Posted by: Richard Frost | 10 Aug 2017

Tony Wilson – 10 years on

Broadcaster Tony Wilson hosting After Dark in 1988

Tony Wilson

Today’s the 10th anniversary of Tony Wilson’s death.

The Factory Records founder, Hacienda nightclub manager, In The City music conference organiser, broadcaster and professional Steve Coogan impersonator (ok, so I may have made that last one up) passed away on 10 August 2007 but his legacy lives on.

Tony Wilson, perhaps more than anyone else in modern times, helped to kickstart the vibrant arts scene that Manchester now takes for granted.

Tony Wilson’s headstone

I was walking through Chorlton’s Southern Cemetery a few days ago when I spotted a rather stylish-looking headstone.

On closer inspection, it turned out to be none other than Tony Wilson’s famous black granite headstone designed for his grave by Factory Records stalwarts Peter Saville and Ben Kelly. Describing him as a ‘broadcaster’ and ‘cultural catalyst’, it also features a brief quote from ‘The Manchester Man’ by Mrs G Linnaeus Banks (aka Isabella Banks):

Headstone for Tony Wilson's grave at Southern Cemetery in Chorlton

Tony Wilson’s headstone

The Manchester Man

I only saw Tony Wilson in person once, not long before he passed away.

It was a public debate, something along the lines of ‘Would the rest of the UK be better off without London?’, and in truth I only went because he was speaking. I don’t remember much about it now, although I do recall his answer when asked to name his favourite part of London:

“Euston Station, on a train back to Manchester”

Anthony H Wilson 1950 – 2007


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