Sick of being taxed on incoming goods by the docks and railway companies of port city Liverpool, Manchester organised the building of the Manchester Ship Canal. It effectively turned a landlocked city into one of Europe’s busiest sea ports.

 

Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown once quipped that Manchester had “everything except a beach”. But based on the story of the ship canal, who knows what the future could bring…

 

The industrial revolution and the ship canal also made Manchester a huge immigrant city. The Mancunian Way is big on inclusivity and has a real international spirit to it, in my experience. People from all over the world have made our city their home, and we’re proud they’ve chosen to do so. Manchester would be unrecognisable without their energy, creativity and generosity.

 

A huge number of our famous pop musicians – the Gallaghers, Morrissey, Johnny Marr to name but a few – descended from Irish immigrants. Sir Matt was, of course, Scottish, as is Sir Alex Ferguson.

 

Many of this club’s most famous English-speaking players come from outside of Manchester and England: George Best, Denis Law, Roy Keane and countless more.

 

In recent years players from all over the globe have become honorary Mancunians by buying into the city and its values. Reds like Patrice Evra, or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, or Paul Pogba, who explained in 2018: “When you’re Mancunian once, you’re Mancunian forever.” 

 

Few embody ‘the Mancunian Way’ better than Eric Cantona, of course. Self-belief, ambition, understatement – Le Roi was a master of the lot. Eric believed he was as good as anyone, and dragged Manchester United forward into a new golden era by the strength of that cocky, upturned collar as much as anything else.

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