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Joop Leeuwendaal


Joop Leeuwendaal (left) singing De Ajax Marsch

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Dutchman Joop Leeuwendaal is primarily known for his 2001 version of De Ajax Marsch (‘The Ajax March’), the official club anthem of the Ajax Amsterdam football club.

The tune was originally composed (by E. Painparé) and written (by D. Knegt) in 1918, after Ajax had clinched their very first Dutch football championship. The oldest recording of the song was made in 1919.

Two versions of ‘De Ajax Marsch’ were released on record in the 1950s: one by Max van Praag and the Accordiola Orechestra (1950) and one by the Jack Presburg Orkest (1952). Another version was released in 1963, by Fred Wiegman & City Theaterorkest.

The official Ajax club anthem was more or less forgotten in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, but once again recorded for a special AFC Ajax theatre show, written for the celebrations of the football club’s centenary in 2000. The ‘Joop Leeuwendaal version’ of the tune was released on CD single by Dino Music in 2001 and is still played prior to every AFC Ajax home match at the Amsterdam ArenA.

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