Villa Park Heroes – David Bowie’s Miracle Night

As David Bowie's track 'Heroes' rang out over the PA at Villa Park before kick-off, there was a feeling this game might be different from the rest...

Miracle Goodnight

I’ve seen David Bowie perform a miracle once before. It was the last time I saw him perform live, at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester in July 2002. I’d never have been at an outdoor gig with such atrocious weather. In fine Manchester style, it pi**ed it down non-stop all-day, drenching the series of support bands and threatening to put a dampener on seeing old Major Tom.

Nobody got it worst than Bowie’s final support band Suede, their lead singer Brett Anderson got absolute drenched. It was almost comedic. When Suede first started out, I really liked them back in the day (seeing them live a few times), but in my book, Anderson’s battering by the elements in Manchester was a fitting punishment for straying from the majesticness of the band’s first two albums to become parodies of themselves.

During the downpour that rained down on Suede’s set, I remember thinking ‘What a shame it was for everyone to have to see Bowie under such conditions’, but the Thin White Duke wasn’t having any of it.


As soon as Suede left the stage…the rain stopped. Black clouds seemingly evaporated instantly and the sky turned blue, as if flicked on. Then, Bowie strolled on into sunshine, singing Life on Mars.

How on earth did DB pull that one off? Could he actually control the elements?

I’ve seen Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney both on stage at the same time at Hyde Park and even their combined powers couldn’t prevent the down pour that accompanied their performance.


Fast-forward to a chilly January night at Villa Park and in the build-up to Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace, Bowie again prepared to perform a miracle.

MOMS and other Villa fans had suggested via social media on the night before the game to some staff members at the club, that wouldn’t it be fab to have some David Bowie played on the night, as a mark of respect to his sad passing the day before.

The club seemingly obliged and the final song on the stadium’s PA, as the players lined-up in the tunnel before walking out, was Bowie’s master track Heroes (at half-time, Jean Genie was also played.)

It’s was instantly one of my favourite Villa Park moments.

Considering Villa’s dire fortunes, it was a night where Bowie seemingly took a leaf out of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s book (‘If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine’) to perform his biggest miracle yet – inspiring a Villa win! The first home league win at Villa Park in over half a year.

Message to Aston Villa FC: cue Heroes up now for the weekend, ready for the Leicester City game.

As a tribute to Rémi Garde’s first win as Aston Villa boss, here’s David Bowie singing Heroes in French…



If Heroes had been inspirational at the start of the game, it was certainly good to hear Villa fans celebrating around the ground after it, singing ‘Hi-Ho Aston Villa’. It provided a welcome flashback to scenes at last season’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Happier times.

Hopefully we’ll see more of them this season. A lot more.

UTV & RIP David Bowie

Closing Bowie snippet…

The previous evening to the Villa game, I had been on the Sportsbar show on Talksport in MOMS regular slot. They were running a bit of a Bowie tribute playing his music throughout the show, so when asked how I was, I mentioned both Bowie and Villa were the two main constant passions of mine and that “One’s gone and one’s on its way!”

After finishing my slot discussing the miserable going-ons at Villa, former Chelsea and Scotland defender Craig Burley texted the show to say ‘Well, that Villa fan cheered us all up’.

To which the presenters gave a funny and sympathetic response…

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