Neil Manthorp on TMS

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Having badmouthed TMS last week, we feel that we should redress the balance and one person we’ve really warmed to has been South African journalist Neil Manthorp.

Somehow we’ve never heard a lot of Manthorp before, or maybe we just haven’t noticed him, but on scant evidence he’s now our favourite.

Manthorp does all the everyday commentary stuff well, but what really appeals is the fact that he’s irrepressibly jovial. Not in a forced laughter ‘aren’t I the life and soul’ kind of way. He’s just one of those people who finds things funny.

He’s not an imbecile. Not by any stretch. He’s not someone who just laughs at things like he’s been overmedicated. He just seems to have joyful mirth constantly bubbling beneath the surface.

A good example would be the teaming of him with Boycott. Where Mark Pougatch gets contradicted and practically whimpers before backpedalling, Manthorp laughs – and genuinely too.

The two of them were talking about Paul Harris. Boycott plainly stated that he things Paul Harris is crap. Manthorp presumably knows Harris quite well, but rather than get remotely upset, he instead pisses himself laughing at Geoffrey’s blunt dismissal. And you know what? When he finds it funny, it IS funny.

Shortly afterwards A B de Villiers reached his hundred. Manthorp was briefly caught up with the moment, before again descending into laughter. Why? Because the crowd were booing de Villiers. For some commentators this would be a sad thing, but Manthorp saw the funny side and effortlessly made you see the funny side too.

From now on, we’re going to imagine Neil Manthorp’s commentating on our everyday life. Stubbed toes will become things of joy. Lost keys will become hilarious.


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  1. I did like his wholesale endorsement of streaking as long as your mates give you the money to cover the fine up front. Had no idea who he was though until now. I thought Jeremy Coney just had his balls surgically lowered or summat.

    Oh Jeremy, when will I hear your beautiful tones again??

  2. His story about commentating with Dave Richardson was the highlight of my weekend: Comeyd gold.

    Plus he has an insanely deep knowledge of SA players which adds tremendous colour to his commentary.

    Well done him.

  3. I miss Jeremy Coney too. The man is a legend.

    I have to concur regarding Mr Manthorp also. I read his articles on supersport, every week, he’s up there with Michael Atherton for me, on the old cricket writers I must read. Alongside your goodself obviously King. Being the hardhitting journalistic hound that you are.

  4. Blast. Am missing a treat obviously. But have to be in Boycott-wankety-wank free zone. Shall go off and read Manthorpe and chuckle at apposite points

  5. And the best thing about Manthorp is … he’s English! They gave us KP we gave the Manthorp – he moved to SA plenty years ago and is a legend there.

    In SA, he worked with another journalist called Telford Vice. Has any journalist ever had a better name?

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