TREASURED MEMORIES: Rae Gleeson holds up a photo of her father Jimmy Mann and a medallion he was presented on his rugby league retirement in 1947.
TREASURED MEMORIES: Rae Gleeson holds up a photo of her father Jimmy Mann and a medallion he was presented on his rugby league retirement in 1947. Matthew Purcell

Memories of a Mann

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Mann name is synonymous with Stanthorpe rugby league, beginning with one fella and his three younger brothers.

Jimmy Mann, who might just find himself in contention for the Stanthorpe team of the century, was a highly regarded player in his day.

But 83-year-old daughter, Rae Gleeson, said he might be better remembered for other talents.

"He didn't mind a drink on a hot day or a cold day,” she said.

"He'd do all the pubs in town and he'd have this little five ounce glass of beer and you can go anywhere in south-east Queensland and ask for a Jimmy Mannsa and they'd still know what you're talking about.

"They also didn't mind a biff, did the Manns,” Rae said.

Jim played alongside younger brothers, Jack, Mick and Tom.

In his final year of footy he also had the chance to play with his son, half-back Cec Mann.

Rae's first rugby league experience was when she was roughly eight-years-old she believes.

"Dad had a transport business and four of us girls would go in the front of a truck, and the team, he'd put a tarp over the back and they'd be sitting on the back going to games.”

Jimmy Mann is pictured back row, third from the left. Over his right shoulder stands Mick Madsen. Not only a former Stanthorpe player, but Australian test player/captain and Queensland representative. Jimmy's three brothers, Jack, Mick and Tom, are pictured in the photo too.
Jimmy Mann is pictured back row, third from the left. Over his right shoulder stands Mick Madsen. Not only a former Stanthorpe player, but Australian test player/captain and Queensland representative. Jimmy's three brothers, Jack, Mick and Tom, are pictured in the photo too. Contributed

He was born in Stanthorpe in 1905, his family pioneers of the region.

From what Rae recalls, he was a one club man.

He lined up for Suburbs, one of three teams in Stanthorpe in those days that also included the Boomerangs and Newtown.

He was 42 years old when he retired for the third and final time in 1947.

"He loved the football,” she said. "That's where I got the love of the football from as well.”

Jim quit school at 12 and left without ever having a decent education.

"He never had much of an education so I guess this was something he was good at and it didn't matter.”

Jimmy Mann in 1932 with the Tooheys Cup winning Stanthorpe side. He's pictured front row, second from the left.
Jimmy Mann in 1932 with the Tooheys Cup winning Stanthorpe side. He's pictured front row, second from the left. Contributed

One of Rae's most vivid memories of her father's playing days was one where he got sent off.

"There was a fella by the name of Bill Turrell. He was the referee... very straight laced.

"He sent him off, but dad didn't go, so Bill walked off and called off the game. Not sure to this day why he was sent off.”

When his father died, Jimmy was 35.

"I think when that happened he assumed a lot of the responsibility for his mother and the family.”

"He was a good man. Football was a real family thing for us and we'd go with mum (Thelma) and watch every time he'd play.”

Jimmy died in 1981.

Stanthorpe rugby league will celebrate its centenary year on Saturday, August 3.

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