The united roar was the loudest ever experienced in any major sporting venue in the Midlands – and probably beyond.
It left a feeling in the heart that was unique in anyone’s experience – leaving a proud boast that this may never again be witnessed anywhere in the Commonwealth – ever! It truly was a privilege and an honour to be part of this - the greatest sporting event ever.
As the curtains of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games were drawing to a final close, a rip-roaring ‘rattle-cry’ from the city’s Ocean Colour Scene was the introduction to a night of celebration before fellow chart-topper Dexy’s Midnight Runners and their ‘Come On Eileen’ got the crowd revved-up to a max’ – and that was just a starter!
With a solid ‘Birmingham Sountrack’, this really was a ‘Brum Ting’ as athletes and fellow-competitors from the 72 Commonwealth countries and territories were united in saying their collective ‘Thank You’ to their host. The host city, in return, couldn’t say “Tah Very Much” and “Bostin” enough for their presence, and impact, on what will be remembered as the most inclusive, most diverse and the friendliest Commonwealth Games ever.
Birmingham wasn’t afraid to show the Commonwealth – neh, the world – just how warm, inviting and embracing it is as its guests were welcomed with a level of hospitality that Victoria, you’d do well to equal as a Peaky Blinders dance routine preceded a powerful segment featuring some of the area's talented young spoken word and musical stars of the future. Laura Mvula also performed on stage in the segment
The Games organising committee chair John Crabtree praised and thanked the 14,000 volunteers for their efforts and the crowds for their support. He also praised the way Para-sports integrated into the largest programme in Commonwealth Games history.
Five-time Paralympic gold medallist, Ellie Simmonds, commented: "I think Birmingham should be so, so proud, they have put on an incredible Games," before the Walsall-born super-swimmer adding: "Sport has the power to change the world and you can see it in Birmingham."
Back on a music-tip, Apache Indian's Boom Shack-A-Lak and Musical Youth's Pass The Dutchie got a packed Alexander Stadium singing, almost word-for-word.
Reggae legends UB40's Red, Red Wine was followed by model Neelam Gill making an appearance during Panjabi MC's Bhangra hit Mundian To Bach Ke. Drum & Bass guru, Goldie, left everyone buzzing with his all-time classic Inner City Life, with fellow-Black Country icon, Beverley Knight, on vocals, for this unforgettable combination.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games finally drew to a close – but not before a surprise appearance by Ozzy Osbourne as the Prince of Darkness surprisingly fronted his Black Sabbath band. In black, loud and proud (though oh too brief) – who else could have given that kind of Brummie send off?
And then, to finally bring the curtains down on what was an unforgettable 11 days of sports, music and record-breaking crowds, The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, said: “You have, once again, brought the spirit and value of the Commonwealth back to life. Before officially declaring the Games – Closed!”
So, for the final time, it was a “Tah and Ta-Rah Bab.” Now it’s down to the state of Victoria, Australia, which will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.