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Birmingham boxers?


Super Moderator
Staff member
Anthony Rankins mother Emily Prescott had married Thomas Rankin in the year before his birth they later had another son Alan.
We cannot discuss this any further because it infringes forum rules on living people,Alberta
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Brummie babby
Hi I'm still confused about the sister as I'm sure there isn't one. Johnny definitely had the two brothers. I've been told a few stories about their up bringing and i just wanted to learn more about their parents and what happened to them. I feel proud when I hear people talk about Johnny and how well liked and respected he was, but very saddened that we was not able to be involved with him from a young age. If you could help me and give me any information on the parents as they're not living I would be really grateful there are just a few answers I would like to hear for peace of mind thank you


New Member
I've been given some photo's that my late dad had, as he was a keen boxing fan the photo's I have are of boxers.
Does anyone know who they are:

Roy Baird & Ray Corbett ring any bells (pardon the pun)?
I think their promotor was Al Lawley and the address on the photo's is 267 Icknield Port Road, B'ham 16.
My uncle Jimmy Vennell by all accounts was a brilliant boxer in his day...was born in Holliday st ladywood would anyone have heard of him please or any photos?
My uncle was Johnny Mann and he was a Birmingham boxer. He did very well from what I know and judging by the birthdate above I think this could be the same person. Do you know of anyone else from the Mann family or on the boxing circle as i am trying to trace info on my family who all lived in that area. Thank you.
Hi Susan,
My Uncle, Joe Nolan, remembers your Uncle Johnny very well. Joe boxed for the Mint as an amateur when Johnny was a pro and trained by his Dad.
Joe often told me that even the light heavies and heavies in the gym wouldn't spar with Johnny as he was so fast and hit so hard. He was totally dedicated to boxing and would run round Edgbaston Reservoir, including one entire lap backwards, every morning.
Uncle Joe looked up to Johnny tremendously and dreamed of being a pro himself. It was when Johnny fought Sammy McCarthy, either in a non title fight or shortly before he became British Champion that Joe became disillusioned with the idea. He couldn't believe that anyone could work that hard yet be so short of the top level, ( Johnny lost on a wide decision ).
Johnny fought 5 guys who had held British titles in all, beating 2 of them so he was certainly no slouch.
When I boxed at Birmingham City back in the '80's, there was an old character who was always in the gym who used to talk about flying to Switzerland with Johnny in the late '50's. Johnny was terrified of flying and, although teetotal, was knocking back double brandys and as a consequence came in over the weight - the only time in his career.
In later life Johnny developed diabetes and died dreadfully young.
Sorry if this is all a bit late but only just seen this post.