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 world.
Whenever This Is The One is pumped out over the Old Trafford PA , Ian Brown is £50 better off. “Well,” he laughs, “it pays for my lad’s season ticket".
Image © Kevin Cummins. Photo from Kevin Cummins' book, Manchester: Looking for the Light Through the Pouring Rain (Faber and Faber).
“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