The lasting memory from the Manchester derby in September 2009 is Michael Owen running behind the nets, arms outstretched, celebrating the 96th minute winner.
Yet in the lead up to the game, the striker in the spotlight was Emmanuel Adebayor who had just joined City from Arsenal.
Born in Togo, Adebayor had been the victim of a racist chant that was started by Tottenham Hotspur but was sung by other clubs’ fans too, including United’s.
“Adebayor, Adebayor, your dad washes elephants, your mum is a whore.”
Ahead of the derby, officials from United and City met up to discuss how they could stop this chant doing the rounds at Old Trafford.
“These kind of chants have no place in the modern game and we will enforce the ground regulations, and also hope that the police enforce the law,” read the official club statement from United before the game.
As it turned out, Adebayor missed the match through suspension anyway, having picked up a three match ban in City’s win over Arsenal for a foul on Robin van Persie.
Yet it is likely the chant would have been sung at Old Trafford had Adebayor played, even if less enthusiastically than it had been in the past, particularly if the striker had scored. I wrote about the chant in 2009 and had to later edit the article when a few people in the comments and the RoM forum questioned how this chant was racist.
The implication that his dad washed elephants for a living and his mum was a prostitute, purely because he was born in Africa, is clearly overtly racist. It’s baffling that this would need an explanation. Supporters were keen to dismiss it as a bit of banter though. “I’m not racist!” was the response from anyone told that they were singing a racist chant.
With that as context, the chant I really want to discuss is one that has recently been created for Romelu Lukaku. Having scored seven goals in his first seven games, it’s no surprise we are keen to find a way to support our new striker, but we’ve got to find a better way than this.
“Rom, Rom, Romelu, Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United’s number nine, Romelu Lukaku” had previously been the most popular ditty, to the tune we used to sing for Andy Cole. We had also tried out fitting his name to the Radamel Falcao song, as well as re-using our song for Fellaini, ‘Do the Conga’.
However, a new chant has started to stick. The Manchester Evening News recently discussed the latest chant, with the text reading as though the journalist was smirking as they wrote about it. The lyrics were “frankly unprintable as it champions the supposed prowess of something other than his goalscoring. You don’t have to look far to find it online, though.”
Sounds naughty, right? Having already been made aware of the chant, I heard it first hand for myself outside Old Trafford on Sunday. Grown men, with cheeky, almost embarrassed smiles on their faces, were singing about Lukaku’s dick.
To the tune of the Stone Roses’ Made of Stone, the words go: “Romelu Lukaku, he’s our Belgian scoring genius with a 24 inch penis, scoring all our goals, bellend by his toes.”
Here we have a hugely talented striker, currently the top scorer in the league, yet he’s reduced to us celebrating the supposed size of his dick. You know, because all black guys have massive knobs. He’s a strong, powerful, athletic beast with a huge dick, like every other black player. It’s a cheap and insulting stereotype that has no place in this day and age.
A simple internet search for the song tells you that it’s “hilarious”. Before I even press ‘publish’ on this, I can anticipate the backlash, telling me to lighten up. But I was embarrassed to hear that song outside Old Trafford today, later learning it was sung on repeat in the Singing Section too, and I want us to be better than this.