Liam Gallagher is the Cristiano Ronaldo of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Definitely? Well, Maybe. The former Oasis frontman has got the looks, the supreme confidence and he’s worked hard at his craft to be the best. Let’s be honest, the deadly duo both know they’re going to Live Forever in the annals of history.
However, something you may not have realised is that Liam is handy on the footie field too and a fitness enthusiast to boot. Seriously. Of course, he is a massive Manchester City fan and performed at Maine Road back in the day, but there’s more to his sporting prowess than that.
Whether it’s being crowned ‘Best Goalscorer’ at Soccer Six in 1996 - he showed his usual swagger as he led the line and wore a bucket hat for the entirety of the game (of course he did) before squaring up to rival Blur frontman Damon Albarn - rugby-tackling one of the Manic Street Preachers during a gig, being challenged to a boxing bout in the ring by Robbie Williams or speeding around Knebworth in a golf buggy, he is a man of many talents, is our Liam.
So to celebrate it being 25 years since ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’ charted for the first time, signalling the moment Oasis became truly massive, here’s some of Liam’s best and funniest moments in the world of sport.
Football - The Night Maradona Met His Match
Gallagher would have you believe he is the ultimate Rock ‘N’ Roll Star but there is one man out there who revels in debauchery more than even Liam, and his name is Diego Maradona. There aren’t many people the ex-Beady Eye singer would be desperate to meet, but he was awestruck to discover the Argentine superstar, known as ‘El Pibe de Oro’ (The Golden Boy), was in the same hotel as him and was quick to arrange a meet.
Speaking to Noisey, we’ll let Liam take it from here, “We were in Argentina and we’d done a gig. Next minute we’re sat in the bar having a f**king drink, and about 30 people have come legging it in, like the Ant Hill Mob.
“We were going ‘Who the f**king hell’s that?’ Sting was at the bar crying cos he’d had his f**king dressing room robbed, and anyway we found out it was Maradona. He’d gone upstairs with a load of f**king madheads and a load of f**ing women of the night. We were going like, ‘Look can we go up and meet him?’ to the interpreter. And the interpreter said, ‘Alright cool, let me go and square it with them.’ He’s gone up, come back down and gone, ‘Only the Gallagher brothers can go up.’ So we were like, ‘laters’.
“We steamed up there and there’s loads of f**king activity going on, and Maradona’s in the middle of the room doing football tricks with a bottle top. His eyes were f**king like that (massive), and ours weren’t far off, and I just went like, ‘It’s a bit moody in here, let’s get a quick picture with him and f**k off.’
“He’s sweating his bollocks off, and we turn around and the interpreter says, ‘He told me to tell you, if yous leave with any of these b*****s, he’ll have you shot.'” Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that room. We bet that was one Champagne Supernova of a party.
Cricket - Noel Hits Liam For Six
The raging, rowing Oasis brothers have been at loggerheads pretty much from day one, with sibling squabbles regularly causing disharmony in the band. Sadly for an entire generation of music lovers, it all got too much in 2009 and any chance of hearing Wonderwall live ever again is a complete non-starter as far as Noel is concerned because, Little By Little, it all got too much.
A particularly bruising encounter occurred 25 years ago during the recording of the band’s second album ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’
In one of the pair’s most famous bust-ups, documented in plenty of books and articles about the band, Liam had again irked Noel by bringing back some drunk strangers he’d met down at the local boozer to the recording studio. The older Gallagher brother was incensed and sent Liam’s inebriated guests home, which aggravated Liam. His response was to attack his sibling and his precious guitars.
Noel wasn’t going to just Slide Away and take it, and so took a cricket bat and started to smack it over Liam. Some Might Say they don’t do things by halves, but what we want to know is, who was the big cricket fan in the band who just couldn’t record an album without sneaking off to play a few forward defensives between tracks?
Horse Racing - When The Jockey Became The Horse
Back in 2015, Liam went to Italy to eat pizza and buy a racehorse, according to reports at the time. However, years earlier he had used legendary jockey Frankie Dettori as a horse during a tequila session. No, really, he did.
The Italian, who only stands at 5’4”, was bent over on all fours in only his Speedos with Gallagher riding him around a swimming pool like a horse after the pair met by chance on holiday. It certainly wasn’t The Masterplan but it definitely happened.
“We were sitting out, drinking some Margaritas. There was me, my old mate out of The Prodigy and my mate Adam. And Frankie’s come over, in his Speedos,” Liam recounts. “He’s gone ‘I’ll be back in a second’ and he’s gone to the f**king shop and bought my mate a bra, because Adam was a bit big at the time. It didn’t go down well with him.
“Anyway, the tequila’s flying, and you know when it just all goes a bit f**king silly? At some point, I’m on the back of him in his Speedos, because we’ve had him out now for hours, and he’s gone ‘See my strong legs?’ so I got on his back and I’m slapping him on the arse, running round this gaff… Haven’t seen him since!”
Tennis - Jamming And Joints With John McEnroe
In another crazy anecdote, Liam reveals that Oasis came off stage after one gig to be met by tennis legend John McEnroe.
“F***ing great guys, man, do you want a f***ing joint?” he asked the band, according to Liam. “We’re going, ‘F***ing yes John McEnroe! You f***ing maniac!’”
Amazingly, the American revealed he was in a band and sang one of his own songs for the Gallagher brothers, using his famous quotes as lyrics.
John was singing, “‘You cannot be serious!’ and we’re going, ‘It’s f***ing happening!’, Liam explained in an interview with Noisey. “He goes, ‘Was it in or was it out?’ and that was it, he was going, ‘What do you reckon?’ and we’re like, ‘F***ing yes, man!’”
Also, in 2014, Gallagher and Beady Eye flew Half The World Away for a music festival and attended the Australian Open. Posing for pictures on court and making a right racket, Liam revealed his favourite player was Ana Ivanovic, "I like her, she's cool,” he said, before claiming he was hoping Roger Federer would win the men’s title ahead of Andy Murray.
“I’m not that patriotic anyway,” he insisted. “I don’t care about whether they’re from England, Scotland, wherever, I just like who I like, and Federer’s the man, ‘cause he’s cool. He’s nearly as cool as me, isn’t he?” We think Roger will accept that as a complement.
Running - No More Cigarettes And Alcohol? Not Quite...
What’s Liam’s story for a morning full of glory? Running, of course. After a life filled with Cigarettes and Alcohol, Gallagher is a keen runner having turned 48 in September.
“I don’t want to sound like a hippy but it’s great. I run. World to myself. Birds. Trees. No hassle from idiots,” he told The Times. “I run around seven miles every day, leaving around 5am. Unless I’ve been out on the sauce, then I’m getting in at 5am. Normally, though, seven miles.”
Liam clearly has no understanding of The Importance of Being Idle.