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Archived News from October 2009

30th October 2009 23:32

Full tribute to John Jarman on mansfieldtown.net --->


Minute's silence for Mr Jarman tomorrow
Fri 23 Oct 2009
We are hold are holding a minute's silence tomorrow afternoon in respect for the life of former assistant manager John Jarman. It will take place prior to our kick off in our FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round at home to Altrincham.

Everyone here at Mansfield Town Football Club and the Stags Supporters Association was saddened by the news of the death of Mr Jarman in October 2009, after a short illness. He was 78.

Jarman was assistant to Mansfield Town's longest serving manager Ian Greaves during Greaves's almost entire reign at Field Mill. During the period, Greaves and Jarman took the club to Wembley for its first and only time in 1987 winning the Freight Rover Trophy, having gained promotion to the old Division Three a year earlier.

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We send our condolences to his family.

In this special tribute, our official historians Martin Shaw and Paul Taylor profile the career of Jarman.

Jarman was the son of a Welsh miner and born in the Rhondda Valley. He enjoyed a lifetime working in professional football. He signed as a 14 year old for Wolverhampton Wanderers but never quite broke through to first team football, due to a serious knee injury. He moved to Barnsley in the 1950s for £8,000, where he made 47 appearances and scored two goals, as a tough tackling wing half, over a five year period during which the club won the Division III championship. Walsall moved in and took him away as player-coach and he played a key role in the club's climb from Division IV to Division II in consecutive seasons.

He left the player-coach role at Walsall to become chief coach at West Bromwich Albion in 1962, a team that included his friends Bobby Robson and Don Howe. He was at West Brom for five years. From West Brom, Jarman moved to the FA as regional staff coach with responsibility for the Midlands. He was then appointed the national coach to the FA of Ireland and oversaw the development of of Liam Brady, Frank Stapleton and David O'Leary. Then he took a senior coaching role back at Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1977 where he worked under managers Sammy Chung, John Barnwell and Ian Greaves.

Ian Greaves was appointed manager of Mansfield Town in February 1983. His first appointment was that of John Jarman as his assistant manager in March 1983. Jarman came to Field Mill straight from Wolves and part of his duties at Mansfield was to discover and develop youngsters for the club. Upon joining Mansfield, Jarman explained his reasons for joining: "I had no doubts about coming to Mansfield. It presents a tremendous challenge. I have known Ian for a long time, but only worked with him for a short time. I believe we can work very well together."

That proved absolutely to be the case. Greaves and Jarman were to be in charge for nearly six years at Field Mill. During that time, the club had one of the most successful periods in its history.

In the 1983/84 season, Mansfield finished sixth bottom of Division IV. It was a disappointing season. But Greaves and Jarman had not only been busy with first team matters, they had been trying to put in place a strong youth set up. Towards the end of that season, Jarman was heavily influential in bringing goalkeeper Kevin Hitchcock on loan from Nottingham Forest, a player who was to sign permanently at the start of the following season, and who was to become a Field Mill legend. Around that time, Greaves also brought in Billy Dearden, as coach, to complete his managerial team.

The team reached the Northern area final of the Freight Rover Trophy in 1984/85, losing to Wigan on penalties, on an incredible night at Field Mill, and thus missing out on a trip to Wembley.

The 1985/86 season was one of glory for the Stags, who earned promotion in third place in Division IV. The team had really gelled during the season, with key performances from players like Hitchcock, George Foster, Mark Kearney, Tony Lowery, Kevin Kent and Paul Garner, while up front, Neville Chamberlain was the leading scorer, with Keith Cassells not far behind, and Neil Whatmore also contributed valuable goals.

1986/87 was a season that will always be remembered for the win at Wembley in May 1987 in the final of the Freight Rover Trophy. The Stags beat Bristol City on penalties, after a 1-1 draw with a goal from Kevin Kent. The winning penalty was scored by Tony Kenworthy. The win delighted the Stags fans in a crowd of over 58,000, the largest crowd ever to watch a Stags game. It was estimated that 25,000 Stags fans were at Wembley on that memorable day. And more than 10,000 Stags fans turned out on the streets of Mansfield the following day to cheer their heroes on an open-top bus.

In the 1987/88 season, the Stags remained in Division 3, though had started to slide down the table alarmingly towards the end of the season, and it took a memorable 2-1 win over Brentford at Field Mill in the penultimate game of the season to get the side out of trouble, with two goals in the final 5 minutes, one from Kevin Kent and a penalty from Steve Charles.

In September 1988, Jarman left Field Mill to open a new sports complex in Mansfield Woodhouse. Greaves said of his assistant: "John will be sadly missed. He has done an excellent job for this club."

Jarman had been responsible for bringing through many youngsters including Simon Coleman, Craig McKernon and Ian Stringfellow, as well as nurturing the talent of Kevin Hitchcock, Mike Galloway and Les Robinson. Hitchcock joined Chelsea for £250,000, Coleman joined Middlesbrough for £600,000, Galloway joined Hearts for £60,000 and went on to play for Scotland, Robinson played for Oxford, while McKernon joined Arsenal for £250,000 though his career was cut short by injury.

Five months after Jarman left, Greaves also left the club in February 1989 and George Foster was to take over as player-manager.

Jarman moved to Derby County to establish the Rams Soccer Academy in the early 90's. A network of over 40 centres were set up to coach the footballers of the future not just in Derbyshire schools but also in Ireland and Scotland. So successful was this that Howard Wilkinson developed Jarman's "Academy" concept across the whole of English football. As a consequence the Rams Soccer Academy became 'The Foundation' and produced numerous players both for Derby County and others.

More recently Jarman helped with the youth set up at Forest Town Welfare FC, as recently as last year.

Stags chairman Andy Perry told the Mansfield CHAD newspaper: "We send our condolences to John's family - it is a big loss to Mansfield and to football in general. He has done so much in the game at all levels. Here it was a bit like the Brian Clough and Peter Taylor scenario where Ian Greaves maybe got all the credit but you had a great man working quietly with him behind the scenes."

Stags boss David Holdsworth added: "It is sad news that Mr Jarman has passed away. I understand he was a man with a wealth of knowledge and experience and brought some very good players through into the game while supporting Mr Greaves as manager. On behalf of this football club, players, staff and myself I would like to offer our condolences to his family."

Mansfield Town will hold a minute's silence before Saturday's FA Cup tie with Altrincham, subject to FA approval.

John is survived by his wife Barbara, daughter Alison and two grand children.

John Jarman will always be remembered, along with Ian Greaves, as a key person in one of Mansfield Town's most successful periods. Greaves and Jarman had taken over the club as a mid-table Division IV side, and left it as a Division III outfit, and given the club its memorable day at Wembley along the way, as well as leaving a stronger youth set up. Greaves passed away in January 2009. Both will be sadly missed.



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