Stuart McManus, who used to play as a forward for Southampton, will be keeping a close eye on the ongoing Winter Olympics in Beijing.
That is because his daughter, Sara McManus, will be representing Sweden in the curling event.
She will participate in the women’s tournament starting next week, alongside her teammates Anna Hasselborg, who is the team leader, Agnes Knochenhauer, Sofia Mabergs and Johanna Heldin.
The 30-year-old won a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics alongside Hasselborg, who became the first curler in history to reign as the simultaneous holder of the European Curling Championship gold medal, the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship gold medal, and the Olympic gold medal.
She burst onto the curling scene in 2009 on a team led by Hasselborg, throwing lead rocks in most of the team’s games in both the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Curling Championships, with the latter seeing McManus and Sweden emerge victorious.
The Swede became the team’s skip for the 2012 and 2013 World Junior Curling Championships, where they finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Her first appearance at the Curling World Championships came in 2014, but served as an alternate and did not play any games.
Her best finishes at the event came in 2018 and 2019, where Sweden finished as runners-up.
After three silver medals at the 2016, 2017 and 2021 European Championships, McManus and the crew finally tasted European glory in 2018, before defending the crown a year later.
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Now the daughter of the former Southampton footballer is ready to help her team to more glory in Beijing.
They are set to begin their campaign against Team GB in their opening encounter of the round robin stage.
Originally from Scotland, born in Falkirk, Stuart McManus began his youth career at Tottenham before a short stint with Southampton in the 1980s before moving to Sweden. He featured twice for the Saints.
Sara no longer has any family in Scotland, as they moved to England after her dad spent some of his youth in Bermuda, but she appreciates that her name attracts attention.
“’Why is your name McManus?’ – everyone is interested to hear the story,” she said. “I love that my dad comes from Scotland.”
McManus, 56, became a non-contract player for the Saints in August 1983 while studying for a Diploma course in PE at Farnham.
He scored regularly for the reserves, notching 30 goals in his first season as a professional, and returned from a loan spell at Newport to score on his debut – a 23rd minute header against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.
After his promising first-team debut, McManus played just one more match for the club, before he was released in the summer of 1986 and embarked on a successful career in Scandinavia, where his daughter Sara was born in 1991.