Serious Sport: J.A. Mangan's Contribution to the History of Sport

Serious Sport: J.A. Mangan's Contribution to the History of Sport

Serious Sport: J.A. Mangan's Contribution to the History of Sport

Serious Sport: J.A. Mangan's Contribution to the History of Sport


With essays covering all aspects of sports history, this volume is a tribute to the scholarship of Professor Tony Mangan. Regarded by many as a pioneer and mentor, Professor Mangan's foundational work has sustained the field for decades.


I am delighted to provide a foreword to this much merited celebratory volume in recognition of the enormous and invaluable contribution J.A. (Tony) Mangan has made to the study of the history of sport.

As Jon Manley relates in his 'Editing with J.A. Mangan' (pp. 1-3), Tony brought us the idea of The British Journal of Sports History in 1984, over a decade after we published Eric Dunning's pathbreaking Readings in the Sociology of Sport.

The contributors to this collection discuss Tony Mangan's innovative and visionary pursuit of the study of imperialism and sport, and his work on militarism and sport, and on sport and the Victorian social classes, but it is the fulsome tributes from his former students, now themselves established and successful academics, which offer real insight into Tony Mangan the man, the teacher, the guide, philosopher and friend, whose faith in them launched their careers as academics and authors.

I always looked forward to editorial meetings with Tony. They were never dull. He always presented his ideas and his views forcefully, rarely taking 'no' for an answer and always adding 'Trust me, Frank, I know what I'm doing' and 'Frank, do it and you will see that it will work'. I invariably did, and it invariably did.

It is an interesting coincidence that I am retiring at the same time as Tony, after completing my first 50 years in the book industry, although I suspect that in both our cases it will mean a diminution of about two per cent of our normal activities.

When we met recently it reminded me of two old-time boxers touching gloves as a sign of mutual respect and affection after finishing a bout, which in our case lasted some 20 memorable and hectic years.

They say that behind every successful man stands an able woman, and I am sure that Doris Mangan, who cooperated with Tony in much of his work, is no exception.

So it gives me great pleasure to join with Tony's family, colleagues and friends in wishing both the 'prizefighter and the bishop' a long, happy and still fruitful future in the years ahead.

Frank cass
January 2004

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