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This Chesney Hawkes & Peter Shilton England song is proof that the world is a terrible, cruel place

No one deserves this. No one.

This Chesney Hawkes & Peter Shilton England song is proof that the world is a terrible, cruel place
10 June 2016

One of the perils of being a human being is possessing empathy.

Honestly, there isn't a day that goes by when I don't wish I was a vicious sociopath, unthinkingly manipulating people, crushing their dreams for the sole pursuit of the advancement of my own.

But, sadly, I have the ability to feel sorry for people. People less fortunate than me, people just having a bad day. I feel for all of them, and I try, in my own small way, to try and make things better where I can.

But I'm not sure I've ever felt more sorry for anyone than when I watched Chesney Hawkes and Peter Shilton star in this England song for Rustlers Burgers.

It is hard to use mere words to describe the gamut of feelings that poured through my body during the 197 seconds I spent watching this.

For the (perhaps in vain) purpose of saving you from watching this almost existentially appalling video, above is the footage to accompany a 'realistic' football song, recorded 'in case England don't win Euro 2016'. In it, Chesney Hawkes sings cheerfully “No victory in 50 years. And yes, it could be 50 more. Best prepare for some tears. Cos our defence will likely let them score. Still our boys will have fun. Kicking a ball in the sun. Even though our chances are practically none.”

Meanwhile, Peter Shilton explains in a truly baffling 'middle eight' - if you can call it such a thing - how it won't matter if we win as we invented loads of stuff like rubber bands, the jet engine and the world wide web.

Well, guys, give it a week and you'll be cursing the day that that latter invention ever came into being because it's precisely that which has caused you to surrender all dignity in the name of a microwaveable burger.

On which note, in the list of notable achievements by Englishmen, "Flame grilled burgers you can cook in 90 seconds" is snuck in, just before - equally inexplicably - tuning forks. You can just see the marketing meeting at Rustlers HQ:

"Lads, we've got Chesney. We've got Peter. We've got the shit hot viral content. That's probably enough isn't it?"

"No. We need to create more brand awareness. Rustlers have got to make it into the lyrics somehow."

"Shall we list the general concept of a microwaveable burger as one of England's greatest achievements? It's more subtle than a direct plug for Rustlers. And we'll get the benefit as everyone knows Rustlers are the premier exponent of this essential foodstuff."

"Great thinking guys, get it in there."

No one in this video is having fun.

Oh, Chesney's a nice guy. I've seen him play a set at Glastonbudget - a festival which hosts nothing but tribute bands. And who still booked Chesney Hawkes, for absolutely no apparent reason. Perhaps they thought that no one could actually want to be Chesney Hawkes, so this guy must just be a tribute to him. Within two songs he'd cheerfully told us: "Don't worry, I'll play it soon. Don't worry." It was chucking it down with rain and he played a sterling set of above-average cover songs and then he played 'it'. He's a nice guy. You'd definitely go for a pint with him.

And Peter Shilton? Next level. He once hosted a pub quiz I went to and was unfailingly lovely, chatting to everyone, telling stories, basically like the world's best granddad. He gave up his time to do an interview for my football podcast. Waiting to speak to him transported me back to my childhood, when he seemed like an unbeaten giant of a man in goal. He's England's record caps holder, he played over a thousand league games, he's a genuine national hero.

But he missed out on the Premier League gravy train didn't he? Didn't make £50,000 a week.

No one - no one - deserves this indignity.

Look at the guy on the right in this screen shot.

He's getting paid £50. It's not even an hour's work. There's no make-up time - just stick that wig on mate and have a few pints. No one will know he's in this, he's barely on screen. "Enjoy yourself, it's a bit of fun!"

But he can't. Because he knows the truth. It's etched on his face. He cannot and will not lie to himself. "Why am I doing this?" he's thinking. "Please, someone help me escape from here" he's thinking.

But he can't. Because he needs the money. So does Chesney. So does Peter. Because bills have to be paid and in the cruel, godawful capitalist system we live in it's not Chesney - who gifted the world an absolute banger of a song that every single human alive has at some point unironically belted out at a nightclub, improving their lives, even if it was just for that instant - or Peter - who gifted millions of football fans the sheer pleasure of watching him perform heroics in sticks week-in, week-out - who has the cash. It's Rustlers. A microwaveable burger company has more power than two honest, nice, talented guys.

And that is why the world is a terrible, cruel place that does not deserve the likes of Chesney or Peter.

When the aliens invade, we should give them this video and tell them we're not good enough to be kept alive.