John Manning

The death has been announced of former Walsall centre forward John Manning, aged 80, who figured in 17 games for Saddlers in the 1971-2 season and scored 6 goals. R.I.P John.


I never saw him play as I started following The Saddlers half way through the 71-72 season, and my first match was in the March. I had his picture on my wall though, having bought a colour squad photo from that season.
Good scoring record, certainly for his first decade or so, better than one in three.

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RIP John. You weren’t with us for long but scoring against the Villa means you won’t be forgotten by those of us who were there.


Indeed. He played a lot for Tranmere (130 appearances and 70 goals) before going to a number of clubs and coming to us in his thirties. Played only 14 times but scored 6. He played in the 2-1 defeat at Everton but upset the manager and that was the end of his Walsall days. Another great header of the ball with Alzheimer’s, unfortunately.

I remember him well but can’t recall why so few games. “Upset the Manager”, Why, How? His scoring record was quite good and there was the 4-1 defeat at Gay Meadow were he scored. I was there and not a good day

Yes, it was Bill Moore I think. Apparently, Moore said that Manning completely disregarded his instructions in the game and so he did not want him at Walsall anymore.

It’s in the back of my mind that one of his goals for us was in a league match against Villa, back in the days when we dominated them.

I had no idea it was Bill Moore

It was in the 1-1 draw on 21st August 1971…just 2 days before my eldest daughter was born.