Updated: Sunday, 2nd August 2020 @ 6:21pm

What’s the craic? MM's top five Irish Mancunian men

What’s the craic? MM's top five Irish Mancunian men

| By Olivia Wheeler

As St Patrick’s Day grows closer and Manchester celebrates the beauty of the Emerald Isle – by downing pints of Guinness and partying until the wee hours – MM investigates which chaps are flying the Irish flag here in this city.

It’s a well-known fact that Manchester is an Irishman’s second home and with these fellas the phrase has never been truer.

Admittedly some of these gents may not sport a fully Irish accent, but family ancestry, Irish roots and a sense of pride in their heritage make these men MM’s top five Irish Mancunians.

5) Peter Kay – actor, writer and comedian

Notoriously known for his iconic joke, “Mum, get a spoon quick, my biscuit's fallen in my brew!” Kay comically portrays typical northern behavior and gets it spot on.

Actor and co-writer of That Peter Kay Thing, Phoenix Nights and Max and Paddy’s Road To Nowhere; Kay has accumulated a large number of fans.

In 2013, he was featured in the Guinness World Record book for selling a whopping 1,140,798 tickets between 2010 and 2011 for his Tour That Doesn't Tour tour.

Kay was born in Bolton, Greater Manchester, but his often-quoted mum hails from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland making Kay second-generation Irish.

4) Steve Coogan – actor, writer and comedian

A-ha! How could we not include Steve Coogan in our top five?

Born in Middleton, Greater Manchester, and with Irish roots from his father’s side of the family; this makes Coogan a true Irish Mancunian.

Coogan is best known for his portrayal of Alan Partridge, whose insensitive, neurotic and awkward mannerisms won the hearts of many viewers and produced a plethora of catchphrases.

When asked about Irish history and the potato famine, Partridge’s typically brash retortwas: “If it was just the potatoes that were affected, at the end of the day you will pay the price if you’re a fussy eater.”

However, Steve Coogan’s response about Ireland is much more diplomatic, when asked about the inspiration behind his latest film Philomena.

 Coogan told The Irish Times that ‘his Irish Catholic upbringing in Manchester informed his new film'.

Philomena, based on the book The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee, was adapted into a screenplay written by Coogan, which follows the true story of Irish Philomena Lee who was forced to give up her son for adoption in the 1950s.

The film won the BAFTA for best-adapted screenplay, and was nominated for a series of awards.

3) Liam and Noel Gallagher – musicians and singers.

What’s not to love about the Gallagher brothers? Known for their brotherly feuds as much as award-winning band Oasis they’ve been a huge part of Manchester’s music scene.

Both brothers are from Irish parents, and they grew up in a Manchester Irish community and are very proud of their heritage.

Noel told The Irish Times: “I feel as Irish as the next person. The first music I was ever exposed to was the rebel songs the bands used to sing in the Irish club in Manchester.”

Despite Oasis no longer being together, the brothers continue to produce music separately.

Liam is lead singer of Beady Eye while is currently working on a second album with his band, High Flying Birds.

2) Morrisey – singer, author and activist

How could we not include This Charming Man?

Steven Patrick Morrissey came second place in the BBC’s Greatest Living Icon poll back in 2006.

Morrissey was the lyricist and singer of acclaimed band, The Smiths, and after the band broke up went on to further his acclaim as a solo artist.

Born in Davyhulme and brought up in Manchester both Morrissey’s parents were from Dublin.

In a 1984 interview with Hot Press, Morrissey admitted: “We were quite happy to ghettoise ourselves as the Irish community in Manchester; the Irish stuck rigidly together.”

It appears Morrissey’s song Irish Blood, English Heart truly reflects his Irish Mancunian heritage.

1) George Best – footballer

As the old saying goes: Pele good, Maradona better, George Best.

Best first made his debut to Manchester United Football Club in 1963, and later lead the team to two First Division titles, a European Cup and a total of 179 goals during his time at the club.

Born and raised in Belfast’s Cregah Estate, Best moved to join Manchester United when he was just seventeen years old.

Arguably, he is still considered as one of the greatest players in the world, and as Old Trafford used to sing: “Number 1 is Georgie Best, Number 2 is Georgie Best.”

Best may have passed away, aged just 59, in 2005 but he still lives on in the hearts of die-hard Man United fans and that’s why we believe this Irish Mancunian deserves the top spot.

Picture courtesy of Man Alive! via Flickr, with thanks