As City fans around the world celebrated that historic night in Istanbul, Kristi and the branch were met by a unique set of circumstances that led to an unforgettable day:
“A month after the Champions League final and I still can’t completely get my head around it. I’m still a bit dazed by everything that happened that day.
“Not only did we win, but we got Noel Gallagher to come share this incredibly special day with us after our bartender, and avid talkSPORT listener, goaded me into calling in live on air to invite him to join us at the Bluefoot for the big day since he had a gig in town that evening.
“We owe a big thanks to everyone at City who helped with the logistics of making that happen. What can be better than hosting one of your favourite performers and watching your club win one of the most important trophies all in one surreal, stressful and exciting day?
“The day started early after a nervous and sleepless night. By 6am the most active members of the branch were awake a chatting on WhatsApp because none of us could sleep. Too many nerves, too many memories of the final against Chelsea.
“Just before 8am myself and Felix Dial, our treasurer, Clayton Phelps, our secretary, Joshua Rodgers who runs our Twitter account, and Jonathan Shrum met at the Bluefoot to decorate the bar inside and out with flags, some belonging to the branch, many from our personal collection and even one from a supporter visiting from England on holiday.
“The bar opened at 9am for the noon kick-off and by 10am the place was rapidly filling up and buzzing with excited and nervous energy. We knew by kick-off it would be packed to the rafters since it always fills up for big matches. At 10:30am everything started to feel real. This was really going to happen. Noel Gallagher was coming to watch the final at our bar, my local.
“After that everything is a bit of a blur of excitement. We wanted him to be able to watch the match like a normal fan, the way we ourselves would be watching it and I think that for the most part it was successful. Or as successful as a massive star attending an event in a public space can be.
“I remember Rodri’s goal and hugging and high fiving so many friends. I remember the heart stopping final moments…then singing Don’t Look Back in Anger and Wonderwall after the final whistle.
“I remember Noel’s team calling Vincent Kompany on FaceTime and seeing his face on her phone as he watched our celebrations.
“I remember getting a call from a CBS producer who wanted to set up the live interview with Noel and having to tell him it would have to wait until after Noel watched the trophy lift... and then the actual trophy lift and so many people, Noel and I included, shedding a tear or two. Then it was time for the live interview with the CBS team who were pitchside.
“We had planned to do a group photo with Noel outside since there wasn’t space to do it inside, but the moment we exited the building we discovered word of our special guest had spread and a large crowd had gathered outside so unfortunately the photo never happened and Noel was whisked away as a safety precaution, but not before arrangements were made to put some branch members and the hardworking bar staff on the guest list for the show that night.
“Those of us who were able to attend had a fantastic time, even if we felt just a bit guilty when Noel mentioned that he was cutting his set slightly short due to his voice starting go because he had spent the afternoon yelling!
“It was the perfect end to one of the best days of my life! Afterwards I curled up on the sofa and watched the match and trophy lift all over again, dazed by the whole experience of the day.”
Joshua, member of the branch, said it was a day that he will never forget:
“The day of the Champions League final still feels like a dream and sometimes I wonder if it really happened. Watching Noel walk through the door, I just got this feeling that it was going to be a special day, that it was going to be the day that City made history.
“The place was electric even before kick-off. The celebration of Rodri’s goal was insane! To be honest, I barely remember the goal itself. Everyone just went nuts.
“When the final whistle came it was so amazing to see the shear happiness of everyone there. So many hugs and high fives were shared, and tears shed, I even shed a few myself.
“Singing Wonderwall and Don’t Look Back in Anger with so many people was unreal. I never thought I would get to experience such an emotional moment with so many people (not to mention Noel Gallagher). It is something that I will never forget.’
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