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Nobody has written more words over the last three years than our Senior Correspondent Peter Mann. What started with an article on golf, about Oakmere Park near Oxton, hosting the PGA Assistant’s Championship in 2020, continued into football, women’s football in particular, which Peter is a huge advocate of, the non-league game where he’s interviewed hundreds of local football people, to Rugby Union, Boxing, Ice Hockey, even Roller Hockey, with a love for American Football and his latest left-field contribution, Aussie Rules Football.

Nothing is out of bounds for Peter, who sticks to two simple rules… It must be sport, and it must link back to Notts.

With it being Peter’s three year anniversary with us on Sunday July 30th, we wanted to do something to celebrate, a little different, to thank Peter for his time with us, and to flip roles, instead of asking the questions himself, we ask him some questions, and allow you to find out a little bit more behind the man who’s contributed 600 articles in three years at Nottingham Sport.

Here goes…

So 600 articles at Nottingham Sport since joining us in 2020… Let’s get straight to it… Which one was your best?

I think that, in the three years, 600 hundred articles I’ve put together for the Nottingham Sport, the best for me has been the Bygones content, and the two ancestry pieces on television documentaries about Vicky McClure (here) and Jayne Torvill (here), as well as the historical piece I produced on Linby CW.

I’ve always had a thing for sporting history, and, more recently, an increasing interest in family history; the pieces on McClure and Torvill were, for me, not only interesting to watch, but also to do a little extra research around, and write about.

A lot of people don’t know you are actually based in the North East, tell those about your links to Nottingham?

I’ve known about my ancestral links to Nottingham for as long I’ve been alive, but it’s only recently, as in the past few months, I’ve found out those ancestral links are much stronger.

One of my grandmother’s sisters, on my mother’s side, and her family, reside in and around the Calverton area, so I usually try and visit a couple of times a year; primarily around Valentine’s Day as that’s when my Auntie’s birthday is, 14 February.

Until the past few months though, I thought that they were my only connection to the area, however, during ongoing ancestral research, I’ve found both a Great Grandparent, and a 6x Great Grandparent, on my father’s side.

My Great Grandmother, Elsie May Mann (nee Appleby) died in 1962 in Mansfield, whilst my 6x Great Grandmother, Mary Longley (nee Machin) was born in 1746 in Worksop – I’d not be surprised if there’s more, especially having connections from down south, in Germany, and America.

You’ve interviewed some interesting characters in the past, I remember you telling me you’ve met Paul Gascoigne, how did that go? Have you met anyone even more famous than Gazza?

Gazza, a great talent and a character to match, easy to get on with, and always fun when around him. One of the interviews I conducted with the legend was prior to him rolling back the years and playing in the Pavel Cup (a charity football match in memory of former Newcastle United shot-stopper, Pavel Srnicek); I can also be found, ‘alongside’ Gazza, when he recorded his part for a BBC Euro ’96 documentary, my being visible as he heads on-stage.

Away from him, and discussing other, famous people, I’d likely be here all day if I mentioned them all, I did work for an event management company (thanks Steve W) on Tyneside for a number of years after all. What I will say though is, I met my footballing hero a few times, ‘The General’ Robert Lee, as well as the legend that is Peter Shilton, among others, but, since moving away from there (over five years ago now) it’s been primarily music.

I’m honoured that I can class Vicky Hamilton (first manager of Guns N’ Roses), who I went to New York (pictured at the Weiss/Lacy Art Gallery) for in late 2017, as a close friend, confidant, and who I’ve worked with on occasion, she even afforded me a ‘Thank You’ in the Second Edition of her memoirs, ‘Appetite for Dysfunction’ (I’d love to write a book with her); whilst other, standout interviews, include the likes of Beverley Craven, Julia Fordham, Bumblefoot, as well as the acclaimed classical musician, Viktoria Mullova – that was a highlight interview (face-to-face at Sage Gateshead).

