Exciting few weeks ahead for Man City fans, but nostalgia is the order of the day for one die-hard Blue

Last weekend was a huge one for the blue half of the city. There will have been plenty of sore heads on Monday morning after Manchester City celebrated winning their third Premier League title in a row. It is a feat only matched by Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in the modern era.

And they needn’t put the Alka Selzer away just yet. They are closing in on matching Fergie’s greatest achievement, now being just two games away from the same historic treble of trophies the Reds won in 1999.

Of course, there is the small matter of the first-ever Manchester derby FA Cup final next Saturday before the Champions League final between City and Inter Milan in Istanbul the following weekend.

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Just one of the City fans who is over the Blue Moon right now is none other than Mr Noel Gallagher. The Oasis songwriter and guitarist was at the Etihad to watch his beloved Blues lift the Premier League trophy after their match with Chelsea on Sunday.

Unfortunately, he won’t be in Turkey for the culmination of the treble charge. He revealed this week that he had got his dates mixed up, and failed to factor in that the winter World Cup had elongated the season.

The front cover of Council Skies by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – shot by legendary Mancunian photographer Kevin Cummins

Assuming the final would be in May, Noel gave his people the go-ahead to schedule a gig in San Diego, California, that night as part of his North American tour.

He ruled out cancelling the show as he didn’t want to let fans down, so has resigned himself to watching it in a sports bar instead, and, during a live radio phone-in, accepted the invitation of a member of the San Diego City Supporters Club to watch it with them.

However, Noel is looking back rather than forward on his latest album with his band the High Flying Birds. This year marks 20 years since the Blues left Maine Road.

The front cover of his latest offering, titled Council Skies, shot by legendary Mancunian photographer Kevin Cummins, shows the band’s equipment set around the stone circle in the middle of the housing estate which replaced the stadium, and marks where the pitch’s centre-circle was. However, Noel wants to point out, that the album ISN’T all about Manchester.

Noel puts the world to rights

Noel was in typically opinionated mood when he spoke to the M.E.N

He chatted to our What’s On Editor Jenna Campbell over the phone from a recording studio in London where he now lives. He said that as a result of the cover ‘journalists got the wrong end of the stick and thought the whole thing was about Manchester and it isn’t.’

He said it was instead: “About going back to the beginning. Daydreaming, looking up at the sky, and wondering about what life could be… that’s as true to me now as it was in the early 90s. When I was growing up in poverty and unemployment, music took me out of that.”

Despite insisting the album is not about his hometown, he still speaks warmly of it, saying: “It’s changed cosmetically, but as far as I’m concerned the people are still the same and the vibe of it never really changes.

“When I go to City’s away matches and sit in the away end with everyone else, it’s the same as it always was, the accent, the people, everything.”

Never short of an opinion, Noel offers some typically withering takes on the music industry and AI amongst other topics. So click here for a nice, big, unadulterated slice of Gallagherism.

Oh I do love to be beside the seaside

People head to Lytham St Annes beach
The beach in Lytham St Annes

It’s finally starting to feel like summer’s arriving isn’t it? It’s been more like the Mediterranean than Manchester this week. And its set to be another glorious weekend with temperatures topping 22 degrees celsius today and 19C on Sunday. So what better excuse than a trip to the beach?

Our tourism writer Liv Clarke has a suggestion just an hour’s drive away which is very kid-friendly. It’s Lytham St Anne’s in Lancashire, just south of Blackpool. Liv says: “If you’re looking for the quintessential seaside experience, this is where you’ll find it.”

There is plenty of space to spread out on the beach, where there are donkey rides available. It also boasts a beautiful Victorian pier extending 600ft from the shore with children’s rides, amusements and places to buy refreshments – including the obligatory ice-cream.

So, if you’re tempted by the idea of a 99 (with loads of raspberry sauce) and a paddle, Liv has got you covered with all the info you need here.

Inspirational ‘Eva the Elf’

Eva Field

Speaking of heat, this is guaranteed to warm your heart. We all know that litter becomes an even bigger problem during sunny weather.

But nine-year-old Eva Field is making it her mission to keep her area clean and is inspiring others in the process. She spends every Friday picking up litter around Heywood using her own free time to make a change.

She is now hosting her own group litter pick in Queens Park in Heywood on May, 31, when the Mayor of Rochdale has promised to pay a visit.

It’s just one of her acts of kindness over the last few years – including donating to charity and helping the homeless. Well done Eva and keep going! To read more about here click here.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, have a great time.

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