Matt Holland Explains Why He Sang 'God Save The Queen' In Play-Off Final

Matt Holland Explains Why He Sang 'God Save The Queen' In Play-Off Final

Matt Holland had an excellent career. He made almost 600 league appearances at club level, captaining both Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic during spells at the clubs.

He also was an important player for Ireland. He won 49 caps over a six-year period, famously scoring the equalising goal in Ireland's 1-1 draw in the opener of the 2002 World Cup against Cameroon.

Despite this, some Ireland supporters remember him for something a lot more trivial. Holland was captaining Ipswich in their 2000 play-off final at Wembley Stadium when he was seen singing 'God Save The Queen' before the game.

As an English-born footballer, this should not really come as a surprise. However, some have held it against him as an ex-Ireland international.

He addressed the incident once against this week.

On an 'ask me anything' thread on Reddit, Holland was asked about singing the British anthem before the game, and said he did so because he saw his Scottish manager George Burley singing and thought it may have been the correct thing to do at the time.

Ive spoken about this a few times now. It was a big occasion and my mind was on the game. I looked across and saw George Burley singing its and thought he's Scottish maybe I should be singing it.

I mistakenly mumbled a few lines (certainly not at the top of my voice) and am embarrassed by it.

I don't see any problem with the grandparent rule ( I wouldn't would I?!)


Ipswich would go on to win the game 4-2, securing promotion to the Premiership. They would be relegated in the 01/02 season, with Holland leaving for Charlton the following year.

Roy Keane famously said that this incident was proof that Holland was 'as English as David Beckham', but the midfielder does not seem to hold the comment against his former teammate.

When asked on the thread, he said the Corkman was the best player he ever played with.

I always say Roy Keane.

He set the standard and drove the team on. He wasn’t the best technical player I played with but all the parts added together made some player.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Brilliant 1997 RTÉ Documentary About Roy Keane Now On Youtube

Gary Connaughton

You may also like