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Royals mourn former manager Jack Mansell: 1927-2016

Jack MansellWe are deeply saddened to hear that former Reading manager Jack Mansell passed away on Saturday evening at the age of 88.

Mansell took to the manager's office at Elm Park April 1969, and spent two and a half years as manager of the club.  His influence was clear from the get-go – he inspired a brand of football that was fearlessly attacking and which prized passing play fit for any football purist.

In the 1969/70 season, his first full campaign as boss of the Biscuitmen, Reading found the net on 87 occasions in the Football League - scoring more goals that season than any of the other 91 clubs across the four divisions.  In turn, that meant that Reading qualified for the Watney Cup – and consequently welcomed a Manchester United side which featured Denis Law, Bobby Charlton and George Best amongst their number to Elm Park.  A crowd of over 18,000 witnessed a lively encounter in which the Mancunians took a narrow 3-2 win against a Reading team managed by Salford-born Mansell.

One of Jack's first actions as manager of Reading was to reintroduce the blue and white hoops on our kit.  The Royals had worn hooped shirts almost exclusively since their introduction in 1938, until the decision was taken to sport a sky blue number from 1965 onwards.  But Jack, recognising the importance of the club's heritage, ensured that his team would play in the blue and white hoops.
The photo above shows Jack receiving a commemorative tankard by the Reading FC Former Players' Association on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

The FPA pass on their sincerest condolences to Jack's wife Moira and their families.

24 March 2016

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