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Mansfield Town

Est. 1897  

Venue

 Field Mill, Quarry Lane, Mansfield Tel: 01623 482482

Ground Capacity

9900 (currently restricted to 7300)

Home Strip

 Away Strip

Seating 9990 (currently restricted to 7300) 

Record Attendance

 24,467 v Nottingham Forest - FA Cup 3rd Round - 1953
Who are ya?  Stags
What Division are you in? Step 1 - Blue Square Conference 

Websites

www.mansfieldtown.net

www.mansfieldtown-mad.co.uk
www.ollertonstags.co.uk
www.ftybr.co.uk
www.stagsnet.net

 

You must have come in a taxi

M1 Jnc.29  Leave the  M1 at Junction 29, take A617 to Mansfield . After 6 miles turn right into Rosemary Street. Follow road for 1 mile and turn right into Quarry Lane.

M1 Jnc.28 Exit the M1 at junction 28 for the A38 (Mansfield). Continue on the A38 through seven sets of traffic lights until you come to a large crossroads (you'll see The King and Miller pub and McDonald's Drive-Thru on the left-hand side).  Turn right at these lights (s/p Mansfield A38). Continue along the A38 (King's Mill Hospital and Morrisons on the left-hand side) to the third set of traffic lights (it'll be the fourth set if you include the pedestrian crossing outside the Hospital) with "The Sir John Cockle" pub to your front and left. You'll need to be over in the right-hand lane for the right turn into Sheepbridge Lane. Continue along here, down the hill, for a short distance. Under the railway bridges and take the first left into Quarry Lane ("Lord Byron" pub on the corner). Field Mill is at the far end of Quarry Lane.

M1 Jnc.27 
Exit the M1 at junction 27 (s/p Mansfield A608). At the roundabout, take the third exit (s/p Hucknall, Mansfield A608) onto the A608. Go straight over two roundabouts, following signs to "Mansfield A611" and at the third roundabout turn left (s/p Mansfield A611) onto the A611. Continue for 3.8 miles to a set of traffic lights at a T-junction. Here, turn left (s/p Mansfield A60) onto the A60 Nottingham Road. Past the "Trading Post" pub on the left-hand side after 0.1 miles, and between "The Famous Talbot" and "The Plough" pubs after 0.7 miles. Past the KFC on the left-hand side and straight through the second set of traffic lights (s/p Ring Road, Town Centre). At the next set of traffic lights, with the church on the right-hand side, turn left into Quarry Lane.

From the East Take the A617 to Rainworth. At the end of the by-pass, at the large roundabout, take the turn for Mansfield (s/p Mansfield A617).  Stay on the A617 to a set of traffic lights by "The Reindeer" pub. Here, turn left (s/p Nottingham B6030 (A60)) into Windsor Road. At the T-junction after 1.1 miles, turn right (s/p Town Centre A60) onto the A60 Nottingham Road.  Go straight on, passing between "The Famous Talbot" and "Il Rosso" pubs. The past the KFC on the left-hand side and straight through the second set of traffic lights (s/p Ring Road, Town Centre). At the next set of traffic lights, with the church on the left-hand side, turn left into Quarry Lane, where you find the ground.

 Too many to list. East Midlands Stagecoach, Trent Barton & National Express all run services which run to Mansfield Bus Station. Click name for links to their websites for more details.

Mansfield -  Situated on the Robin Hood Line, this is a branch line that connects Mansfield station and ten other small local stations onto the main rail network at Nottingham Midland Station to the south and Worksop to the north. The journey time from both Nottingham and from Worksop is approximately 35 minutes. Mansfield used to be a commonly used answer on quiz nights throughout the country  - "Which is the only Football League club not to have  a railway station?" - Not anymore. It's only a 10 minute stroll to the Ground now and from the station, you can just about make out the floodlights at Field Mill. Leave the station and turn left along the dual carriageway (A60 Portland Street), away from the town centre, and under the Railway Bridge. Go straight ahead at the first set of traffic lights along Portland Street and then right at the next lights and into Quarry Lane. The ground is a short distance down this road on the right hand side.

For a map of the location, Click here.

 

 

My garden shed is bigger than this

Football has been played at Field Mill since 1861, making it the second oldest active football ground in the United Kingdom (the oldest being Sandygate in Sheffield, home to Hallam Football Club since 1860). 

Mansfield Town was founded in 1897 under the name of Mansfield Wesleyans. Like many football clubs, their name derives from a local church, in this case the Wesleyan church on Bridge Street. The present name was adopted by the club in the summer of 1910. This move angered local rivals Mansfield Mechanics, but the name change went ahead nonetheless. This was not Town's last run in with the Mechanics.

Field Mill did not become home to Mansfield Town until 1919. Mansfield Mechanics had let their lease on the Field Mill ground lapse during the First World War (presumably, they couldn't see the point inMTFC5_apr05.jpg (20139 bytes) paying for a ground they weren't going to use). As a result, a football club representing the Mansfield branch of the National Federation of Discharged and Disabled ex-Servicemen's Societies (or DDSS for short) beat the Mechanics to the new lease. DDSS could not afford to pay for the two year lease on their own and recruited Mansfield Town, who were playing on a notorious pitch elsewhere, as sub-tenants. Alas, on 1 May 1919, Mansfield Town played their first competitive match on the very pitch used today, and a wonderful pitch it is too.  This was not however always the case, prior to the 1950ís the pitch had a noticeable slope.

