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City DNA #81: Liam Gallagher

City DNA #81: Liam Gallagher
Cast your mind back to 1996.

Oasis were the biggest band in the world and in August of that year would play the biggest gig of their lives at Knebworth.

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A record two-and-a-half million people applied for tickets, with 250,000 in attendance over two nights at the concerts which defined the Britpop era.

Front and centre was Liam Gallagher, a Manchester City fan from Burnage, who was cementing his place as a rock and roll icon.

Years later bandmate Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs would suggest the band should have called it quits there and then.

It was that big.

But for lifelong City fan Gallagher, the record-breaking gig ranks behind the two nights Oasis played at Maine Road four months earlier.

A homecoming show during a global tour of the hugely successful second album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, Liam delivered an iconic performance in front of 40, 000 fans.

It was the stuff dreams are made of, as he told Vincent Kompany in 2017.

“My Maine Road memories – and there are quite a few – but it’s gotta be when City battered United 5-1 and when Oasis played two gigs there in the 90s.

“To play at the ground of the football club you’ve supported all your life is without doubt the icing on the cake.”

That he did so wearing a players’ drill top he found backstage, serves only to enhance the legend of those unforgettable nights at our former home.

His City love affair had started more than a decade earlier, thanks to a combination of his father’s allegiance and some encouragement in school.

“I went to St Bernard’s in Burnage and there was a teacher called Mr Walsh,” he told mancity.com in 2012.

“He used to get tickets to take a couple of kids to City and we’d go there with our packed lunches.

"That’s how I got into City. My dad was a bit of a fan, but he never took us.”

From there. he was hooked.

Though too young to witness the glory of the late 1960s, Mike Summerbee remains his favourite player of all time, whilst he has always revelled in our rivalry with Manchester United.

Our 5-1 derby victory in 1989 - which he says provided a cure for Glandular Fever that had left him bedridden - and our 2011 FA Cup semi-final victory are two of his favourite games.

He can proudly say ‘I was there’ when City beat Gillingham in the Division Two play-off final in 1999 and, whilst he would loved the pinnacle of his Oasis career to coincide success on the pitch, he has his own theory as to why it wasn't possible.


                        TRIUMPHANT : Liam Gallagher acknowledges the fans at Wembley ahead of City's Division Two play-off final win against Gillingham.
TRIUMPHANT : Liam Gallagher acknowledges the fans at Wembley ahead of City's Division Two play-off final win against Gillingham.

“I wish City were doing as well as they are now when Oasis were doing well," he said last year.

“My theory is you can’t have Oasis and City doing well at the same time because that’s greedy.

“It was the same for the [Stone] Roses. When they got back United went downhill.

I was going to Mani: ‘You can’t have the both. Whilst you’re selling out stadiums your team is going down the pan. I’ve been there.’”

Oasis would be no more by the time City moved towards the most successful period in its history, but Liam's career would continue to be intertwined with the Club.

He delivered a memorable performance of Blue Moon in his trademark style to help launch our 2011 home kit and at the end of that season he proudly paraded the FA Cup trophy at the opening of a new store for his fashion label, Pretty Green.

Twelve months later a man who had reached the summit of the music business saw his beloved football team achieve similar success.

Gallagher was watching from Vincent Kompany's box at the Etihad Stadium as City were crowned champions of England for the first time in his life on that fateful day in May 2012.

Since then he has embarked on a successful solo career, though City are never too far from his thoughts, particularly on Twitter, where he is often found revelling in victories.

And it is a 2019 tweet that perhaps best encapsulates how much City continue to mean to him.

Given the option of a Champions League title or reforming Oasis, one of rock n roll's greatest front-men made an easy decision.

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