As Manchester City face Everton live on BT Sport this Saturday, two of our most notorious rock ‘n’ rollers will be singing from different hymn sheets.
Liam Gallagher is well-known for his passionate support of City, but not many people know Shane MacGowan is an ardent Toffees fan.
OK, ardent might be pushing it – in fact there’s no evidence he has actually been to a game – but the Pogues frontman has declared himself a Blue on more than one occasion and anyway, Liam Gallagher versus Lee Latchford-Evans from Steps doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
So let’s get down to it – which of Saturday’s opponents has the most rock ‘n’ roll fan? The gloves are off…
LOYALTY TO THE CAUSE
Shane: When asked by a local newspaper journalist to name the best thing about Liverpool, MacGowan replied simply: “Everton”. The same reporter then pressed him for his fondest memory of the city, to which he responded: “Michael Thomas. Anfield. 1989.”
Liam: He and brother Noel attended City games from an early age and continued to follow the club when they dropped into the third tier of English football. So passionate is Liam’s support for the light blues that he got his collar felt last season for expressing his disgust at a Real Madrid equaliser - while sitting in the home end at the Bernabeu.
Liam 1, Shane 0
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Shane: The Pogues once played a gig in Manchester on the day Manchester United had beaten Everton. According to one gig-goer, MacGowan – seemingly oblivious to the fact he was alienating at least half of his audience – “expressed his utter disappointment at United’s win and branded Wayne Rooney a traitor”.
Liam: On 30 April last year, after City had beaten United, Gallagher gate-crashed the post-match press conference before facing the startled football journalists and demanding: “What do you want to know lads? Top of the league.”
After another City match, Liam bumped into Argentina legend Diego Maradona and tweeted a picture of the pair with the caption ‘Maradona shakes the hand of God’.
Liam 2, Shane 0
Liam: The former Oasis frontman has got himself in a few scrapes down the years, with reports ranging from being kicked out of his local on Mother’s Day to attempting to ride on a dog’s back in another boozer. But he could he drink MacGowan under the table? Not a chance.
Shane: On two bottles of Guinness a day from the age of five, the Pogues singer was given his first bottle of whisky at six and has shown no signs of letting up. Now in his 50s, he puts his longevity down to “Smoking, drinking, partying – that’s why I’ve stayed alive as long as I have.”
Liam 2, Shane 1
Liam: In 2002, he lost his two front teeth during a fight at a hotel in Germany – with replacement implants reportedly costing him $30,000.
Shane: Yep, no surprises who’s going to win this category. MacGowan has not got a tooth left in his head following years of excess and earlier this year his girlfriend put out a plea for a dentist to give him a new set of gnashers so he could land a Hollywood role. A remake of Jaws, perhaps…
Liam 2, Shane 2
Shane on a bandmate’s memoirs of the Pogues: “It’s just how I imagine I would remember it.”
Liam on religion: “If I die and there’s something afterwards, I’m going to hell, not heaven. I mean, the devil’s got all the good gear. What’s God got? The Inspiral Carpets and nuns.”
Shane on longevity: “The British press have been giving me six months to live for the past 20 years – they must be getting p****d off interviewing me by now.”
Liam on U2 frontman Bono: “He’d talk a glass eye to sleep”
Score draw, then. Liam 3, Shane 3
Liam: In 2006 he was banned from London’s exclusive Groucho Club after squirting a fire extinguisher at Paul Gascoigne while the former England midfielder was eating his soup.
Shane: The band's tour manager, Joey Cashman, would apparently order Shane to stand outside a hotel until they had booked it because the singer was invariably the worse for wear. But on one occasion, MacGowan lurched in mid-booking with his trousers around his ankles and no underwear to cover his modesty. Quick as a flash, Cashman looked at the startled receptionist and said “What kind of hotel is this?” - getting the band a healthy discount for their troubles.
Deadlock again. Liam 4, Shane 4
So there we go. It's seemingly impossible to split this pair but there has to be a winner, so let's settle it the old-fashioned way - with a punch-up. Liam has form for fisticuffs, which might just give him the edge, but Shane is simply indestructible and therefore gets the decision on points...or should that be pints?