In its infant years, there were no stands at Field Mill, the pitch being roped off, and the DDSS cricket pavilion positioned in the corner, where the West and Quarry Lane Stands are today. Typically, the cricketers did not allow the Stags footballers to use the pavilion to change and so they had to use a nearby pub. The first 'Stand' was actually a pile of pit ash laid at one end of the pitch.  In 1921, the land owner, the Duke of Portland, sold the site subject to certain conditions, mainly that the site could only ever be used for sporting purposes.  £500 was raised by the Chairman, Directors and Secretary of MTFC, and MTFC14_apr05.jpg (42058 bytes) subsequently on 30 April 1921, Mansfield Town Football Club became sole tenants with a 25 year lease.

 The Club now had a firm platform to make an impact on the footballing world. Turnstiles were erected at both North and Quarry Lane ends of the ground and a year later the first Grandstand (on the West side of the ground) was built in 10 days by volunteers.  More pit ashes followed and by 1926 the ground had banking on 3 sides and a covered stand running the length of the West Stand.

The next major development took place in 1929, when the financial rewards of a good cup run enabled the Club to develop the eastern side of the ground (building a covered stand which covered roughly the same area as the current Bishop Street Stand. When it was originally built it was intended that the Bishop Street Stand would cover the whole length of the pitch but alas this has never happened. Within two years, league football arrived at Field Mill.  The first actual terracing was made out of railway sleepers during the 1930's  these remained in place until the 1950's. After being damaged by gales, the Bishop Street Stand was rebuilt to almost what it is today, although later damage and new seating means that there is now very little remaining from the 1930's. 

The first sign of concrete terracing came in 1947, and at around the same time a pa system was installed. The land adjacent to the west side of the ground, previously allotments, was bought by the Club in the midMTFC17_apr05.jpg (39776 bytes) 1950's, and in 1957 the Supporters Club funded the building of the North Stand.  It cost £30,000 and came with the famous clock. The board surrounding the clock read, "MTFC North Stand 1957 - Presented by the Supporters Club". 

Floodlights arrived at the Mill for the first time in 1962. The West Stand as we know it used to be a Grandstand at Hurst Park Racecourse in Surrey. When the racecourse closed the Supporters Club purchased the Stand for £30,000. However, this was not the only cost. The re-erection and reconstruction of  the Stand meant that the total cost was £200,000. The spiralling costs meant that parts of the Stand were left unconstructed for several years on the land next to the Stand. The West Stand was first partially used in 1966 before being fully completed, with seats, in 1971, modeled on a stand at Arsenal's Highbury Stadium. This was just in time for three World Cup heroes to grace Field Mill. In February 1969, the Stags were drawn at home to West Ham United containing Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst along with youngsters Billy Bonds and Trevor Brooking. The 3-0 victory, in front of a huge crowd of 21,117, was perhaps the greatest home victory seen at Field Mill.

In the early 1980ís, the old scoreboard at the Quarry Lane End was demolished and replaced, eventually, by an electronic scoreboard which only worked for a short while before breaking down and being demolished along with the rest of the Quarry Lane End. 

Following the Bradford Fire tragedy, the Bishop Street Stand was closed for several years, re-opening as a family stand in the early 1990's.  New floodlights were installed in 1991, and the West Stand got a new MTFC13_apr05.jpg (48110 bytes)roof. By 1994, the Bishop Street Stand also got its own new roof in, and new blue & amber seats were installed to replace the original 1939 railway sleepers.  In July 1999, demolition work began on both the North Stand and Quarry Lane End, ready for the redevelopment.  However, delays meant that construction of the new stands did not begin until April 2000. 

At a cost of £6.5m, Field Mill has been transformed into a modern stadium, with the building of three new stands. The North Stand & Quarry are almost identical single tiered stands, each accommodating just under 2,000 supporters. The latest addition to the ground is the West Stand, opened in February 2001. This is a cantilevered two tiered stand, with a capacity of 5,499. Delays have affected the renovation of the final undeveloped stand at Field Mill, the Bishop Street Stand.  This is now a covered all seater stand, with a blue roof seated. Running half the length of the pitch with a 598 capacity, it is boarded on one side by a concrete wall, and on the other is the reminisce of the old terracing, with an unusual mini covered stand about half way up the steps.  

Away fans are housed in the North Stand, a move that has been unpopular with a number of home fans, as the North End of the ground has been the traditional home end for many years. To get to the Stand, one has to walk along the wonderfully named Cinderella Walk.

2007-08 proved to be one of the lowest periods so far in the Stags history - both on and off the pitch. In May 2007 Nottinghamshire County Council reduced Field Mill's capacity to 4684, citing a poor standard of stewarding and a lack of a pro-active approach to safety. Two months later, the capacity was raised to 6553 following an inspection from safety officials, but was reduced back to 4,684 in September after visiting Chesterfield supporters were given too many tickets by mistake. Field Mill's capacity was then increased to 5,457, and in January 2008 further increased to 7300 for an FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough after a problem with the turnstiles and other issues were resolved. Just when things were looking up off the pitch, Stags found themselves relegated to the Conference at the end of 2007/08, ending 77 years of league football at Field Mill in the process.

 

Additional photography

  

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                               Click on a thumbnail to view a full size picture.

© Christopher Rooney - permission required for photo & text usage

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