A SWIMMING pool teacher turned songwriter, this year teamed up with 80s cult stars Black Lace to produce a World Cup Song in aid of troops charity Help 4 Heroes. Reporter Dan Coombs went behind the scenes for the filming of the music video, taking in the central London sights of Big Ben and Tower Bridge along the way...

Meeting at 8.30am on a Sunday morning in Marble Arch McDonald's was disorientating enough, so to look over my shoulder and see Fabio Capello tucking into his breakfast made me realise this was no ordinary day.

This was the day when crazed England football fans brought World Cup fever forward three months, with a flag waving, airhorn tooting and scarf swinging through the streets of London's busiest tourist hotspots.

Fabio Capello of course, was probably worrying about England's left back dilemma, and lookalike Michael McElhinney from New Windsor Street, Uxbridge, was donning the famous spectacles.

A select group of fans hailing from Stockport to Kent had travelled from across the country to play their part in a music video hoping to become the biggest England World Cup hit since Three Lions in 1996 and Vindaloo in 1998.

The song 'We are the England fans' is the brainchild of Neil Sullivan, 28, from Hayes, west London, who wrote it to the unforgettable tune of 'Music Man' by Black Lace .

Neil's proactive work excited Black Lace, and band members Dene Michaels and Ian Robinson teamed up with him to record the song in Leeds earlier this month.

The song is quirky, lively and demands audience participation, and the lyrics may be simple, but that only makes it easier to remember.

If Neil, who has renamed himself DJ Neil Philips, gets his way, the song will not only hit the charts and radio airwaves, but also be blasted out in pubs, clubs, and football stadia across England in the run-up to this summer's World Cup.

The concept for the music video was simple, take one open top double decker bus, 50 England fans in shirts and scarves, the song blasting out of a PA system, and of course the trump card, a Fabio Capello lookalike, and hey presto- a music video emerges.

While to my eyes on the day everything had been running perfectly smoothly, this was only thanks to endless phone calls, and meticulous organisation, not to mention the customary fretting over the gamble of the combination of the English weather and an open top bus in March.

"We had to negotiate a lot of red tape, letting the police know what we were doing, and phoning each individual force to get permission.

"At one point it didn't look like we would even get a bus, but the Big Bus Company stepped in and gave us one for free and let us kit it out.

"The day was an absolute dream, everything went right, and the camera crew captured loads of fantastic footage."

From Marble Arch, the bus headed towards Baker Street and Madam Tussauds, before heading to Piccadilly Circus.

This was only the beginning, of the route, and gave us all the chance to learn our actions to the song, perfecting the art of juggling our flags, scarves, and airhorns, while passing a bemused pro-Tibet protester standing outside the Chinese Embassy, doing his best to meditate.

By time we reached Trafalgar Square and carried on down to Westminster Bridge via Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, we had perfected our actions and timing, and had become accustomed to turning the heads of the tourists in the street, with the question, 'Is that Fabio Capello?' ringing in the heads of passers-by.

"Fabio is my Peter Kay," explained Neil, "He was the finishing touch, I knew him because he drinks in the pub in Uxbridge, he is great for the video and very funny.

"The highlight for me was doing the Dambusters over Tower Bridge, it doesn't get any better than that, and I can't wait to see it on the video."

The production and filming was done by a friend of Neil's, Laurie Cameron, who it is fair to say, owed him one.

"We met a couple of years ago while doing a rally across Mongolia, his car had broken down in the middle of the Gobi desert, and we offered to tow them to the nearest village.

"We stayed mates, and when he heard about the video, he was quick to offer for Jumperman Productions to become involved."

Black Lace's Dene Michaels and Ian Robinson performed the solo parts to the song on board, and were backed by the 50 odd England shirt wearing fans, including myself, all with the prompting and direction of Neil and his father Mark Sullivan.

By the end of the filming we were endlessly familiar with Westminster, having crossed the River Thames a total of six times, each on a different bridge.

England fan Jake Lane, 24, who travelled up from Bromley, Kent, for the recording of the video, said: "It was a great day and for such a good cause, the atmosphere was electric and there was a real buzz on the bus, I wouldn't have liked to be a Scot walking past.

"Neil and the guys have done a great job and let's hope all the England fans across the country get behind them and buy the song."

So what now for the record? Can it hit the charts and become this summer's World Cup anthem?

If it gets the nation's backing, possibly. The video should be ready in early April, in time for a push to get it into the Top 40, and even number one, in time for St George's Day, on April 23.

The idea is to push it out to music channels, and television shows, with the backing of Black Lace's record label, while Neil is busy sending copies of the record to football clubs up and down the country.

An internet campaign has already been mobilised to get the song to number one, with 3,000 plus fans backing the motion on Facebook.

The song can be downloaded from iTunes now, although I don't need to do that, because after filming 'We are the England fans' with the song on repeat, the tune is still permanently replaying itself in my head.