Hear Peter Kay’s emotional speech to Manchester ahead of Noel Gallagher’s set

The comedian spoke of his time working at the arena

Peter Kay gave an emotional speech during the reopening of Manchester Arena.

On Saturday night (Sept 9), Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds performed the headline slot at the Manchester Arena reopening concert.

Raising money for the Manchester Memorial Fund, which is currently raising money to build a new, permanent memorial to the 22 victims of the tragic terrorist attack on an Ariana Grande concert in May, the We Are Manchester benefit gig saw performances from Blossoms, The Courteeners, Pixie Lott and more. Read our full report from the night here.


Before Gallagher took to the stage, Peter Kay delivered a defiant message of positivity and celebration. You can hear the full speech below.

Opening the speech by telling the crowd of his time working at the Manchester Arena in 90s, Kay said he was honoured to be there for its re-opening.

Speaking of the terror attack, Kay said: “The victims will never ever be forgotten, but we’ve got to move forward with love and not hate, and that’s how we win.”

“There’s been a lot of joy in this room over the years, including the night of 22 May, right up until the terrorist attack,” he said, with the crowd booing at the mention of the attack.


“These last four months have been incredibly painful,” he added. “Horrendous is putting it mildly. But that’s why you’re here – because we can’t let terrorists win.

“And I know the memories of that night will stay with us for a very long time but we’ve got to remember the good times and let them outweigh the bad,” he said.

Meanwhile, rother Liam Gallagher criticised Noel’s performance on the evening, calling his appearance at the We Are Manchester gig, a “PR stunt”. His critique received a mixed reaction from fans, some of whom accused Liam of attempting to “claim bragging rights” after he played the One Love Manchester concert in June, for which Noel was absent due to family commitments.