Tributes for 'gentleman' John Mangnall, former Blackpool crime reporter and writer

Tributes have been paid to a former Blackpool Gazette crime reporter who has died at the age of 82.

By James Graves
Monday, 28th September 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 28th September 2020, 9:33 pm

John Mangnall had a 48-year career in journalism with the majority of those years spent in Blackpool and at the Gazette where he covered crime and thousands of hearings at the town’s magistrates’ court and Preston Crown Court.

Freelance reporter David Graham worked alongside him for 30 years and called him a ‘gentleman’.

He said: “He was a proper journalist and a real gentleman as he knew how to treat people properly. A good writer and a good companion as well.

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Former crime reporter and writer John Mangnall has died aged 82

“He was always held in the highest esteem among the police, the legal fraternity and the officers of the courts and most of all his reporter colleagues.”

Over the years John covered infamous resort crimes such as the police shootings by Fred Sewell, Dr Ahmad Alami, who killed a four-year-old girl at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, the drownings of three police officers and the mass killer Stephen Akinmurele among others.

John died on September 16 while at Church Terrace Nursing Home in Cheadle, Greater Manchester.

As well as writing about crime, he was also an entertainment reporter and worked for some of the national press when he was a freelancer.

After retiring in 2003 he later moved to Biddulph in Staffordshire around four years ago with his wife Barbara to be closer to family.

His family said: “John was a true gentleman who will be deeply missed by all his loving family and many friends.”

He is survived by wife Barbara, his children David, Joanne and Jennifer and his grandchildren of Charlotte, Henry, Jake, Jessica and Ben.

Joanne said: "He always used to tell us hilarious stories of when he was a reporter and the tabloids always used to get him to do bizarre things around Blackpool.

"He was once sent out to find the best chippy in the resort and he must have consumed his own body weight in fish and chips to get the answer. He also once had to do a review of one of the circus events on North Pier and rather than him going, he sent Jennifer and myself when I was 14 and she was 11.

"When we got back he asked us lots of questions and we ended up telling him what it was like and he wrote the review from that. I think the thing I will remember the most though is that the landline phone was his life and there was one in the house that none of us were allowed to answer or call from. It was solely for his reporter duties."

A private funeral service will take place by invitation only. Enquiries to Vanessa Dolman, Dolven Funeral Services, 31-33 Congleton Road, Biddulph, ST8 6DY. (01782) 379191