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A tearful Noel Gallagher paid tribute to his hometown as he closed the first concert at the Manchester Arena since it was targeted in a deadly terror attack in May.
Some 14,000 people turned out for the We Are Manchester benefit gig, which moved the Oasis star to tears as headlined the emotional night
The concert, which raised money for survivors and families of 22 who were killed, was held exactly 110 days after Salman Abedi detonated a homemade nail bomb amid crowds as they left the arena after Ariana Grande finished her set on May 22.
In the wake of the attack, Oasis hit Don’t Look Back In Anger became an unofficial anthem of Manchester’s defiance in the face of terror, with people memorably launching into a spontaneous rendition of the classic at the end of a moment’s silence for victims.
Tears rolled down Noel Gallagher’s cheek as he played the song during the climax of Saturday night’s gig.
Before he began singing, the star told crowds: “I was sat at home watching Sky News broadcast the minute’s silence after what happened here and during that silence one girl broke it and started to sing.
“I don’t know if she is here tonight but if she is I ******* love you. It’s amazing how everyone rallied around and started to sing. It’s become some sort of anthem for defiance I think.”
He added: “Every time you sing, we win. So sing like you’ve never sang before.”
Other stars on the bill included Pixie Lott, The Courteeners and Rick Astley, while comedian Peter Kay returned to the arena where he once worked as a steward.
The Phoenix Nights star told the crowd: “I’ve played here many times, I’ve watched a lot of acts here and I’ve seen a lot of happiness and joy in this building and in this room.
“There’s been a lot of joy in this room, including the night of May 22, right up until the terrorist attack.
“We cannot let terrorists win. The victims will never ever be forgotten.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham had opened the concert by reciting the 22 names of those killed in the bombing, with thousands of music fans cheering as they were read out.
He said: “Thank you to the city for coming together.
“Thank you for being who you are. We are Manchester, a city united, nothing will ever change us, nothing will ever divide us.”
Families who lost loved ones and those injured in the terror attack three months ago were among the crowd at the sold-out gig.
Charlotte Campbell, whose daughter Olivia, 15, was among the victims, said she “had to come back as a show of defiance”.
“We have to show we are not scared and we don’t want Manchester to be scared. We are proud coming here,” she told the Sunday People.
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