A MUSICIAN and football fanatic got to combine both of his passions by composing the new anthem for the Premier League.

Dave Connolly, from Billinge, has produced and developed the piece of music which will be played at Premier League stadiums providing a soundtrack to the moments before kick-off.

The anthem was recorded and produced at venues including the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London.

Dave, 31, collaborated with a group of 83 musicians and technicians, including an orchestra and a live gospel choir, to create the anthem.

For football fan Dave, who has had a lifelong passion for music since he was a youngster when his mum Claire taught him recorder at St Mary's Primary School, it was the "perfect project", he admits.

"The Premier League contacted me as they were looking to create a new matchday anthem. The plan was to record with a live orchestra at Abbey Road studios earlier this year," said Dave, who now lives in London.

"Unfortunately the pandemic struck when we were due to record but we finally managed to get into the studio at the end of July. As there were so many musicians involved we recorded over multiple days to do it safely but I’m really glad we managed to make it happen in the end."

He added: "It was a big project for me,  I've been working on lots of music for Sky Sports but this was a huge opportunity.   The Premier League wanted a memorable sports anthem that plays out before the start of each match.

"You can hear it on the TV at the moment and with the Premier Leagues backing it will hopefully start to become recognised as fans are allowed back into stadiums.  Everyone knows the Match of the Day theme and maybe one day this will become as well known."

St Helens Star:

Dave outside Abbey Road Studios

Dave attended Winstanley College and held gigs around St Helens before moving to the capital nine years ago.

He has previously worked for Sky Sports and his works has included a theme recently used during the opening titles of its Super League coverage.

"I did gigs around St Helens, the Black Bull and the Citadel and all that scene and then Liverpool and Manchester," added Dave.

"All my life I have been around music and the north west was the breeding ground for how I got started."

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Dave played for Billinge FC, where his dad was coach, and St Helens Town in his younger days,

"There has been a lot of positive comments about the anthem," he said.

"I am a Liverpool fan but I've had to be neutral on this, it is basically for every team.

"I'm mad about football and into music, so it's the perfect project. From my perspective music is a big part of sport, with the theme tunes and and the big chants.

"I tried to make something that fans would appreciate.  When the Champions League anthem comes on in stadiums, everyone knows it and is a big part of football culture.

"Maybe one day this anthem will be as widely recognised but for now I'm grateful for the opportunity to have my music heard by so many people."

See more about the anthem here.