He’s considered one of the greatest English footballers of his generation, winning two League titles and two FA cups while playing for Liverpool.
But John Barnes, 60, is perhaps as well-known for his rap in New Order’s 1990 smash hit World in Motion as his impressive playing career.
Now, more than three decades on, Jamaica-born Barnes has reignited his rap career and teamed up with Quality Street to encourage people to recycle their rappers (and wrappers) in a festive ad.
The Christmas-themed music video, ‘Street (W)rappers’ pairs a slick production with cues from rap videos.
Barnes, in a vintage shell suit with toffee penny ‘medallion’, tells the audience to ‘keep it simple, keep it sweet, recycle your Quality Street’.
Barnes has reignited his rap career and teamed up with Quality Street to encourage people to recycle their rappers (and wrappers) in a festive
John Barnes, 60, is perhaps as well-known for his rap in New Order’s 1990 smash hit World in Motion as his impressive playing career (pictured in the video)
We then see Christmas-grotto style scenes spliced with Barnes showing off his moves at the ‘club’, complete with Quality Street coloured strobe lights.
‘Quality Street and Christmas go hand in hand for me and my family,’ Barnes said of the ad.
‘I loved flexing my rapping skills again, 33 years after the original, and if that gets people to recycle their Quality Street wrappers at home, I’m all for it.
‘And who knows? Maybe this is the rap I’ll be performing every chance I get!’
Jemma Handley, Senior Brand Manager for Quality Street added, ‘Working with John Barnes was a no brainer for us – an England footballing legend who’s also a superstar rapper – he was the only man for the job.
‘We’re so proud that every Quality Street chocolate in our assortment is now in a recyclable wrapper and the music video is a brilliant way of letting our consumers know that after they’ve enjoyed their Quality Street this Christmas, the wrappers can go in the usual household recycling’.
The single paper wrap, which was initially introduced to the Quality Street tins in 2022, replaced the double-layer cellulose and foil wrappers, removing almost two billion pieces of packaging material from the supply chain.
This year, the brand has completed the move to paper wrap across 9 of its 11 chocolates, with the Green Triangle and Orange Chocolate Crunch remaining in recyclable foil.
Barnes, in a vintage shell suit with toffee penny ‘medallion’, tells the audience to ‘keep it simple, keep it sweet, recycle your Quality Street’
We then see Christmas-grotto style scenes spliced with Barnes showing off his moves at the ‘club’, complete with Quality Street coloured strobe lights
Barnes and Quality Street are perhaps hoping for the success of other rap-filled adverts.
Most notably, Snoop Dogg appears in adverts for JustEat, often with catchy raps.
Barnes spent 10 years at Anfield, but also played for Watford and Newcastle United. He went on to manage Celtic, Jamaica and Tranmere Rovers.
He won two league titles and two FA Cups with Liverpool. He was also named Footballer of the Year award in 1988 and 1990.
Last year, he courted controversy when he accused the British public of ‘bullying’ Qatar during the World Cup.
He claimed that fans from western countries needed to ‘stop lecturing’ Qatar for its human rights record.
John famously contributed to the track in May 1990 when it was released by British band New Order for the World Cup in Italy. It shot to the top of the UK singles charts at number one.
The Football Association Press Officer at the time, David Bloomfield, enlisted New Order to produce the track – but no players wanted to be involved in it originally.
Barnes and Quality Street are perhaps hoping for the success of other rap-filled adverts
The likes of Gary Lineker refused to be associated as they felt that past World Cup anthems were tacky; in the end, less than ten players turned up for the recording session.
John’s rap was famously improvised on the spot with Liverpool’s Craig Johnston, with them writing it at the last minute on a scrap of paper.
Additional vocals were contributed by several members of the 1990 English team and comedian Keith Allen [father of Lily] who had co-written the song.
It also featured in a famous scene from sitcom Gavin & Stacey, when Smithy [James Corden] and Gavin [Mathew Horne] break into John’s rap in Gavin’s hallway, soon joined by Pam and Mick [Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb].
Despite the huge success of the song, Barnes was only paid £200 for it, and received no royalties.