Legendary Birmingham rocker Ozzy Osbourne made a surprise appearance to bring the curtain down on a hugely successful Commonwealth Games in fabulous fashion.
Osbourne and his band Black Sabbath received a rapturous ovation from the 30,000-strong crowd at Alexander Stadium as they provided a fitting climax to a star-studded closing ceremony.
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 took to the stage to round off the show with classic hit Paranoid.
The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, declared the Games officially over after the flag handover to Victoria, the Australian state that will host the 2026 edition.
“Thanks to the manner, style and enthusiasm with which you have competed, officiated, supported, organized and volunteered, you have once again brought the spirit and values of the Commonwealth Games to life,” he said.
“You have inspired us and hopefully future generations – you have also demonstrated what unites us. Thank you Birmingham and the West Midlands.”
Earlier, other well-known Brummie acts including Dexys Midnight Runners, Apache Indian, Musical Youth, UB40 and Panjabi MC entertained the crowd with classic hits amid a parade of hundreds of athletes competing during the 11-day Games.
Team England, who collected a record 176 medals at the Games, were the last to enter the stadium to a euphoric reception from the home supporters.
More than 1.3 million tickets were sold during the Games across 24 sports – with organizers estimating that more than 500,000 of these were snapped up by West Midlands residents who took the event to their hearts.
It extended not only to those attending the sport itself, but also hundreds of thousands of others who filled festival seats at venues and other landmarks in the city to enjoy the action on big screens, meet the Perry the Bull mascot and generally enjoy the atmosphere.
More than 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories competed in 280 medal events over 11 days, producing an array of amazing feats, touching stories and memorable moments.
With the sun shining for almost a week and a half in the West Midlands, the weather also played its part and it continued with a closing ceremony bathed in warm evening temperatures.
One of the ceremony’s loudest ovations was reserved for Games organizing committee chairman John Crabtree’s heartfelt speech, thanking the 14,000 volunteers for their efforts and the crowds for their support.
“I think Birmingham should be so, so proud, they’ve put on an incredible Games,” five-time Paralympic gold medalist Ellie Simmonds, from nearby Walsall, told BBC Sport.
“Sport has the power to change the world and you can see that in Birmingham.”
More to follow.