Hall of Fame – The Redheaded Marvel: John Mangan was good to the last block

John Mangan



Every good running game needs solid blockers up front, and Mangan was one such person. Mangan, who lettered in football for the Blue Devils in 1961, 1962 and 1963, was well-known for his ability to lead the way on sweeps as a pulling guard on offense.

On defense, he was known for his strong tackling. In his senior season, he was the team’s defensive player of the year and led the squad with 64 tackles. On offense, his blocking earned his an all-state nomination in 1963.

Head coach Charlie Palmer referred to Mangan as “The Redheaded Marvel” and once said “you can’t kill him unless you hit him with an axe.” On offense, Mangan paved the way for current Hall of Fame members Larry Amara, Peter Longo, Rusty Camp and Frank Accousti. Mangan played on both sides of the ball, all game long. Teammates said Mangan played with grit, tenacity and an unbridled fury.


Mangan showed his ability off of the gridiron in track and field in 1961, where he helped the Blue Devils win a state championship. Mangan’s best events were the pole vault, 100-yard dash and 400-yard dash.

Being an offensive lineman means being unselfish and willing to give one’s all for the success of others. Mangan continued to give back to the Plainville community for over 30 years in the Plainville Volunteer Fire Department. He reached the rank of second assistant chief.

Tickets are available for the Plainville Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet. It will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Nuchie’s Restaurant, 164 Central St., Forestville. This year’s inductees are Harold “Curly” Bartley (Class of 1962); John Mangan (Class of 1964); RoseMarie Havelevitch Dugas (Class of 1975); Jesse Cavallaro (Class of 2004); and coach Phil Mannarino. John Bello will be honored with the distinguished service award.

Tickets are $50 per person or $450 for a table of 10 and are available at the Dental Offices of Dr. Rusty Camp, 359 Farmington Ave.; Angelo’s Modern Barber Shop, 61 East St.; People’s United Bank, 117 East St.; and Gnazzo Food Center, 73 East St. Tickets can also be purchased via PayPal or Venno.

A cash bar social hour opens the festivities at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m., followed immediately by the awards.

To sponsor the event or to advertise, contact Mike Bakaysa at (860) 573-8015 or Byron Treado at (860) 836-3377. More info about the hall of fame can be found at www.plainvillesports.com.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com