Last May, The Courteeners re-released 'Not 19 Forever’ as United’s official title celebration anthem in aid of the MU Foundation, later performing it during the trophy parade and awards night. Here, frontman Liam Fray reflects on an eventful month…
Looking back, how proud are you of the band’s involvement?
It was a proud moment for us all and very surreal. We were at Old Trafford for about 10 days - I felt like a player! Just winning the title was a great end to the season, but being involved in the celebrations was something that we’ll never forget. It was my birthday on the night of the awards too, which was amazing. Even if we had no involvement, it was a great end to the season with winning the league. But being involved, it was something that I will never forget.
What effect did Sir Alex’s retirement have?
We were booked to play live on the pitch after the Swansea game but that changed once Fergie left. I was gutted because I’d told all my friends and family, but what came next – playing at the parade – was arguably even better. I was at the Swansea game as a fan and they played ‘Take Over The World’, which was amazing. We were chatting to Gary Pallister and Bryan Robson like we were best pals! We had a good drink, went out that night and forgot we were playing the day after. We woke up and went to sound-check at 2pm. The weather was grim, but luckily, the people came out with the sun and it was great. I’m told there were 100,000 fans in the city centre, which is incredible. We’ve played Albert Square before but it was nowhere near as good. Although it’s the only time we’ve played a gig and nobody was looking at us, so my ego took a hit!
Did you get any feedback from the players or manager?
We didn’t want to get on anyone’s nerves or in anyone’s way. We see people at festivals ‘accidently’ barging into dressing rooms to meet bands and we’re not into that. We did our very first tour with The Coral and we stayed out of their way, thinking ‘if they want a beer then they will come and have one’. I remember them saying that it was cool that we stayed out of each other’s way, so we left the players alone to celebrate. But then we saw Rio Ferdinand on a train and he said the team had wanted us to go out with them and were waiting for us - I was absolutely gutted.