When Adrian Heath arrived to manage Minnesota United, he heard players talking about “Wonderwall.”
“I asked them, ‘What’s this ‘Wonderwall’ all about,’ ” Heath said. “They told me, ‘Oh, that’s the end of every game that we win. The crowd stays and we sing ‘Wonderwall.’
“I said, ‘Oh, that’s a pretty nice tradition.’ I had a wry smile on my face. It’s a long way from when they were washing cars in Manchester to having their songs playing in Minnesota. That’s the power of music, I guess.”
“Wonderwall” is the biggest hit by the English band Oasis. During Minnesota United’s formative seasons, the players would listen to the song in the home locker room after victories.
They began listening to it on the bus after road victories, and when team officials recorded a scene in a winning locker room, fans adopted the song as a team anthem.
Now, when the Loons win a game at TCF Bank Stadium, “Wonderwall” plays, and the song is silenced for a verse so the fans and players can sing it together, a cappella. It’s a wonderful tradition bucking the trend of American fans waiting to be told what to cheer by a scoreboard or PA announcer.
Heath knows the song. He loves the band. And he knew the famous and infamous Gallagher brothers before they made it big.
Heath played for Manchester City from 1990 to ’92. Back then, before Middle Eastern money gave Man City a new stadium and training facility, the team practiced in a dangerous part of the city.
“This was pre-Arabian money,” Heath said. “We played at a place called Maine Road and trained at a place called Platt Lane. It was a pretty dangerous area in those days. We’d park 300 meters from the training field, and the police wouldn’t even let us walk it.
“At that time, a few guys kept coming in and saying, ‘Do you mind if we clean the cars?’ We said no problem. They were unemployed guys, and so we started to let them wash the cars.”
Heath’s teammate and friend Niall Quinn became friends with the car washers.
“Niall came in one morning and said, ‘You know the two guys who clean the cars? They’re called the Gallagher brothers. They started a band called Oasis,’ ” Heath said. “The rest is history.”
Liam and Noel Gallagher rose to stardom, feuding all the while. A documentary named “Supersonic” details their rise, their conflicts and the band’s breakup.
“ ‘Supersonic’ gives you an idea of their relationship, which is a little bit unconventional,” Heath said. “I think the thing is, that sort of angst, if you like, that’s what made their music so special. Noel was the writer, and Liam became probably one of the great front men in the last 30 or 40 years, in any band.”
Heath plans to reach out to the brothers and ask that they reunite for at least one show — to christen the Loons’ new Allianz Stadium, which will open next year.
The Gallagher brothers grew tired of singing “Wonderwall” in concert and hearing it sung back at them.
Will they reunite? Would they play Minnesota? Would they make an exception and embrace audience participation?
Heath hopes so.
“I’ve got some contacts but haven’t spoken to them in a while,” Heath said. “We have to get them over to this opening game. It would be pretty cool to see them perform in this stadium when it opens. To have the originals do ‘Wonderwall.’ ”