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'Move forward with love and not hate': Peter Kay's message of defiance as Manchester Arena reopens

Noel Gallagher led the crowd in a sing-along of Don’t Look Back in Anger, calling it an “anthem of defiance”.

COMEDIAN PETER KAY delivered a heartfelt message to the crowd at the Manchester Arena last night, as the venue reopened in the wake of May’s terror attack.

Kay said the last four months had been “incredibly painful”.

“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.”

The Bolton comedian, who once worked as a steward at the venue, said that the victims of the bombing would never be forgotten.

We’ve got to move forward with love and not hate, and that’s how we win.

We Are Manchester benefit show Source: Peter Byrne

Kay then introduced Noel Gallagher, who led the crowd through a sing-along of the Oasis hit Don’t Look Back in Anger.

Back in May, the crowd at a one-minute silence for the victims of the attack broke into a spontaneous rendition of the song, and it has since taken on a new significance for the city.

“If anyone here ever doubted that Manchester was the greatest city in England… there was a minute’s silence and one girl broke the silence and started to sing and it’s amazing how everyone rallied around that song that I’m about to sing,” Gallagher told the crowd, according to the Manchester Evening News.

It’s become some kind of anthem of defiance. And every time we sing we win, so keep on singing.

We Are Manchester benefit show Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham began the We Are Manchester concert last night by reading the names of the 22 people killed.

A diverse bill included Rick Astley, Pixie Lott, Manchester grime MC Bugzy Malone and local band The Courteeners.

Gallagher’s performance closed the concert.

We Are Manchester benefit show Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham. Source: Peter Byrne

There was heightened security at the reopening of the arena, with backpacks and bags searched and armed police on patrol.

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