Poet Tony Walsh was presented with a very special award at our Birthday Party on 9th February, in recognition for his continual and exceptional support for Forever Manchester.

Tony received a standing ovation at the end of the evening, when Forever Manchester CEO Nick Massey presented him with The Forever Manchester Forever Award.

Tony has been involved with Forever Manchester for over 5 years and has written and performed four brilliant poems for Forever Manchester, as well as being the voice of our promotional films and podcasts, as well as fronting two successful fundraising shows for us.

Nick explained how Forever Manchester came about working with Tony…

“Nine years ago one miserable, wet evening in Manchester I was sat in one of the cities most treasured, now stolen, watering holes – the Ducie Bridge. I was anticipating watching a couple of local bands whilst having my ear lightly bent by the genial yet mildly insane landlord. But then this incredibly tall bloke stood up and grabbed hold of the microphone, adjusted the mic stand and told us he was going to perform some poetry…imagine the thrill!

How wrong could we be, those of us in the pub that night were treated to a piece of Mancunian History, an unexpected, electrifying spoken word performance that had everyone chanting, singing, laughing and even crying. This poetic champion of all things Mancunian, brought the house down.

A couple of years later we asked this Long Fella to become our Poet In Residence and help bring Forever Manchester to life – to give our cause a voice and a personality.

What we got back was that poem…. ‘This Is The Place’.

Last May he became a reluctant global star, when he performed that same poem at the vigil for the victims of the devastating atrocity at Manchester Arena… when he again evoked the same emotions that I felt 9 years ago.

Congratulations Tony, and thank you for your amazing support for Forever Manchester.