Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath were the surprise package at the end of the Birmingham 2022 Closing Ceremony ©Getty Images

Birmingham said its goodbyes after a marvellous staging of the 22nd Commonwealth Games tonight - and music, pouring out of the city down the years, was the main medium.

Basically, the city rocked; and the audience rolled back down the years.

One after another, the musical legends of Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Walsall made their voices heard again, stirring the hearts and memories of the spectators packed into this expansive new stadium - Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Apache Indian, Musical Youth, UB40, Beverley Knight, Goldie, The Selector, Led Zeppelin, Panjabi MC - on and on the talent returned.

The Ballet Rambert previewed their Peaky Blinders production which will premiere at the Birmingham Hippodrome in September as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

And - almost - at the end of the evening the prospective hosts of 2026, Victoria, answered in kind with performances from their own Baker Boy, Taylor Henderson and Vanessa Amorosi.

Which were almost as good.

These efforts were followed by a final, final coup de theatre that everybody would have been hoping for but not quite daring to be sure of.

But lo - it was Ozzy Osbourne ladies and gentlemen, standing with the very group after which one of the principal bridges of Birmingham is now named.

Black Sabbath - playing - of course - Paranoid.

“Finished with my woman 'cause
She couldn't help me with my mind
People think I'm insane because
I am frowning all the time…”

Fireworks flared at the end of a marvellous, musical Closing Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 ©Getty Images
Fireworks flared at the end of a marvellous, musical Closing Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 ©Getty Images

It’s the stuff of Birmingham legend…marginally more stirring than the words of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the vice-patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), which officially brought these brilliant 22nd Games to an end.

"Thanks to the manner, style and enthusiasm with which you have officiated, competed, supported, organised and volunteered," he said.

"You have once again brought the spirit and values of the Commonwealth to life.

"You have inspired us and hopefully people of future generations.

"Thank you Birmingham and the West Midlands.

"So now in time-honoured tradition I call upon the athletes from every country and territory of the Commonwealth to gather in four years in Victoria in Australia to celebrate the 23rd Commonwealth Games.

"Until then, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, and in the name of the Commonwealth Games Federation, I proclaim Birmingham 2022 closed."

All the traditional elements were present - the parade of athletes, with flagbearers at one side.

Dame Louise Martin, CGF President, has awarded the David Dixon Award to Singaporean table tennis player Feng Tianwei.

The 35-year-old won three gold medals at Birmingham 2022 in the singles, doubles, and women's team tournaments.

The award is given to the outstanding athlete of the Games based on their performance at the event, fair play, and overall contribution to their team's participation at the Commonwealth Games.

"I am delighted to announce that tonight’s winner is Singapore’s most decorated Commonwealth athlete," said Dame Louise.

"She won three gold medals here in Birmingham - in the table tennis singles, doubles and team events.

Dame Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, awards Feng Tianwei of Team Singapore with the David Dixon Award ©Getty Images
Dame Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, awards Feng Tianwei of Team Singapore with the David Dixon Award ©Getty Images

"This brings her total medal tally, over the last four Games, to an incredible 13 medals.

"At these Games, not only had she to live up to expectations but also lead.

"As team captain, she brings experience and stability to younger, up-and-coming athletes.

"She is highly-respected by all her fans and peers.

"The winner of the Birmingham 2022 David Dixon Award is: Feng Tianwei."

Earlier Dame Louise had looked towards the future.

"Every Brummie, every volunteer, every single Commonwealth athlete is helping to write a new chapter in our history," the CGF leader said.

"The legacy of Birmingham 2022 is now yours for the taking. The incredible spirit of these Games will continue through your actions, your pride and your humanity."

The Scottish official was elected in 2015 and 2019 as CGF President, but this is her last Commonwealth Games as President as she will step down next year having served two full terms.

There was only one glitch - after Britain’s multiple Paralympic swimming medallist Ellie Simmonds had introduced a filmed montage of young people from the West Midlands in a fundraising appeal for Sport Relief, the sound, sadly, did not work throughout the filmed footage. But Simmonds, as so often in the past, finished strong…