The man who signed Joy Division, Happy Mondays passes away

Anthony H. Wilson, co-founder of Factory Records, has died of a heart attack today (August 10) at the age of 57.

Wilson is best known for signing legendary bands including Joy Division and New Order to his label, and as owner of the Hacienda nightclub in Manchester.

He played a key role in the Madchester scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, signing Happy Mondays.

Wilson passed away on this evening in the hospital after suffering a heart attack that his doctor said was unrelated to his recent battle with cancer.

Professor Robert Hawkins, his doctor at Christie hospital, told the Guardian: “It’s very sad. He died as a result of something unrelated to his cancer. His cancer was responding well to treatment but obviously did contribute to his poor health.”

Recently it was recommended he take the drug Sutent after chemotherapy failed to treat the disease effectively, but the NHS refused to pay for the £3,500-a-month treatment.

However, the Happy Mondays and other bands he signed had started a charity fund to help pay for Wilson‘s treatment.

His family are reportedly declining to comment at this time, but thanked the staff at the MRI and Christie who have provided “fantastic” care for him over the last few months.

You can read Tony Wilson’s obituary along with a host of tributes let by New Order and Alan McGee on NME.COM now.

See the NME Office Blog for our Tony Wilson comment and tribute, then leave a comment with your own.