Mansfield Town F.C.

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Mansfield Town
Mansfield Town FC.svg
Full nameMansfield Town Football Club
Nickname(s)The Stags, Yellows
Founded1897;124 years ago (1897) (as Mansfield Wesleyans)
Ground Field Mill
Capacity9,186 [1]
OwnerCarolyn Radford & John Radford [2]
Chief Executive David Sharpe
Manager Nigel Clough [3]
League League Two
2020–21 League Two, 16th of 24
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

Mansfield Town Football Club is a professional football club based in the town of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England. The team competes in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed 'The Stags', they play in a blue and yellow kit. Since 1919, Mansfield have played at Field Mill, which is now an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 9,186. Their main rivals are Chesterfield and Notts County.

Contents

The club was formed in 1897 as Mansfield Wesleyans and entered the Mansfield & District Amateur League in 1902, before changing its name to Mansfield Wesley and joining the Notts & District League in 1906. They then finally became Mansfield Town in 1910, and moved from the Notts & Derbyshire League to the Central Alliance the following year. Crowned Alliance champions in 1919–20, they joined the Midland League in 1921 and would win this league on three occasions – 1923–24, 1924–25 and 1928–29 – before they were admitted into the Football League in 1931. They were relegated out of the Third Division in 1960, but won promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1962–63, remaining in the third tier for nine seasons until their relegation in 1972. They reached the Second Division for the first time after winning the Fourth Division title in 1974–75 and the Third Division title in 1976–77, only to suffer two relegations in three seasons.

Promoted out of the Fourth Division under the stewardship of Ian Greaves in 1985–86, they went on to win the Football League Trophy in 1986–87. Mansfield were however relegated in 1991 and promoted again in 1991–92, only to suffer an immediate relegation the following season. They won promotion once again in 2001–02, but were relegated to League Two in 2003 and lost their Football League status with a further relegation in 2008. They spent five seasons in the Conference until they were promoted back into the Football League after winning the Conference in 2012–13 following investment from new club owner John Radford.

History

Early years

Mansfield Town have played at Field Mill since the end of the First World War MTFC West Stand.jpg
Mansfield Town have played at Field Mill since the end of the First World War

Mansfield Town was formed under the name of Mansfield Wesleyans in 1897, the name of the club coming from the local Wesleyan church. The club played friendlies up until the 1902–03 season, when it joined the Mansfield and District Amateur League. When the league dropped its amateur tag in 1906, the church abandoned the club, which changed its name to Mansfield Wesley and moved into the Notts and District League.

In the summer of 1910, despite having lost the previous season to Mansfield Mechanics in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, the team changed its name to Mansfield Town (much to the disgust of the Mechanics). In the following years, Mansfield Town swapped between the Notts and District League, Central Alliance League and Notts and Derbyshire League, before World War I brought a halt to proceedings.

After the war, Mansfield became occupants of the Field Mill ground, after Mansfield Mechanics failed to pay their rent. In 1921, the club was admitted into the Midland Counties League, and celebrated by reaching the 6th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup twice in a row. The club won the league in 1923–24 and was the runner-up the following season, but on both occasions failed to win election to the Football League.

In 1928–29, Mansfield won the Midland League again, but more famously reached the Fourth Round Proper of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 to First Division club Arsenal, after a cup run which saw them beat Second Division side Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, York City beat the Stags in elections for a League place.

Into the Football League

In 1931, Mansfield were finally elected to the Southern Section of the Third Division. However, the club struggled to adapt to League surroundings and were frequently in the lower reaches of the table. One of very few highlights in the years before the Second World War was Ted Harston, who scored 55 goals in one season before transferring to Liverpool.

After the war, Mansfield started to see some progress. Lucky to escape the need for re-election when it was decided that no club would be relegated after the 1946–47 season, the Stags started to move up the table. In 1950–51, Mansfield reached the Fifth Round of the FA Cup and became the first Football League team to complete a 23–game home schedule unbeaten, although missed out on the only Third Division promotion spot.

