Rockers queue up to help out Manchester music legend

Tony Wilson needs cash to fund cancer treatment

Rock musicians are helping pay for Manchester music legend Tony Wilson‘s £3,500-a-month cancer treatment after the Manchester NHS Primary Care Trust refused to fund it.

The Factory Records boss, who famously discovered Joy Division and Happy Mondays, is taking controversial new drug Sutent after chemotherapy failed to beat the cancer diagnosed last year.

Doctors at the Christie Hospital in Manchester recommended the drug – which has doubled the life expectancy of some patients in trials – but the Manchester trust has refused to pay on the grounds that there is not enough “demonstrable evidence to support the use of this drug in treating kidney cancer”.

Wilson – who says he may appeal the decision – said: “When they said I would have to pay £3,500 for the drugs each month, I thought ‘Where am I going to find the money?’ I’m the one person in this industry who famously has never made any money.

“I used to say some people make money and some make history – which is very funny until you find you can’t afford to keep yourself alive.”

Nathan McGough, former manager of Happy Mondays, set up a fund teamed up with Elliott Rashman, the Mondays‘ present manager, after they heard of his plight and quickly collected enough money to fund his treatment for the next five months.

Tony is such a highly respected figure in the entertainment industry we have built up a substantial fund,” said McGough. Everyone I asked – businesses as well as individuals – were very quick to offer help. These people don’t want thanks or recognition, they just wanted to help.”