The Sound of Football: Dagenham & Redbridge (Andrew)

Every fortnight we cover the best and worst football songs from every club in the UK from our book ‘The Sound Of Football: Every Club, Every Song’. You can buy it here

Dagenham & Redbridge

Nickname: The Daggers

Ground: Victoria Road

Stadium Capacity: 6,078

Song: The Digger Dagger

Bands dream of one day performing in the O2 in London, the world’s most popular music venue. But not Dagenham-born ex-England manager Terry Venables. He dreamt of performing on the O2. In 2010, he made history by becoming the first singer to perform on top of The O2. He sang the Elvis Pressley song ‘If I Can Dream’, released to support England on its South African World Cup campaign. The song raised money for both Help for Heroes, and Malaria No More UK.

It’s not the first time El Tel has appeared in unusual musical circumstances. He was also on the cover of ‘Dagenham Dave’ by Morrissey, released as a single in 1995. It was only the second time Morrissey had not appeared on the cover of his own song. Instead he picked a picture of Terry Venables sticking his tongue out. Morrissey might have written some classics but this one is clunker. It was reviewed in the weekly musical paper, the NME, and it was described as “piss-poor old crap” and a “tune-impaired three-minute drone.

Dagenham & Redbridge was formed in 1992, making them only three years older than ‘Dagenham Dave’. It was formed after a merger between Dagenham and Redbridge Forest.

Redbridge Forest was also an amalgamated club having been created from Ilford, Leytonstone and Walthamstow Avenue. so the full name of the side should really be Dagenham & Redbridge & Ilford & Leytonstone & Walthamstow FC.

Dagenham is the setting for the film and musical ‘Made in Dagenham’ which chronicles the 1968 Ford sewing machinist’s strike. This was a landmark labour-relations dispute that led to the passing of the Equal Pay Act 1970. The women who were skilled workers walked out when they found out the plant was downgrading their pay to a lower category than the equivalent male worker. It seems an unlikely idea for a musical but who would have thought that a barber who kills people and turns them into pies would be a huge success. What next? A bunch of cats singing songs? Madness!

Dagenham’s nickname is the Daggers for reasons which are self-evident. And the club’s anthem is based on this nickname and Chelsea’s ‘Zigger Zagger’.

It’s a simple call and response: one fan leads and everyone else shouts the reply.

Lead: Digger Dagger, Digger Dagger

Crowd: Oi Oi Oi

Lead: Digger Dagger, Digger Dagger

Crowd: Oi Oi Oi

Lead: Digger

Crowd: Dagger

Lead: Digger

Crowd: Dagger

Lead (faster) :Digger Dagger, Digger Dagger

Crowd: Oi Oi Oi

(Source: fan chant)

The ‘Zigger Zagger’ has a long history. It’s thought it was derived from the Cornish “Oggie, oggie, oggie!” chant. An oggie was Cornish slang for a Cornish pastie. Legend has it that this was called out by Cornish woman to make their menfolk aware that they were about to drop the freshly baked pasties down the tin mine. The original chant was adopted locally by the navy and later used at rugby matches. Famous Chelsea supporter, Mickey Greenaway (see Chelsea for more on Greenaway), is said to have introduced the ‘Zigger Zagger’ version in the early sixties. With his booming voice, he would bark out the call and the crowd would reply with an “Oi, oi, oi!”. It quickly spread to other clubs, including Dagenham & Redbridge.

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