Chart of Mansfield's yearly table positions in the Football League Mansfield Town FC League Performance.svg
Chart of Mansfield's yearly table positions in the Football League

In 1959–60 the club was relegated to the recently created Fourth Division, before gaining promotion back to the Third Division in 1962–63. This promotion was later tainted by life-time suspensions handed out to players Brian Phillips and Sammy Chapman for bribing opponents, including players of Hartlepools United in a vital match which Mansfield won 4–3. Two seasons later, the club again narrowly missed out on promotion to the Second Division. The season after avoiding relegation due to a points deduction for Peterborough United, Mansfield made another headline-grabbing cup run. Mansfield beat First Division West Ham United 3–0 in the Fifth Round of the 1968–69 FA Cup, before narrowly losing to Leicester City in the Quarter Finals. In 1971–72 Mansfield were relegated, again, to the Fourth Division.

By 1976–77, the club was back in the Third Division, and despite the distraction of a 5–2 FA Cup defeat to Matlock Town, beat Wrexham to the Third Division title. The club went straight back down, and only a good run of form at the end of the 1978–79 season saved Mansfield from a double relegation.

Mansfield won the Football League Trophy in front of 58,000 fans in May 1987, beating Bristol City on penalties after a 1–1 draw. However, the years that followed were inconsistent, with Mansfield becoming a "yo-yo" team between the Third and Fourth Divisions. It was also at this time that controversial owner Keith Haslam bought the club.

21st century

In 2001–02, Mansfield were again promoted to the third tier of English football, beating Carlisle United on the final day of the season to take third place from Cheltenham Town, who lost at Plymouth Argyle. A poor season in Division Two did not pick up even with the arrival of former England international Keith Curle as manager, as the club was relegated straight back to the fourth tier of English football. In 2003–04, Mansfield beat Northampton Town in a penalty shoot-out in the Division Three play-off semi-finals, but lost to Huddersfield Town in a similar fashion final, after having an apparently legitimate Colin Larkin goal disallowed.

In 2007–08, Mansfield's 77-year stay in the Football League came to an end as the club was relegated to the Conference. [4] This was in spite of an excellent FA Cup run, leading to two BBC TV appearances, against Harrogate Railway Athletic and Middlesbrough. A fluke goal in a 1–0 loss to rivals Rotherham United in the last home game of the season all but guaranteed relegation. [5] Ugly scenes erupted at the final whistle, with controversial owner Keith Haslam being attacked by fans. [6]

Haslam left the club, as the "Three Amigos" of Perry, Middleton and Saunders purchased the club (but not the ground) for £1 and installed Billy McEwan as manager. He was replaced after Christmas by David Holdsworth. Holdsworth's two-and-a-half year reign bought little improvement to the club and he was dismissed as manager.

Caretaker manager Duncan Russell led Mansfield to an FA Trophy final appearance in 2010–11, Louis Briscoe scoring a late extra-time winner against Luton in the semi-final second leg. The Stags lost 1–0 to Darlington at Wembley Stadium after a 120th-minute extra-time goal by Chris Senior. A league position of 12th was not good enough for Russell to keep his job; Paul Hall replaced him as interim manager during the close season.

His replacement, Paul Cox, led Mansfield to their highest Conference finish in his first season. A good run of form after Christmas saw the Stags finish in third in the league, although they lost 2–1 on aggregate to eventual play-off winners York City after extra time in the promotion play-off semi-final.

