CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF BOXING SOUTH AFRICA PROVINCIAL MANAGER IN KWA-ZULU NATAL, MR FRANCIS MANNING WHO PASSED AWAY ON MONDAY, 30 MARCH 2020
I have known Francis for a long time. He served the boxing sector with passion, commitment and excellence over a number of decades. From when he first started as a ring announcer, he grew through the ranks to a point where he ultimately became one of Boxing South Africa’s best referee and judge. As a ring official, he was very efficient and gifted and always willing to go beyond call of duty.
In the recent times he joined the African Boxing Union and also the World Boxing Council as a ring official. In 2018 he attended the WBC and the ABU ring Official Seminars in Kenya, where he did very well his examination. This was testimony to his high level of competency and proficiency as a ring official.
Because of his love for the sport of boxing he assisted with administration in the KZN area when the erstwhile Provincial Manager, Mr Les Andreasen was still in charge. The two of them worked well together until Mr. Andreasen retired in April 2019. It was only natural that Mr Manning should then take over as the next provincial manager after Mr Andreasen’s departure.
After Mr Andreasen’s retirement, he applied for that post and did very well in the stringent selection process, and subsequently became his successor. Since he started as the Provincial Manager in KZN, many boxing licensees and boxing loving people had returned to support the sport because of his motivation and influence on them.
Mr Manning was a man who took responsibility for his actions. He embraced criticism very well and where he might have committed any error, he was also willing to rectify and accept responsibility. He was a people’s person. He was always in a jovial mood and always accommodative of others and prepared to assist others at all times.
Each time when many of us visited KZN, he would insist that we pass by his house where both he and his family would host us with warmth and love. As soon as you enter his house you would really feel that this was definitely a home of a boxing loving person. Memorabilia from his life and times in the sport hung proudly in his lounge and bar area.
Francis also had love for music. He played several instruments and was always ready and excited to teach others how to play music instruments. He also had love for poultry farming and he was blessed with a huge knowledge and expertise in raising egg-laying chicken and broilers. If you go to his house you would find all different types of chicken that he cared for.
Mr. Manning was very close to his family. He and his wife were inseparable. He was a loving husband and a loving father. I’m reminded of a time when his daughter in Johannesburg fell ill. He made sure that she was taken care of very well until she got back home.
He will be sorely missed by his family and friends and the boxing fraternity worldwide. May your soul rest in peace Francis.
You’ve played your part Champ!