Did the Arctic Monkeys reference Eric Cantona in one of their songs?

Arctic Monkeys Eric Cantona
(Image credit: Getty)

The Arctic Monkeys made a reference to Eric Cantona in the 2013 song, 'No.1 Party Anthem' – FFT is sure of it. 

It just makes too much sense. In the opening lyrics of the slow jam, lead singer Alex Turner appears to croon, "Leather jacket, collar popped like Cantona", referring to the Frenchman's legendary look.

Except, that's not what the sleeve notes read. According to the AM album – which includes lyrics to each song, Al is actually singing "collar popped like antenna". Which do you hear?

The Cantona reference would make perfect sense. 

All four of the Monkeys are from High Green, Sheffield – though former bassist Andy Nicholson hailed from Hillsborough, where the Sheffield Wednesday ground is located. The band are apparently Wednesday fans – including Turner himself – and Cantona has links to the Owls, having almost signed for them in the past.

Turner would know this: he has a Sheffield rose tattoo on his arm and is known for dropping references to his hometown in his lyrics. It seems like too much of a coincidence not to be true. 

So is it Cantona that the band are paying homage to in the song – and someone at their record company simply made a mistake when they wrote up the lyrics? Which seems vaguely plausible, given that the band are now US-based and someone may not have heard of King Eric (sacrilege, we know). Or are we just hearing things we want to hear?

Eric Cantona week on FourFourTwo

• King of the Kop? When Eric Cantona nearly signed for Liverpool

• How Sheffield Wednesday turned down signing Eric Cantona

• Every club Eric Cantona played for: a potted history of the Frenchman's career

• Quiz! Can you name every club Eric Cantona scored against in the Premier League?

• Why did Leeds sell Eric Cantona to Manchester United?

• Year Zero: The making of Eric Cantona (Leeds/Manchester United, 1992/93)

• Does Eric Cantona have a Leeds tattoo? The truth behind the collar

• Ranked! Eric Cantona's 10 best goals

• Quiz! Can you name Eric Cantona's most frequent Manchester United team-mates?

• 7 best pieces of Eric Cantona memorabilia available to buy online

• Quiz! Can you name every club Eric Cantona played against in the Premier League?

• Ranked! The 16 best Premier League players of the 1990s

• Eric Cantona: the 7 most iconic quotes from the man himself

• Quiz! Can you name every player in the Nike Secret Tournament advert?

• Dominant, volatile and hijacked by cliché: why we still love Eric Cantona

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.