An indifferent start to the 2012–13 season left Mansfield lingering around mid-table, with some fans calling for the manager's head. One good point to the first half of the season was the club's FA Cup run. A 2–1 win over Lincoln City [7] set up a third round tie with Premier League side Liverpool. A controversial Luis Suárez goal helped the Reds to a 2–1 victory, [8] but a brave display from the Mansfield team gave the team momentum in the weeks to follow. Following the cup game the Stags won 20 of their last 24 games, including a club record run of 12 consecutive wins, to clinch the Conference Premier title, and promotion back to the Football League. The title was sealed with a 1–0 victory over Wrexham on 20 April 2013. [9]

Ownership

The 2006–07 season saw the creation of the 'SFFC (Stags Fans for Change)' an organisation aiming for the removal of then owner Keith Haslam from the club. The organisation undertook many projects over the year to get their message over in a different and non-aggressive way. This included hiring a plane to fly over the local derby match with Notts County towing a banner declaring that the club was for sale and calling for Haslam to leave. On 29 November 2007 Haslam rejected a bid from James Derry's consortium and the Mansfield fans pledged to have a TV protest against him on 2 December 2007 against Harrogate Railway Athletic live on the BBC's Match of the Day programme.

In March 2008, it was reported that John Batchelor, a bidder for Mansfield Town, planned to rename the club to Harchester United after the fictional squad from the TV series Dream Team to make the club "more promotable" [10] if his bid were a success. Fans and executives within the club both stated that they would oppose the name change. [11] [12]

Following the club's relegation in 2008, Colin Hancock, then the chairman of Glapwell, emerged as the leading bidder as he agreed to purchase a controlling share of the Stags, Field Mill, and some land surrounding the stadium from Haslam.

Radford on the terraces in 2016 JohnRadfordBusinessman.png
Radford on the terraces in 2016

However, three businessmen who are also Mansfield Town fans, Andrew Perry, Andrew Saunders and Steve Middleton, bought the club from Keith Haslam for an undisclosed fee, but they were still renting the stadium from him. At the start of the 2010–11 season Mansfield were bought by John Radford.

On 2 December 2010 the club was locked out of Field Mill in a dispute over unpaid rent. [13] Since returning to Field Mill after securing a lease on the ground for a further year and a half, John Radford began to seek a way by which the club would once again own Field Mill. It was reported that Keith Haslam rejected an offer from Radford for Field Mill; the offer was alleged to have been worth in between £2 million and £4 million.

On 1 March 2012, Chairman John Radford purchased the ground from Keith Haslam. Since then, 1 March is considered 'Amber Day' at the club to commemorate the retrieval of Mansfield's stadium. In April 2012, Radford changed the stadium's name from 'Field Mill' to the 'One Call Stadium' for sponsorship reasons.

Club culture

You go into the bar after a game last Saturday and they were talking about Chesterfield, even though we had Port Vale to play before that. These are the games when the fixtures come out - our supporters are looking for the Notts Countys and Chesterfields and when we're going to play them.

Paul Raynor, former Mansfield assistant manager, on the Stags' main rivals, 2017. [14]

Rivalries

The 2003 Football Fans Census indicates that Mansfield's biggest rivalries are with Chesterfield and Notts County, with Doncaster Rovers tertiary rivals. [15] Bad blood between Chesterfield and Mansfield has links to the miners' strike. [14] Fixtures between Town and County are referred to as Nottinghamshire derbies. [16] More recently, a lesser rivalry has grown with Grimsby Town. [17]

Club colours

During the Wesleyans era, Mansfield played in chocolate and sky blue shirts, firstly striped until 1902, and then halved. Upon assuming the Mansfield Town moniker, the club switched to red shirts, white shorts, and black socks, though this identity only lasted the 1910–11 season. A five-year stint in black and white quartered shirts with black shorts and socks followed before the club closed down. [18]

Upon their return in 1919, Town introduced their now-familiar blue and amber club colour scheme, initially in halves. Becoming a league side in 1931 coincided with a change to pale blue shirts with white shorts, which the club would wear until October 1934, when the blue and amber returned (albeit in quarters for the remainder of the 1934–35 season). They would continue to wear this colour combination in various arrangements (including a blue shirt with amber sleeves from January 1948) for two decades. From 1954 to 1961 Town played in white shirts and black shorts, before amber shirts with blue shorts returned for seven years. All-blue with amber trim was selected in 1968, before a new look of white shirts with blue shorts was introduced in 1970. [18]

