand.

"Politically it was interesting. Channel Seven was really interested and they were sponsored by Coke but someone else was interested and they were sponsored by Pepsi. And so we had a soft drink war and it was quite messy. I don't remember much just that there was a lot of fighting. As soon as money came into it, it got strange. It was horrible."

The best thing about the whole process though? Kicking the footy on the MCG with 12 of the best players in the VFL.

"The one thing I was good at as a footballer was kicking, so I was kicking 50 metre goals end to end with these footballers. And I remember Warwick goes 'hey man, you can play,' and that was the best thing in my life. I remember thinking 'fuck, this is awesome!'"

In the world of Aussie Rap that existed in 1988, Main Man Yuri Worontschak was pretty well known. He had formed a duo with friend Stephen Kearney, and they'd been recording in the studio for a while.

"Stephen and I decided to do a Rap band called Special K and Main Man Yuri and we had a single called 'Absolutely Perfect' and we had a record deal. We went to LA to film the clip and everything. I was always interested in beat based music and wasn't all that fond of rock but it was just too early for that stuff to be popular. The single was played on all the radio stations and was well received but didn't do very well commercially. But I was a pop star for a nanosecond"

So, as ridiculous as it seems in 2016, "We Love Football" had some credibility behind it. Add in the fact that it broke into the Top 40 in Melbourne, and it was successful. That doesn't change the fact that footballers dancing in the middle of the MCG should be banned though. Banned forever.

The players featured in the clip, in order of appearance are: Phil Narkle (West Coast), Matthew Larkin (North Melbourne), Steven Newport (Melbourne), Damien Bourke (Geelong), John Platten (Hawthorn), Tony McGuiness (Footscray), Gerard Healy (Sydney), Richard Osborne (Fitzroy), Warwick Capper (Brisbane), Paul Salmon (Essendon), Dale Weightman (Richmond), Justin Madden (Carlton), Danny Frawley (St Kilda), Mick McGuane (Collingwood).

Follow Andy on Twitter .