Woman sings national anthem at one of first football games since Queen's death

Samantha Oxborough
Samantha Oxborough

An East Lancashire woman says she is honoured to have been chosen to sing the national anthem at a major football game.

Samantha Oxborough, who was raised in Sabden, sang at the Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester City Premier League game on Saturday (September 17).

Players, officials and supporters observed a minute’s silence before Samantha stunned crowds with her operatic rendition of the new national anthem, God Save the King.

It was one of the first Premier League games following the Queen’s death, after a weekend's fixtures were cancelled out of respect to Her Majesty.

Samantha, who was also asked to sing the anthem at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, said it was unusual to swap the word ‘Queen’ for ‘King’ and had to practice several times beforehand.

The Sabden Primary School pupil said: “The last time I sang the national anthem it was ‘God Save the Queen’ and this was the first time I sang the King version.

“It felt very unusual to have to sing the new words. I repeated ‘King’ beforehand to ensure I said it correctly.

“This is all we have known for 70 years and the first time in our lifetime that we would have had to change the word.”

Samantha said it was an “awesome experience” to hear the 32,000 strong crowd echo the words back to her, particularly as this performance fell in the wake of the Queen’s death.

She said: “It was a really lovely experience. Football managers shook my hand after it was finished.

“I never would have thought a little girl from Lancashire would grow up and be singing the national anthem to thousands and standing next to Jack Grealish on a football pitch.

“I was there thinking ‘this can’t be happening, that can’t be him’.”

Samantha said her singing career has blossomed since being asked to perform the national anthem at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

This week she is even filming a mystery singing TV show in Lancashire.

She said: “It’s been pretty crazy recently and my career has been going really well.

“Covid was awful and our jobs were just cut away from us. Now things are coming back it’s just incredible.

“The commonwealth games spring boarded the singing of this national anthem and it is so nice knowing my name is being cast around.

“Just because you are from a tiny village like Sabden or a working class background doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams.

“I could have easily given up but I wanted to do this and carried on.”