Ashes by Embrace never really took off, did it? It's a great song, and has that inspiring lift to it that makes it a great football tune. But it doesn't work as an anthem. An anthem needs to be belted out by thousands in the stands so that it echoes around the stadium, and even gets those in the Upper West clapping along.
With that in mind, Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond is a much better option. Admittedly, I'd barely heard of it before the vote at the start of this season conducted by the club, but it just fits so well. It's a classic song with a punchy chorus and simple lyrics that anyone will pick up just after hearing once. Picking a club anthem shouldn't be a complicated progress - in fact, if you over-think it, you're probably doing it wrong. There are a billion hit songs out there, each with its own artistic merit, but that's not what you need at a football match.
The best club anthems sound great when the fans sing them, not the actual artist. I'm sure that, to Stoke supporters, it doesn't matter that Tom Jones sang Delilah - it's that, to them at least, it's their song. No-one else claimed Delilah, so it got the red and white stamp. No-one else has claimed Sweet Caroline, so let's paint it blue and white.
For the record, this is how it sounds when it's belted out by a stadium packed full of people...
Of course, we wouldn't have the original track blaring out during a match (although we could before kick-off). But, apart from that, it all fits nicely. And who wouldn't want a Madejski Stadium, packed to the rafters, drowned in the noise of 15-20,000 Loyal Royals singing it? There'll be a practice run tonight against Brighton, but the FA Cup quarter final against Bradford City will really cement it in the memory.
Passion in the fans breeds passion in the players. Let's get Sweet Caroline going at the Mad Stad.