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Tony Wilson


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Anthony Wilson, the music mogul behind some of Manchester's most successful bands, has died of cancer.

 

The Salford-born entrepreneur, who founded Factory records, the label behind New Order and the Happy Mondays, was diagnosed last year.

 

The 57-year-old, also famous for setting up the Hacienda nightclub, underwent emergency surgery in January to remove a kidney.

 

He passed away on Friday evening in hospital.

 

Doctors recommended he take the drug Sutent after chemotherapy failed to beat the disease, but the NHS refused to fund the £3,500-a-month treatment.

 

However, members of the Happy Mondays and other acts he supported over the years stepped in and started a fund to help pay for it.

 

His vision and determination played a key role in helping to put Manchester on the map for its music and vibrant nightlife and his entrepreneurial skills inspired people everywhere.

 

Phil Saxe, who used to work at Factory Records with Wilson, said: "Part of me, part of Manchester, part of modern British music has died tonight.

 

"Tony was a genius, basically.

 

"He was a visionary in that he helped bands, who otherwise wouldn't have made it, who were a bit out of the ordinary.

 

"He helped them realise their dreams and through that probably realised himself to be Mr Manchester".

 

'An inspiration'

 

BBC journalist Kristan Deconinck sought advice from him in the early 1980s on how to launch an independent record label shortly after Wilson had started Factory records.

 

"He couldn't have been more helpful and more patient," Kristan said.

 

"He inspired me - and countless others - to have a go if you believed in something.

 

"That in itself is a great legacy, apart from the vision he had with his label, his shows, his attitude - his contribution to a new culture.

 

"When I later met him, I found him far more amenable than scurrilous rumours had led me to believe and my esteem for the guy never diminished."

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