Chesney Hawkes agrees with fans that he was a big reason England defeated Wales in the World Cup this week, and revealed the team want to adopt him as their ‘mascot’ for the rest of the tournament.
The 51-year-old pop star sang his 1991 smash hit The One and Only on the Al Rayyan Stadium pitch in Qatar during half-time in the Three Lions’ clash with Wales, and Chesney believes his rousing performance inspired the team to a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Ahead of his appearance, it had been a drab first half display with the scores tied at 0-0 at the interval.
‘Every one of them said they wanted to adopt me as their mascot after England’s fortunes changed so quickly after I performed,’ he said.
‘They joked that I had turned the game – and even asked me to perform at the team hotel. It was honestly one of the best moments of my entire life.’
The singer, who spent five weeks at number one and peaked at number 10 on the US’s Billboard charts, also called it ‘undoubtedly my career highlight’.
Chesney now claims the England squad want him to perform at Sunday’s last-16 knockout clash against Senegal, and he hopes Fifa will allow it to happen.
He added to The Sun newspaper: ‘The team want me back, I think England want me back – and I just hope Fifa allow me to make it happen again. I’m England’s One and Only mascot.’
The musician also addressed talk of favouritism from just one team having a fan performance, confirming he was ‘happy to go head-to-head with a Senegalese singer’ for the next match.
He also said he just wanted to return and five the players ‘the best boost I possibly can’.
Fans certainly agree that Chesney has a magic touch after the transformation that was seen in England’s game following Chesney’s performance.
Just five minutes into the second half, Marcus Rashford opened the scoring with a blistering free-kick, and Phil Foden scored a second just a minute later.
Rashford netted once again midway through the second half to confirm England’s place at the top of their group and send the Three Lions through to the knockout stages of the Qatar-based tournament.
‘Chesney Hawkes should play every England match half time from now on,’ declared one fan on Twitter, with scores agreeing that he had ‘brought the luck’.
The massive West Ham fan also shared that he had ‘made a beeline’ for Hammers hero Declan Rice, who gave him ‘a wonderful cuddle’, as well as being ‘mobbed’ by players including Rashford, Foden, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish.
Chesney’s one-song slot was reportedly his first stadium performance since he supported Bryan Adams on tour in 1993.
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