Topping it all though, for me, would be the interviews and articles I produced for several tour shows by the legendary, Sir Michael Parkinson, around 2018 and 2019, that was rather enjoyable.

And locally, who have been your favourite people to interview from the Notts sports scene?

My favourites from the Nottinghamshire sports scene, hmmmm, now there’s a few here, but I wouldn’t want to upset anyone by missing them out, but here goes!

The two-part feature interviews with Lyndsey Harkin (captain, Nottingham Forest Women), Vanden Warner (head coach, Nottingham Caesars), and James Shaw (professional cyclist, EF-Education EasyPost) were all enjoyable to conduct, as well as research and put together.

Elsewhere, Marfisia Lanza (apologies Nicola Hopewell), and Jack Westley (here), because I’ve a long-standing interest in sport science (I’ve a degree in Sport Psychology, thanks Amanda Mc), Bailey Sugden and Jordan Kelsall (here) as well as Tom Moores and Katherine Brunt, the latter pair ahead of the inaugural outing of ‘The Hundred’ – I’d like to think that, above all, I’ve made numerous friends along the way as well.

How did it all begin for you? How did you get started and what links do you have to writing in sport?

To be honest with you, writing (of sorts) is something I’ve enjoyed since my younger days and, although I stepped away for a period during the 1990s, I was kind of pushed back into it in the early noughties.

When I was younger, I was always writing about football, or American football, and wildlife, random I know; my parents divorced when I was two-years-old, and myself, and my younger brother, Michael, would stay at dads/nanas during the holidays and, on one occasion I recall, maybe in the early nineties, I was sat watching a wildlife documentary, taking notes, then, after it had finished, went and sat at the dining room table and wrote a ‘story’ about it.

Fast-forward a decade and we’d lose Michael, in November 2002, due to a drugs (heroin) overdose, safe to say the worst day/period of my life; about twelve months later and I turned to writing to help stave off depression and this whole media run just went from there meaning that, in October this year, it’ll be 20 years of my just, giving it a go.

When I started out, in 2003, it was by writing content for local, non-league programmes (thanks Lee S), and yes, I was even doing historical content back then with an early favourite being the Esh Winning vs. Newcastle United XI friendly and the bygones pieces in that; over the years since then I’ve supplied content for Players Inc! and Toon Talk/Number Nine fanzines, spent a lengthy period with an event management company, supplying content (sport and music) for local newspapers, before moving into PR, and, in turn, writing books – close friends do tell me off as at times, I perhaps don’t know when to stop.

I’ve been published in England, Scotland, and Wales, and as far afield as the USA and Cyprus, and at present, alongside what I do for the Nottingham Sport, I also write for NE Online Magazine (the editor, Wayne G, is one of my closest friends), the Women’s Football Magazine, and have been the Press Officer for the Northern Football Alliance League going on eight seasons, whilst continually looking for opportunities elsewhere.

And the future? What’s next for Peter Mann?

What’s next for me? Hmmm, well let’s see!

If I said nothing then my closest friends will accuse me of lying as they know what I’m like (especially Jean M, who I’ve known since we were at Gateshead College together back in 2008-09).

Personally though, I’ll just carry on pushing myself both here, and with whatever other opportunities fall in my lap, after all it’s what keeps me sane.

I’ll also continue looking at, and writing books, be they sporting, musical, or otherwise, with plenty of ideas in the pipeline following the upcoming publication of ‘Against the Odds: The Jackie Kallen Story,’ something which is close to five years in the making.

So yes, I’d say expect interviews, historical content, and books, as always!

(NB – Individuals who are in bold italics are people who have had an impact on myself, in a professional capacity, as well as long-term friendship).

Anyone with thoughts, ideas, for content, or maybe even books, then email Peter via petermann78@hotmail.com, and give his media page the usual like/follow/share here.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @petermannwriter Peter with friend and promoter Vicky Hamilton.

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