Robbie Williams performs homecoming concert at Vale Park

Around 20,000 people are expected to attend Robbie William's concert on Saturday. Credit: Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams has performed at Vale Park - the home-ground for Port Vale FC in Stoke-on-Trent, in a homecoming charity concert.

The show was originally scheduled during the Covid pandemic, but it ended up falling in the same week that his beloved Port Vale were promoted to League One.

Around 20,000 people were expected to attend the concert.

Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme, Robbie recalled regularly attending Vale Park as a young Robert Williams.

'A glitch in the matrix'

He said the last time he was in the crowds at Vale Park he was a 'normal person' and now he's returning as a celebrity, 'so it'll kind of be like a glitch in the matrix,' but 'it's good to remind the soul from whence and where it came.'

"What I am going to do is embrace everything that has happened to me and for me, it's a place that I've always loved and always considered myself of.

"Where I'm from you're not allowed to get a big're not allowed to get ideas above your station...even though the performance, the character that I play on stage is full of himself, I'm not really when I come off stage, I'm Rob from Stoke."

Fame should come with a government health warning

He looked back at his career which spans decades and touched on the dangers of fame.

"Extreme fame is kind of like an illness, it's just something that isolates you and makes you feel weird and if you're someone like me with my particular mindset, I've never felt as though I've deserved any of this.

"If you're not that au fait with feeling good about yourself, or positive, then it can have a severe reaction, especially if you're not old enough to cope with it, which I wasn't at the time, I was 16/17.

"I think it should come with a government health warning, I think there should be a regulation to make you famous at a certain age!

"I'm glad it happened to me when it did, cos there was nothing else's very life has become what it has become, which is incredible, but I do think you should know who you are and what you are."

What was the concert in support of?

The charity event raised money for local children's charities the Hubb Foundation, Donna Louise Children's Hospice and UNICEF.

How is Robbie Williams connected to Staffordshire?

Williams was born in Stoke-on-Trent, the largest city in the county. He was awarded freedom of the city in 2014.

Because of the volume of people attending the gig, drivers are being reminded that a number of streets around the Port Vale ground will be closed or have restricted access on the day.

Which roads were closed?

  • Hamil Road, from the junction of High Lane to Jenkins Street, and Bycars Road were closed to through traffic, and there was no access from Hamil Road to Market Place (North).

Roads that had restrictions in place:

A number of residential streets off Hamil Road and surrounding the ground operated residents-only access including:

  • Bowden Street

  • Bycars Road

  • Bycars Lane

  • Dollys Lane

  • Dartmouth Street

  • Garlick Street

  • Gordon Street

  • Lawton Street

  • Leigh Street

  • Leonard Street

  • Lorne Street

  • Louise Street,

  • Macclesfield Street

  • May Street

  • Park Road

  • Shaftesbury Avenue

  • Stanfield Road

  • Tellwright Road

  • Wade Street

  • Wilson Street