'Three Lions' roars up charts as England prepares for WC semi

The song is one of the UK's best-selling singles of all time, with both versions combined having sold 1.6 million.

Gareth Southgate's England plays Croatia in the World Cup semifinals in Moscow on Wednesday.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Football anthem “Three Lions” is leading the race to top the Official Singles Chart this Friday as Gareth Southgate's England prepares for its World Cup semifinal against Croatia.

Officialcharts.com said the song, performed by comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel and the Lightning Seeds, had shot up from 24 to number 1 at the halfway stage on Monday's chart update.

It has accumulated 24,000 downloads and 2.6 million audio streams since Friday.

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“Three Lions (Football's Coming Home)” was originally written for Euro 96 -- the last time England qualified for the semifinals of a major tournament -- and hit the number one spot twice.

A re-worked version with new new lyrics for the 1998 World Cup in France also spent three weeks at the summit.

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The song is one of the UK's best-selling singles of all time, with both versions combined having sold 1.6 million.

Pop star George Ezra, enjoying his second week at number one with “Shotgun”, has urged fans to get behind “Three Lions”.

He said he was delighted with his own song's success.

“But I think it's time we knock it off the number one spot with Three Lions,” he said. “We go out and we download and we stream 'Three Lions', and you know why? Because it's coming home. Come on England!”

Gareth Southgate's England plays Croatia in the World Cup semifinals in Moscow on Wednesday.

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