Games end in style with glittering closing ceremony

It was a night of celebration and congratulations as the 2022 Commonwealth Games came to an end.

Ozzy Osbourne performs on stage during the closing ceremony
Ozzy Osbourne performs on stage during the closing ceremony

A star-studded closing ceremony played out in front of a sold-out 30,000 capacity crowd at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, bringing to a close 11 days of top quality sporting action.

The athletes of the Commonwealth were able to let their hair down and enjoy a night of entertainment from some of the region’s biggest names and performers.

Apache Indian performs during the closing ceremony

Wolverhampton legends Goldie and soul sensation Beverley Knight both stepped into the spotlight in Wolves shirts alongside Walsall star Jorja Smith and Dexys Midnight Runners, whose frontman Kevin Rowland was born in Wednesfield.

Brummie rocker Ozzy Osbourne also wowed the crowds during the ceremony.

Osbourne and his band Black Sabbath received a rapturous ovation. The 73-year-old 'Prince of Darkness' has not performed for several years due to ill health.

"I love you, Birmingham - it's good to be back!" he shouted as he rose through the stage to round off the show with classic hit Paranoid.

Beverley Knight lives in London, but was full of emotion as she performed, having mentioned beforehand on Instagram that she was "repping Wolverhampton tonight".

UB40 also played a part in the closing ceremony, having helped to launch the Birmingham 2022 festival and there was a sequence from the much-anticipated theatre show of Peaky Blinders: The Redemption Of Thomas Shelby.

It was a night of culture and diversity, with other artists from the local area such as Apache Indian, Jacob Banks, Jaykae, Asha, Mahalia, Musical Youth, Neelam Gill, Panjabi MC, Talulah-Eve and The Selecter.

Beverley Knight performs on stage

Laura Mvula, from Birmingham, gave a special performance of a newly commissioned track inspired by Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand, the TV series’ theme song for Peaky Blinders.

UB40 warm up the crowd with Red Red Wine

The ceremony also saw the flag of the Commonwealth passed from Birmingham to the next hosts Victoria in Australia, which will host the 23rd edition of the Games from March 17 to March 29 2026.

As well as the athletes, it was a chance for the volunteers and emergency workers to be thanked for their excellent work during the Games.

Known as the Commonwealth Collective, the 14,000-strong army of volunteers in their distinctive orange and grey uniforms became a familiar and very popular sight at Games venues and across the city.

In addition to home-grown volunteers, the Commonwealth Collective includes people from Australia, New Zealand, India, and even non-Commonwealth nation Finland.

While the focus has been on the athletes and the crowds who have made this a most memorable event, forces wanted to note the job that the organisers and the emergency services have made in order for the event to take place.

Dexys performs Come on Eileen during

Representatives of the police, fire and ambulance services were praised for their work in making the Games so successful.

WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “The amount of planning and co-operation that has gone into making these games such a success cannot be underestimated.

“Together with the organising committee, the three blue light services have ensured this has been one of the best Games ever.”

For those attending, it was a chance to celebrate the Games and enjoy a night of entertainment.

Vanessa Preece had come over from West Heath with her husband Bill and said it was a little bit of history.

She said: "It'll never happen again in my lifetime and I think the Commonwealth Games have been truly amazing.

"It's really highlighted Birmingham in a great light and shown how beautiful it is."

Mark Drugan from Moseley said he'd decided in the morning to come down and said he was glad to be there.

He said: "It's great to be here to celebrate the Games.

"I think it'll be a tough act to follow for Victoria in 2026 as we've had some fantastic action and it was great to see the para-sports alongside."

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