ITV to use Abide With Me in FA Cup Coverage

ITV 1 · Football · 07 Nov 2008 · by: ITV

ITV Sport can today announce that Abide With Me, the song traditionally associated with the FA Cup, will be used to start coverage of the tournament this weekend.

ITV to use Abide With Me in FA Cup CoverageAs part of the opening title sequence, ITV Sport commissioned a new version of the song, sung by The London Community Gospel Choir with soloist James Donaghey.

The London Community Gospel Choir was formed in 1982 and has sung with such eminent artists as Madonna, Sting, Elton John and Paul McCartney as well as appearing on Parkinson, Jools Holland, The X Factor and several Royal Variety Performances. Thirteen year old soloist James Donaghey, a Chelsea fan, was selected to play the part of Kurt Von Trapp in the West End production of The Sound of Music earlier this year.

Written by Henry Lyte in 1847, Abide With Me has been part of FA Cup tradition since 1927. King George V and Queen Mary attended that year's final between Arsenal and Cardiff City and Abide With Me was included on the match songsheet as it was known to be one of their favourite hymns. Since then it has been sung before the kick off of every FA Cup final.

Mark Sharman, ITV Director of News and Sport said: “Abide With Me is synonymous with the FA Cup and is many fans’ favourite football song. It’s the perfect choice for the exciting start of our live FA Cup matches on ITV1.”

This version of Abide With Me has been produced by The Music & Media Partnership, and arranged by John Haywood and Rick Blaskey.

ITV’s coverage of the FA Cup begins this weekend with highlights of Saturday’s first round games at 10.40pm on ITV1, followed by Havant & Waterlooville v Brentford live on ITV1 at 1pm on Sunday.

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