Gordo shares a message to Tim Leiweke and all who have worked towards opening the new arena

For Tim Leiweke and everyone who has worked their socks off building Co-Op Live from Mark Garner, the Publisher of Confidentials.com, and the rest of our team here in the region.

Tim, you and your switched-on daughter Frencesca are the pair responsible for bringing a £350 million investment to East Manchester for the benefit of us Northerners and Mancs in building the Co-op Live arena.

2024 04 23 Coop Live Launch Exterior
Co-op Live Image: Confidentials

Like Confidentials, you are a family business. With a bit more cash, to be fair! You and your whole team have been shot to pieces by trolls on social media and, I feel ashamed to say, by our local media who it seems are relishing in your setbacks. It might seem that everyone is willing you all to fail.

My Grandmother, Isabelle Garner, The Matriarch of our four generations of family butchers in Salford and Manchester had this poem, Rudyard Kipling’s If, printed and put up in all our butchers shop windows three days after the Manchester blitz, 26th December 1940. My Father gave a copy to me at fifteen, and here’s a copy for you and everyone at Co-op Live on the day you open officially:

If you can keep your head when all about you   
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;   

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
And—which is more—you’ll be a ManC, my son!

To everyone involved in bringing this fantastic addition to the region, good luck tonight. Break a leg.

And to Tim and Francesca, Confidentials are awarding you both official Manc status. 

- Mark Garner and the team at Confidentials.

2024 05 14 Co Op Live Aerial
Co-op Live Image: Co-op Live

Read next: Manchester Airport to launch UK’s first private terminal Aether

Read again: Where to watch the Euros 2024

Get the latest news to your inbox

Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email by signing up to our mailing list. This is one of the ways that Confidentials remains free to our readers and by signing up you help support our high quality, impartial and knowledgable writers. Thank you!


Join our WhatsApp group

You can also get regular updates on news, exclusives and offers by joining the Manchester Confidential WhatsApp group.

Join the Manchester Confidential WhatsApp Group