Why do some football clubs boo the national anthem? List of teams and history explained

Liverpool were heard booing the national anthem on the weekend of King Charles coronation

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The British national anthem has been played across the country before every football match over the weekend to mark the coronation of King Charles III. 

However, this decision has not gone down well with some sections of the footballing community. God Save the King was largely overpowered by a resounding chorus of boos from Liverpool fans in the build up to their Premier League fixture with Brentford on Saturday 6 May.

Liverpool supporters could also be heard chanting “Liverpool, Liverpool” in what has become somewhat of a tradition whenever the national anthem is played.

The tradition of booing the national anthem in Liverpool dates back to the 1980s and it began as a protest to the establishment of the then Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher. 

It has since continued into the 21st century and a large section of Liverpool fans were also heard booing the national anthem during their FA Cup final against Chelsea in 2022.

But what other football clubs boo the national anthem and what is the history behind it?

Here is everything you need to know

Which football clubs have booed the national anthem?


SPL league leaders Celtic have shared their dissatisfaction at the British establishment and the Royal Family on several occasions. Several Celtic fans chanted through a minute’s applause in memory of the late monarch Queen Elizabeth II during their Cinch Premiership game with St Mirren in September 2022.

Some Hoops fans chanted: “If you hate the Royal Family clap your hands” while others were seen holding banners with a similar message. Celtic were also the subject of UEFA disciplinary proceedings earlier in September for displaying a banner which said: “F*** the Crown” during a Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Celtic fans also chanted against the coronation during their Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Rangers on Sunday 30 April. Celtic’s anti-royal sentiments are largely intertwined with those of anti-monarchist Irish republicans and the club was founded in the 1880s with the aim of alleviating poverty in Glasgow’s Irish Catholic immigrant community.

Dundee United 

Some sections of Dundee United and Hibernian fans have also been heard booing the national anthem over the course of this season. A small section of Dundee fans interrupted a minute long silence for Queen Elizabeth during their game against Rangers in September 2022.

While some Hibernian fans were also heard chanting “Lizzies in a box” during their minute's silence that same weekend.


Liverpool fans are known for booing the national anthem and the reasons for doing so largely date back to a dissatisfaction with Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government during the 1980s.

Connor O’Neill of the Liverpool Echo explained: “The Conservative government’s ‘managed decline’ of the city was then followed by the failings of the government following the Hillsborough disaster, which further entrenched those feelings.”

John Gibbons of the Liverpool fan podcast added that any fans don’t appreciate the celebrations of Charles’ coronation being “forced upon” them.

He describes the “cover up” which followed the Hillsborough disaster as one of the reasons for the “disconnect” from the country and the royal family.

The ill-feeling between the city and the establishment extends to the English national team in some cases and banners of “scouse not English” can regularly be seen during Liverpool games at Anfield.