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Get well soon, Tony

Merseyside sends support as 'Mr Manchester' battles illness in top cancer hospital

Published on February 14th 2007.

Get well soon, Tony

For a Manc, Tony Wilson has always grabbed more attention than you'd expect at this end of the East Lancs.

But while some people in Liverpool have not always been best pleased with the outspoken views of the Granada TV host and former Factory Records boss, we at Liverpool Confidential have always had a soft spot for the so-called Mr Manchester and we know that he, in turn, has always had a soft spot for this city.

So we were saddened today to learn that Tony, 56, is battling cancer at Christies hospital, and has already undergone surgery to remove a kidney.

Tony has spoken today of his admiration for the doctors and nurses who have treated him so far and his "absolute confidence in the employees of the NHS".

He has also criticised the expensive cost of life-saving drugs and is calling for action to make them more readily available.

Tony Wilson rose to national fame after he co-founded Factory Records and the Hacienda club which was famously known as the birthplace of "Madchester". He helped launch the careers of bands such as Joy Division and New Order and, with his good friend, Aigburth-born Nathan McGough, stepson of poet Roger, the legend of The Happy Mondays was born. The semi-fictional story of both the music label and the historic club was told in the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People, written by Crosby's Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Tony has always maintained strong links with Liverpool, and an exasperated love for the city. He is being supported in his ordeal by his partner, the former model Yvette Livesey, who is herself recovering from breast cancer, and his two grown-up children, Oliver and Izzy.

His friend Frank McKenna, who runs Downtown Liverpool in Business, told Liverpool Confidential that he had spoken to Tony just this week and that he he was in good spirits.

“Tony is one of the best creative brains in the North West and we need him back,” he said, adding, “he's a bolshie bugger and if anyone can get through this he can.”

Our thoughts, like those of a great many people on Merseyside, are with you, Tony, and we sincerely hope you pull through this soon.

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