When asked by Forever Manchester to write a blog entitled “My Manchester”, I wondered what I could possibly add to what’s already been said by many much more eloquent contributors.

But I suppose that’s the whole point.  Manchester more than ever epitomises a City built on the hopes and talent of its diverse population, from Charles Babbage to Morrissey – the original “Modern”.  So, as much as my contribution hasn’t been anywhere near as significant as some, here’s my take:

My Manchester is a crucible for innovation in science and the media that still has a soul, a part of the world where much of that world is represented, where people still say hello when they see you in the street and find it hard to say goodbye.  My Manchester is a place where you really can reinvent yourself if you try hard enough and where business offers equal opportunity if you go looking for it.

My Manchester is home to some football teams you may have heard of, a Media City that welcomes new constituents, a real social media community that is helping to lead the way in the development of human communication and boybands that become manbands and get the chance to live their dream all over again.  (Sorry, my Wife loves them but I don’t share the enthusiasm – no names mentioned.)

My Manchester has given me pretty much everything I’m proud of, including my marriage and my career.  If you ask it nicely enough and are willing to take the bad days with the good ones, the chances are it will do the same for anyone.

It’s imperfect, but it’s beautiful.  Every city has its good and bad points, but very few inspire the devotion that this one does.  Take a look at Twitter when a contestant on “The Apprentice” says that “we’re two years behind London”.  The truth is, we’re ahead of them.

My Manchester is something real, tangible and maddeningly loveable.  Long may it stay that way.