Anthem to unite the pride of Lions ... penned by an RL fan
By Paul Robinson
MEET the talented Yorkshireman hoping his music will inspire the Lions to Rugby Union glory this summer.
Leeds-born composer Neil Myers has penned the official anthem that will be played before each of the team's games on their upcoming tour of New Zealand.
British and Irish Lions coach Sir Clive Woodward reckons that belting out The Power of Four will give his troops the same sort of pre-match boost their All Black opponents get from performing the Haka, their Maori war dance. Today 30-year-old Neil told of his pride at being asked to do his bit to help Jonny Wilkinson and co – but also confessed that he is harbouring a guilty sporting secret.
He said: "I shouldn't really say this, but I actually prefer Rugby League to union. I'm a big Leeds Rhinos fan, but this was such an honour I was happy to cross codes!"
Because Lions sides are drawn from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, they have never had their own anthem to stir the emotions in the run-up to kick-off.
World Cup winner Sir Clive's famous attention to detail meant he soon decided to put that right after agreeing to take charge of the team for their daunting trip to the Southern Hemisphere.
And it was Neil who landed the job of coming up with a suitably rousing theme and easy-to-learn lyrics, thanks to work he has done in the past for Sky Sports. His finished effort was given its first public airing in front of 60,000 fans at the Lions' warm-up clash with Argentina at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Monday. Neil, who grew up near Shadwell, was at the game and admits he struggled to take everything in as a 120-piece choir brought his creative efforts to life.
He said: "It was an amazing feeling, a really powerful mix of emotions. I've never written lyrics before, but I was asked to aim for something that incorporated the unity of four nations."
Neil, a former student at Allerton High School and Leeds College of Music, is now based in London.
The Power of Four
From the four corners of our lands
We're united hand in hand
Together we are stronger
We join and proud we stand
Now the day has come, we are one
Standing tall for our Lions' call
We are stronger together
We are the power of four