Five famous Reds explain why 'This Is The One'

Thursday 08 February 2024 18:00

adidas and Manchester United's innovative collaboration with The Stone Roses has got everyone talking - not least some of the familiar faces who appear in the promotional video released today.

'Roses Is Red' is the title of the special film which explains how the iconic 'Madchester' band's anthem 'This Is The One' was selected for the Reds to walk out to on matchdays at Old Trafford and why, many years later, it still fits the bill perfectly.

Ex-United captain Gary Neville is the first Greater Manchester voice you'll hear in the video below, and he's later joined by fellow representatives of the regional accent such as former team-mate Wes Brown, stadium announcer Alan Keegan and fan Liam Fray, who uses his expertise as the lead singer of The Courteneers to dissect the song.
Roses are Red Video

Roses are Red

Discover the story behind 'This Is The One', United's iconic stadium walk-out song by The Stone Roses...

Ahead of much more to come from that quartet, as well as current Reds defender Jonny Evans - an adopted Mancunian, originally from Belfast of course - here's a selection of soundbites from our exclusive interviews.


"When the manager made me captain and I knew I’d be leading the team out, I wanted a new song. I wanted us to come out to a song from Manchester. I just loved 'This Is the One.' It felt to me like Old Trafford was the place where it all happened, and I'd heard enough about Oasis, for years. Manchester has got a better band than Oasis. The Stone Roses had a massive impact on the city. The song has stood the test of the time, but United help keep it alive every single week. When I’m up there now on the TV gantry and John Squire's guitar starts to play, that moment still gives me goosebumps. If you’re a United fan and you hear that song starting, you know it’s time for the match to start."


"There was a great vibe around the city when I was growing up. Everywhere you went, there was music, and The Stone Roses were a big part of it. I've met the band a few times... when I've seen Ian [Brown] and Mani, it's good because it makes me put my Manc accent back on! They are great lads and massive United fans. For the players, the song means it's focus time and it makes you want to win. It's the first thing you hear when you go out and step on the pitch. You look at the lads around you and you want to go out and win the game, for the fans first of all."

"The song makes me feel at home and it is so synonymous with the tunnel for me… when the beat first kicks in, that feeling. I always remember when Gary Neville had Ian Brown singing it as he came out for his testimonial, it was actually pretty emotional. Gary was responsible for bringing this song to Old Trafford, I know he's a big fan of The Stone Roses. When you have such a huge band like that coming from Manchester, it's something to be proud of. It's a ritual for the guys on a matchday. It is Manchester United's anthem."


"Some of the song's resonance comes from the delivery, because at points, especially in the beginning, it's almost like Ian is whispering that first chorus. It's right there. It's in your head. It goes from that to full throttle very quickly but they're not throwing pots and pans at it. It grows and it grows very quickly. There's not loads of elements going on. You don't have to go all guns blazing for a song to be impactful. It comes from starting at quite a delicate point I think. People talk about the music a lot, and obviously the music is incredible, but the lyrics are incredible as well. Ian is a poet. The line 'immerse yourself in splendour' is beautiful."


"When you play the intro, the fans in the stadium know straight away that the players are in the tunnel. It's so iconic, it's so special, it's far more than just a song. It's the greatest song you could possibly play at a football ground. I go to all the away matches and there's no song like 'This Is The One.' I remember once I was coming out of the Etihad after a derby match and I happened to meet Ian Brown who was there with his two sons. To my delight, he turned to one of his sons and said, ‘Do you know who this is? This is Alan Keegan, the voice of Old Trafford, the fella who plays your dad's song at Old Trafford, 'This Is the One.'"

The Stone Roses collection is now available from United Direct and the Megastore at Old Trafford.