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Frank and George Mann: Brewing, Batting and Captaincy

Written by Brian Rendell

Father and son Frank and George Mann both captained Middlesex to the County Championship and led successful England sides on tours of South Africa. Until the takeover frenzy of the 1970s, the family’s highly successful brewery, based in East London, was a leading player in the social fabric of southern England. Mann’s Brown Ale can still be found on supermarket shelves today.

Both men served in Britain’s armed forces outside its shores. Both filled middle-order batting positions for county and country; they took catches, often painfully, at mid-off; and every so often they sent down a few deliveries to help bring a match to its conclusion. Frank’s mighty hitting emptied beer tents, sometimes to the detriment of sales of his brewery’s products. George’s management skills were brought to bear on the administration of English cricket.

Using material from a wide range of sources, Brian Rendell here brings together a story far larger than the 19,585 first-class runs they scored between them.

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