Football legend hopes to score a Christmas No1

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FOOTBALLERS’ forays into the world of pop are traditionally a source of despair for music lovers across the nation.

But now one football legend has come up with a Christmas song which is considered so good that bookies have slashed the odds on it making No1.

Ron Atkinson, the leading football pundit and former manager of Aston Villa, Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion, has written his own festive song and is hoping it will make the Christmas top spot in the charts.

It’s Christmas - Let’s Give Love a Chance, which Atkinson composed with musician Cedric Whitehouse, has been compared to Johnny Mathis’ When a Child is Born.

The song, which is described as a "traditional heart-warming Christmas hit" is recognised as being so far removed from the likes of Paul Gascoigne’s rap rendition of The Fog on the Tyne or Terry Venables’ Bye Bye Blackbird, that bookies Corals have halved the odds on it making No1.

Atkinson has already gained himself something of a reputation for his musical talents, and last year he performed at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in Birmingham. The footballing expert said of his latest musical offering : "I think there is a real appetite for songs like this. We don’t get the sentimental tunes at Christmas like we used to."

But not everyone believes Atkinson has what it takes to top the Christmas charts. Among the competition he faces will be the girl and boy bands from TV series Popstars: The Rivals.

Pete Waterman, the pop impresario who introduced Kylie Minogue to the music world, said: "Big Ron’s got as much chance of being No1 as Walsall have of being top of the Premiership by January."