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  Sunday, 1 October, 2000, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Bob's Big Day Out
The away end looked rather different on 13 July 1985
The away end looked rather different on 13 July 1985
BBC Sport Online's Tom Fordyce remembers the day Wembley rocked to the sounds of Spandau Ballet and Paul Young - and a single concert raised 100m for charity.

The mid-1980s were a strange time. Everton dominated British football. England's cricketers not only won but retained the Ashes. And 100,000 people came to Wembley to watch Alison Moyet.

Well, not just Alison Moyet. The line-up at Live Aid, which took place on 13 July 1985, read like a thirtysomething rock fan's wish-list of performers - which is exactly what it was.

Bob Geldof had been so moved by Michael Buerk's BBC News reports from famine-stricken Ethiopia that he decided to do something about it.

And Live Aid was the obvious follow-up to the incredible success of the Band Aid single.

Howard Jones with 'artistic' friend
Howard Jones with 'artistic' friend

Dire Straits. Queen. Elton John. U2. Ultravox. Hard though it may be to believe, 15 years ago that was considered a dream line-up.

Never mind that Mark Knopfler's group were the most aptly-named band the world would see until Shirley Manson's Garbage emerged 11 years later. This was an era when wearing luminous socks was considered socially acceptable.

Seminal moment

Post-punk, pre-dance, the '80s were the decade that music forgot. The word was rock, preferably wrinkly and wearing leather trousers.

Status Quo reformed for the day, and it was seen as a Good Thing. Phil Collins played Wembley, hopped on Concorde and performed at the sister-gig in Philadelphia, and the fans Stateside celebrated.

With an estimated 1.4 billion people watching in over 170 countries, the stars were performing to a TV audience bigger than that for an FA Cup Final. And, just like in football, it proved to be a seminal moment in the careers of some.

For Howard Jones, who came on between Phil Collins and Bryan Ferry, the day marked a career peak that would not be scaled again.

Much like Geoff Thomas's miss for England against France at the Twin Towers in 1992, Howard's set ensured his world changed forever.

Before: blond be-quiffed synth king named 'Keyboard Player of the Year' in a Rolling Stone readers' poll.

Afterwards: playing free gigs to celebrate the opening of shopping centres near Dusseldorf (9 September 2000).

Sure an '80s revival is a good idea?
Sure an '80s revival is a good idea?
"It was the most amazing experience to be there on that day, with the whole world watching, and enjoying the day and celebrating the fact that we were trying to help sort out a problem," he said at the time.

"It was a perfect thing really, Live Aid."

If only. Perhaps Howard allowed himself to be fooled by the title of his hit single Things Can Only Get Better, which reached no.5 in the British charts two months before Live Aid.

They wouldn't. Not ever. A better title would have been: Things Will Tail Away Disappointingly, Leaving Me Praying Desperately For An Eighties Revival.

Great exhortations

On the bill earlier in the day was Nik Kershaw. The man behind hits such as Wouldn't It Be Good and The Riddle came on between Elvis Costello and Sade.
Nik Kershaw - no 'c' in that, right?
Nik Kershaw - no 'c' in that, right?

There would be no such career slump for Nik post-Wembley. He would go on to write no.1 smash hit The One And Only for teen sensation Chesney Hawkes and produce an album for teen also-rans Let Loose.

Instead Nik's role that day was to add his own personal contribution to the great exhortations made on Wembley's famous turf. Forget Sir Alf Ramsey's words to England before the World Cup final of 1966, or Terry Venables' speech before extra time against Germany 30 years later.

None can match the sheer, timeless beauty of the words Nik sang so poignantly during I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

"Here in your paper houses/Stretching for miles and miles/Old men in stripey trousers/Rule the world with plastic smiles."

Wembley will never see his like again.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Live Aid producer Trevor Dan
"It was absolutely the most emotional thing I have ever been involved with"
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