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Manchester would not be famous without football and shopping. Give reasons to prove and disprove this argument

Manchester is Britain's most important city after London. It is England's third largest city with a population of 452,000 (Office for National Statistics website, 2009). Manchester is distinctive for the wide diversity of its citizens, "it has been home to the unreconstructed capitalist and the devout radical, the flamboyant architect and the sober scientist, the raving cleric and the inspired music-maker, the rabble-rousing demagogue and the selfless philanthropist-embracing the full range of human activity" (Glinert, 2008). Although today Manchester is known mainly for football and shopping, it cannot be said that Manchester would be entirely unknown without them. Manchester was historically well-known for its role in textile industry and its influence on the emerging rock music scene. The city also became center stage for revolutionary movements such as the creation of the Communist Manifesto and the IRA bombings. It is only in contemporary times that football and shopping have played a large role in establishing Manchester's reputation on a global scale.

Arguably the most important element of Manchester's modern history is the role of the city's two professional football teams, Manchester City and Manchester United, in placing Manchester in the global imagination. Manchester City is the richest club in the world while Manchester United has the largest global fan base (Qureshi, 2008). In addition, the city has the largest club football grounds in the United Kingdom. Manchester City and Manchester United have a strong historical basis in the city of Manchester. Both clubs were established at the end of the nineteenth century, Manchester United in 1878 and Manchester City in 1880 (Murphy, 2008). Manchester United received a fair amount of attention in the 1950s with the prominence of the 'Busby Babes' who shaped one of the most successful period's in the club's history. Tragedy struck in Munich in February 1958 when an airliner carrying the Manchester United team, club staff, and reporters crashed upon takeoff. Twenty three men were killed in the horrific crash, including eight of the players (Murphy, 2008). The 1958 Munich disaster put Manchester in the world news as the city mourned its lost ones. Manchester City rose to prominence in the late 1960s with stars such as Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee. Today Manchester City and Manchester United continue to attract fans from all over the world. In modern times, these two football teams have created prominent players that have become famous in their own right. Manchester United's David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, and Cristiano Ronaldo have become current media celebrities in addition to athletic stars. As a lucrative global brand, Manchester's football scene will only continue to secure Manchester's reputation as a place that grooms football stars. The historical strengths of both Manchester City and Manchester United combined with the impact of global media coverage introducing the Manchester football teams to legions of international fans show how vital football has been to Manchester's fame.

Football and shopping are not the only elements of Manchester that make it famous. The rock music scene in Manchester has also given the city global prominence; "despite having no history of making memorable music Manchester became the most feted music city in the world towards the end of the twentieth century" (Glinert, 2008). This move towards becoming a major musical influence occurred in the summer of 1976 after a now legendary Sex Pistols concert at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. This concert has been credited for being a catalyst for the punk rock movement and new wave. Present at this concert were many young fans who later went on to form some of the biggest names in music such as the Buzzcocks, the Fall, Joy Division, New Order, and the Smiths (Schofield, 2004). Towards the late 1980s and early 1990s, these bands influenced an era that would soon be known as the 'Madchester' era. Madchester revolved around the acid rock scene in the legendary Hacienda nightclub. The Madchester scene included such famous groups as the Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays, and 808 State (Schofield, 2004). Madchester inspired the late 1990s Britpop scene such as Oasis, the Chemical Brothers and Take That. Manchester natives Richard Ashcroft of the Verve, the Bee Gees, and Jay Kay of Jamiroquai also achieved music fame outside of Manchester. The city's historical role in the popular music scene even inspired the 2002 film "24 Hour Party People" which was released worldwide. The prominent success of Manchester's music industry proves that Manchester would be famous even without the football or fashion industry.

In conclusion, football and fashion have played an important role in shaping Manchester's reputation in the global imagination but they are not the sole reasons for the city's fame. The music scene must also be given credit as well for making Manchester a household name.  If football and shopping did not exist, Manchester's reputation would be quite different. Within the United Kingdom, Manchester would still play an important role as the Greater Manchester area is home to 2.24 million people. However, without the sizeable industrial sector created at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the subsequent creation of consumer culture; Manchester would never have become the massive city it is today.  In addition, Manchester would most likely have thrived with or without its football scene. However, without the success of the city's football teams and the consequential celebrity status of its star players, the city would not be famous on an international scale. Manchester would likely also not be as large of a city as it is currently since football and its sizeable fan base has brought considerable amounts of both jobs and money into the city. International versus national considerations aside, Manchester would probably still be famous without football and shopping, but not at its current level.

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