/ 25 November 2007

‘My dear, a penis and a mountain’

A British opera singer who sang Croatia’s national anthem before their crucial football victory over England blundered by accidentally singing about his manhood, British media reported on Friday.

Tony Henry’s explicit rendition, delivered before about 90 000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium, may have helped the Croatian side keep England out of the European championships by making them laugh and feel relaxed, fans say.

As he sang Lijepa Nasa Domovino (Our Beautiful Homeland), Henry mispronounced some of it — instead of singing “Mila kuda si planina [You know, my dear, how we love your mountains]”, he sang “Mila kura si planina“, which sounds like “My dear, a penis and a mountain”.

One of Croatia’s young mascots was pictured sniggering at the line, while the Sun newspaper reported that players Vedran Corluka and Luka Modric were spotted looking at each other in amazement.

The newspaper quoted Mate Prlic, of Croatian football magazine Torcida, calling for Henry to be kept on as a team mascot, saying: “He obviously relaxed the players, so why not invite him to Euro 2008 to keep the winning streak going?”

Croatia won the game on Wednesday 3-2 and England manager Steve McClaren was sacked the following morning. — AFP