Tony Wilson (20th February 1950 to 19th August 2007)

 

Growing up near Manchester I saw Tony Wilson on the local television regularly – on Granada Reports, arts/discussions programmes, interviews with well-known people. He didn’t move to London like many did and was often called “Mr Manchester” for promoting its throbbing culture.

 

Tony was a record label owner, radio and television presenter, nightclub manager, impresario and journalist for Granada Television and the BBC. He was one of the co-founders of Factory Records and The Haçienda nightclub (being a geek I never went to such places.) He was married twice, having a son and daughter with his second wife. In 1990 he started a relationship with Yvette Livesey, a former Miss England and Miss UK, who was his girlfriend until his death.

 

In 2007 he developed renal cancer and had to have a kidney removed. This didn’t stop the spread of cancer and though he was being treated for at Christie’s Cancer Hospital (where my mum died) he died of a heart attack. After his death the Union Flag on Manchester Town Hall was lowered to half-mast. His estate was worth £484,747.

 

There’s a biography available called You're Entitled to an Opinion. He was portrayed by Steve Coogan in Michael Winterbottom's 2002 film 24 Hour Party People and by Craig Parkinson in Anton Corbijn's 2007 film Control.

 

In keeping with his Factory empire Tony’s coffin was also given a Factory catalogue number: FAC 501.

 

Here I am at his impression granite headstone. There’s a small quotation on it (in Rotis serif font) chosen by Wilson's family from the novel The Manchester Man: “Mutability is the epitaph of world/Change alone is changeless. People drop out of the history of a life as of a land though their work or their influence remains." No I don’t really understand it either.

 

His grave is about one brisk minute’s walk from that of Rob Gretton’s, his business partner.

 

 

 

I also visited in the summer of 2015…

 

 

Not sure what the clock means…

 

On a visit in April 2019...

 

The grave is on Holly Avenue if you want to visit…

 

At the Christie cancer hospital where Tony died…

 

Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton should have been buried next to one another. The distance between the graves is about 80m…