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'Always remember, never forget, forever Manchester' - Poet pays emotional tribute to his city

Tony Walsh paid tribute to the city’s spirit, to its contributions to art, politics and sport and to the strength of its people.

Source: 5 News/YouTube

MANCUNIAN POET TONY Walsh has paid tribute to his city at a vigil for the victims of last night’s suicide bomb attack on a pop concert.

Walsh paid tribute to the city’s spirit, to its contributions to art, politics and sport and to the strength of its people.

Thousands turned out to pay tribute to those killed as they left last night’s Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester Arena. In total, police say 22 people are dead and 59 injured are being treated at local hospitals.

Police say a 22-year-old man, Salman Abedi,  died while setting off “an improvised explosive device”.

PastedImage-62075 Source: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

The vigil was attended by Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh leaders, and drew on the strength of a city that is synonymous with the Industrial Revolution, music and football.

Senior figures filled the stage, among them John Bercow, the speaker of parliament’s lower House of Commons; interior minister Amber Rudd; and opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The crowd listened silently to the speeches, though there were huge cheers when speakers praised the emergency services, and urged people to defy terrorism by standing together before Walsh’s heartfelt tribute.

Manchester Arena incident Source: PA Wire/PA Images

The poem in full:

This is the placeIn the north-west of England. It’s ace, it’s the best

And the songs that we sing from the stands, from our bands

Set the whole planet shaking.

Our inventions are legends. There’s nowt we can’t make, and so we make brilliant music

We make brilliant bands

We make goals that make souls leap from seats in the stands

And we make things from steel

And we make things from cotton

And we make people laugh, take the mick sommat rotten

And we make you at home

And we make you feel welcome and we make summat happen

And we can’t seem to help it

And if you’re looking from history, then yeah we’ve a wealth

But the Manchester way is to make it yourself.

And make us a record, a new number one

And make us a brew while you’re up, love, go on

And make us feel proud that you’re winning the league

And make us sing louder and make us believe that this is the place that has helped shape the world

And this is the place where a Manchester girl named Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side led a suffragette city with sisterhood pride

And this is the place with appliance of science, we’re on it, atomic, we struck with defiance, and in the face of a challenge, we always stand tall, Mancunians, in union, delievered it all

Such as housing and libraries and health, education and unions and co-ops and first railway stations

So we’re sorry, bear with us, we invented commuters. But we hope you forgive us, we invented computers.

And this is the place Henry Rice strolled with rolls, and we’ve rocked and we’ve rolled with our own northern soul

And so this is the place to do business then dance, where go-getters and goal-setters know they’ve a chance

And this is the place where we first played as kids. And me mum, lived and died here, she loved it, she did.

And this is the place where our folks came to work, where they struggled in puddles, they hurt in the dirt and they built us a city, they built us these towns and they coughed on the cobbles to the deafening sound to the steaming machines and the screaming of slaves, they were scheming for greatness, they dreamed to their graves.

And they left us a spirit. They left us a vibe. The Mancunian way to survive and to thrive and to work and to build, to connect, and create and greater ― Manchester’s greatness is keeping it great.

And so this is the place now with kids of our own. Some are born here, some drawn here, but all call it home.

And they’ve covered the cobbles, but they’ll never defeat, all the dreamers and schemers who still teem through these streets.

Because this is a place that has been through some hard times: oppressions, recessions, depressions, and dark times.

But we keep fighting back with greater Manchester spirit. Northern grit, northern wit, and greater Manchester’s lyrics.

And these hard times again, in these streets of our city, but we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity.

Because this is a place where we stand strong together, with a smile on our face, greater Manchester forever.

And we’ve got this place where a team with a dream can get funding and something to help with a scheme.

Because this is a place that understands your grand plans. We don’t do “no can do” we just stress “yes we can”

Forever Manchester’s a charity for people round here, you can fundraise, donate, you can be a volunteer. You can live local, give local, we can honestly say, we do charity different, that Mancunian way.

And we fund local kids, and we fund local teams. We support local dreamers to work for their dreams. We support local groups and the great work they do. So can you help us. help local people like you?

Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes, because this is the place that’s a part of our bones.

Because greater Manchester gives us such strength from the fact that this is the place, we should give something back.

Always remember, never forget, forever Manchester.

Thousands turned out for a the vigil with the crowd holding a minute of silence to honour the victims of the concert attack.

Lord Mayor Eddy Newman and the city’s police chief were among the speakers in front of city hall in Albert Square. Several people in the crowd held up signs with “I Love MCR,” an abbreviation for Manchester.

Manchester Arena incident Source: PA Wire/PA Images

A banner with a website for a Muslim group said “Love for all, Hatred for None.”

Read: As it happened: Police name man accused of Manchester attack as thousands turn out at vigil for victims

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