When Oasis came along they reinforced Manchester’s position as the UK’s music capital. They were City fans, of course, but there were still plenty of United fans among Britpop’s new breed: Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, Supergrass’s Gaz Coombes, Shed Seven’s Rick Witter, Charlatans Tim Burgess and Mark Collins, as well as The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft.
In 1999, when United won the Champions League in Barcelona, you’d have been hard pressed to throw a stone and not hit someone connected to the music business. Mani, Bez (Happy Mondays), O’Brien and Ashcroft were all in attendance. And since that night, The Stone Roses’ triumphant anthem This Is The One has been played regularly before home games and stirs something deep in the soul of every music-loving United fan – and football fans everywhere.
“You know, football is rather like music,” says Mani. “The feeling you get from playing a great gig or making a great album is the same you get from watching a great goal scored. When it all comes together, it’s beautiful.”
He’s right, and in that true scally spirit that defines much of what United’s support is about, those whose young lives were so enriched by George Best were inspired to mirror that energy in their own
“I had to turf Ryan Giggs off my car one time. He was sitting on it outside the club!”
- Peter Hook, Joy Division & New Order