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If ever there was anyone who should stand in Albert square,
Encapsulated in bronze glory, raised eyebrow ‘n’ floppy hair,
Pompously proud in statuette, for evermore for what he’s done,
So us Mancs could pay tribute to our Tony; Anthony H Wilson.

A post-modernist before his time, he changed the way we party,
A house, indie and punk pioneer despite being cultural and arty,
He ripped up London’s rule book and made music relocate,
Pimping all the local bands and making Madchester resonate!

With ‘blooded minded determination’, for better or for worse,
He campaigned to make Manchester the centre of the Universe,
In his quest for local talent, he set up nightclubs to unearth,
The best bands around, then signed the deal in blood to prove his worth.

He brought embryonic punk rock, to a shocked audience on TV,
And a conveyor belt of new bands through his label Factory,
He helped foster a new sound, one so Manc could lead the way,
And made Manchester cool again, standing tall with lots to say.

Factory took on the giants but hated commercialisation,
He didn’t want a sales team, and didn’t care for amortisation,
Factory was just a platform to show off Manchester’s best,
Bollocks to corporate profit, in this city he’d invest.

His Hac would rule in club land but would spin out of control,
But his influence was everywhere; it was just the way he’d roll,
In politics and broadcasting, in journalism and the arts,
His passion always Manchester, it’s where his swagger starts.

The Hac was an iconic noose but Wilson wouldn’t crack,
Never in it for the money, always giving something back,
Blue Monday’s sleeve was priceless; every single lost some pence,
Aesthetics over commerce, creative spark v common sense.

Corporately rebellious, Wilson didn’t curb his views,
Politically outspoken yet they let him read the news!
They famed him for his insight and his naughty news ad libs,
He’d rather tell it how it was than spout us corporate fibs.

He worked on World In Action, After Dark and other shows,
He hosted The Other Side of Midnight, What’s On and So It Goes,
They let him loose on the Politics Show, so he could air his views,
But I liked him best locally when he read the North West news.

He epitomised Manc attitude, he’d rather walk alone,
Aware of everyone and everything but preferring the home grown,
He riled them all and made his point often causing himself strife,
But all the while he tickled himself with the ridiculousness of life.

So a presenter and a journalist but culture was his heart,
Yet even in his life story, he claimed just a minor part,
He wound them up the right way; when told he was bold and brash,
He called himself ‘Anthony H’ so he’d sound even more flash.

His arrogance was rousing whilst his quotes were heaven sent,
Like not owning a record label but a human experiment,
He said that some make money and some make history,
His own words sum up his life, nothing short of an epiphany!

He claimed Ryder and Shakespeare were a chip off the same block,
Then he brought us In The City coz he wanted Manc to rock,
He campaigned for regional assembly and ‘The Necessary Group,’
He designed a flag for the North West but what was his favourite coup?

I’d say promoting Manchester and all that it bestows,
Coz he wanted folk to notice us and he wanted to impose,
Our city’s culture on the south and all around the world,
So the proud flag of his Mancunia could be defiantly unfurled.

He had a point on everything but his views would never bore,
His overflowing civic pride was a nice, heroic flaw,
He said we do things differently here in rainy Manc,
Where he helped to shape our history; we’ve got his ilk to thank.

For lauding our creation and our creative streak as well,
And pushing Mancs to the front if they had a skill to sell,
See our Tony was a helper of people with a craft,
But even at his funeral he had to have a laugh.

Coz everything was referenced; his coffin FAC 501,
His headstone carried a quote to remind us now he’s gone,
That people drop from history; every year it is the same,
But the influence of the truly great will eternally remain.

His quote is taken from a Manc book, of which he was a fan,
But sorry Toe, forget Jabbez, you’re the Manchester Man,
You’ve done as much as anyone in the post industrial age,
To put Salford and Manchester back on the front page.

So I’d like to see you cast in bronze from your barnet to your boots,
So Mancs can always celebrate the heritage of their roots,
Coz you fought to put our cities on the international stage,
Doing similarly to those statues from our great industrial age.

I’d really love to see you standing next to Albert in statue,
So I could nod to you with civic pride coz I love your Manchester too,
I’d like for you to pontificate over the Square for years to come,
So over the Centuries, Mancs won’t forget, the work that you have done.

It’s important they acknowledge you so then they won’t forget yer,
A revolutionist of the modern age, Tony Wilson, Mister Manchester.

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
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