1974 saw the classic colour scheme return, and though the composition might vary, amber and blue has reigned ever since. The only exception to this was the centenary kit worn in the 1997–98 season, which was a retro kit design styled after Mansfield Wesleyans' first, albeit with sky blue shorts and socks. [18]

Selection of Mansfield Town home kits through history [18]
Kit left arm lightblue stripes.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body brown stripes copia.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm lightblue stripes.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
Wesleyans' original kit 1897–c. 1900. Worn with sky blue shorts 1997–98
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks white hoops color.png
Kit socks long.svg
The first kit of the "Mansfield Town" era. Worn in the 1910–11 season
Kit left arm whiteborder.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body blackquarters23.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm blackborder.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks white hoops color.png
Kit socks long.svg
Black and white quartered kit worn from 1911 until closedown in 1916
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks whitetop.png
Kit socks long.svg
Kit adopted upon election to the Football League. Worn 1931–1934
Kit left arm blackborder.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body vneckblack.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm blackborder.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks blacktop.png
Kit socks long.svg
The Stags wore white shirts and black shorts from 1954 to 1961
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body collarblue.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
The traditional club colours of Mansfield Town, as worn from 1974 to 1979

Kit suppliers and shirt sponsors

The following tables detail the shirt sponsors and kit suppliers of Mansfield by year: [18]

Kit suppliers [18]
PeriodSupplier
1975–1976 Umbro
1976–1977 Bukta
1977–1983 Umbro
1983–1986Lowfields
1986–19885D Togs
1988–1990Scoreline
1990–1992Ribero
1992–1993Hero
1993–1994Pelada
1994–1995Activity
1995–1996In-house production
1996–1998Beaver
1998–2000 Russell Athletic
2000–2004In-house production
2004–2006Garman
2006–2008Carlotti
2008–2010 Canterbury of New Zealand
2010–2013 Erreà
2013–present Surridge Sports
Front of shirt sponsors [18]
PeriodSponsor
1983–1987Evinson's Ford
1987–1991 Mansfield Brewery
(1987–1989: Marksman Lager; 1989–1990: Mansfield Beers; 1990–1991: Mansfield Bitter)
1991–1992Gunthorpe Textiles
1992–1993GTC
1993–1995Abacus Lighting
1995–1998 Mansfield Brewery
(Mansfield Bitter)
1999AD-MAG
2000–2001Thorworld
2001–2003Vodka Kick
2003–2007Perry Electrical
2007–2009ASPL
2009–2011Hymas Homes
2011–2013 Greene King IPA
2013–presentOne Call Insurance

Players

Current squad

As of 26 February 2021 [19]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
1 GK Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  CZE Marek Štěch
2 MF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Corey O'Keeffe
3 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Malvind Benning
6 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Farrend Rawson
7 MF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Harry Charsley
8 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Ollie Clarke (captain)
9 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Jordan Bowery
10 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG George Maris
12 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Kellan Gordon
14 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG James Perch
16 MF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Stephen Quinn (on loan from Burton Albion)
17 FW Flag of Montenegro.svg  MNE Oliver Sarkic (on loan from Blackpool)
No.Pos.NationPlayer
18 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Joe Riley
19 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Jamie Reid
20 MF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Stephen McLaughlin
21 DF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL James Clarke
23 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Jake Wright
24 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Jaden Charles
25 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Keaton Ward
27 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Tyrese Sinclair
29 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Jason Law
30 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Jamie Pardington (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers)
31 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Aidan Stone
32 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG George Lapslie

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
4 DF Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  WAL Rollin Menayese (on loan at Grimsby Town)
11 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Andy Cook (on loan at Bradford City)
15 DF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Aaron O'Driscoll (on loan at Longford Town)
22 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Nicky Maynard (on loan at Newport County)
28 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Jimmy Knowles (on loan at Notts County)

Former players

For details of former players, see List of Mansfield Town F.C. players

Club officials

Boardroom

First team staff [20]

Managerial history

NameNationalityFromToRecord
PWDLWin %
Teddy Davison Flag of England.svg 192619282101050.00
Jack Hickling Flag of England.svg 19281933110302555027.27
Charlie Bell Flag of Scotland.svg 19351935318716025.81
Harold Wightman Flag of England.svg 1936193619757036.84
Harry Parkes Flag of England.svg May 1936January 193868291425042.65
Roy Goodall Flag of England.svg 19451949139473656033.81
Freddie Steele Flag of England.svg 19491951123613131049.59
George Jobey Flag of England.svg 1952195370281725040.00
Stan Mercer Flag of England.svg 1953195577321629041.56
Charlie Mitten Flag of England.svg February 1956June 1958115492244042.61
Sam Weaver Flag of England.svg June 1958January 196073221734030.14
Raich Carter Flag of England.svg January 1960March 1963151632365041.72
Tommy Cummings Flag of England.svg March 19631964201874074043.28
Tommy Eggleston Flag of England.svg 19671970157593860037.58
Jock Basford Flag of England.svg 1970197166212223031.82
Danny Williams Flag of England.svg 19711974123414240033.33
Dave Smith Flag of Scotland.svg 19741976113543227047.79
Peter Morris Flag of England.svg 1976197883361829043.37
Billy Bingham Ulster Banner.svg February 1978197964172324026.56
Mick Jones Flag of England.svg 19791981107372743034.58
Stuart Boam Flag of England.svg July 1981January 198377251537032.47
Ian Greaves Flag of England.svg January 19836 February 198931110199111032.48
George Foster Flag of England.svg February 1989August 1993217685099031.34
Andy King Flag of England.svg August 1993July 1996149514553034.23
Steve Parkin Flag of England.svg July 19961999143544148037.76
Bill Dearden Flag of England.svg 18 June 19996 January 2002134492857036.57
Stuart Watkiss Flag of England.svg January 2002December 20024516524035.56
Keith Curle Flag of England.svg 3 December 200211 November 2004104392342037.50
Carlton Palmer Flag of England.svg November 2004September 200541101516024.39
Peter Shirtliff Flag of England.svg September 2005December 200672241929033.33
Paul Holland Flag of England.svg 19 December 200628 December 20063210066.67
Bill Dearden Flag of England.svg 28 December 20068 March 200863181332028.57
Paul Holland Flag of England.svg 8 March 20084 July 200812363025.00
Billy McEwan Flag of Scotland.svg 4 July 2008 [21] 10 December 2008 [22] 268612030.77
David Holdsworth Flag of England.svg 29 December 200818 November 201091372034040.66
Duncan Russell Flag of England.svg 19 November 201012 May 20113614913038.89
Paul Cox Flag of England.svg 19 May 201121 November 2014175784651044.57
Adam Murray Flag of England.svg 21 November 201414 November 2016103322744031.07
Steve Evans Flag of Scotland.svg 16 November 201627 February 201876352219046.05
David Flitcroft Flag of England.svg 1 March 201814 May 201968262517038.24
John Dempster Flag of Scotland.svg 14 May 201914 December 20192871110025.00
Graham Coughlan Flag of Ireland.svg 17 December 201927 October 2020274914014.81
Richard Cooper (Interim) Flag of England.svg 29 October 20205 November 20202020000.00
Nigel Clough Flag of England.svg 6 November 2020Current Manager39161211041.03

Honours and achievements

Football League Third Division (3rd tier)

Football League Fourth Division (4th tier)

Conference Premier (5th tier)

Midland League

Central Alliance

Football League Trophy

FA Trophy

Club records

Team records
Best seasons [23]
Player records
Records for all recognized league and cup competitions [23]

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  24. The Central Alliance 1911–1925 Non-League Matters