CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF JOHN RADFORD AS OWNER
John Radford, on social media, 29 Sept 2020
It was the honour of my life to walk through the front doors of our football club a decade ago, to become owner of Mansfield Town.
As a Mansfield lad, it fulfilled a boyhood dream.
Since then, there have been many highs and ofcourse, some lows, but I am pleased with the progress we have made in the last ten years, on and off the field.
We have, at last, become a real community club, and - in normal times - attracted more families to One Call Stadium.
It fills me with great pride to see how much our club means to people and generations of families.
Our club is now the bastion of Mansfield and Carolyn and I will do all we can to ensure our club prospers and continues to develop in the future.
There are so many people to whom we express our gratitude for the last decade, but none more so than the club’s supporters, especially our season ticket holders.
You have supported our club through the good times and bad and we will do our utmost to make sure that there are even more memorable moments to enjoy and celebrate in the next ten years.
From me and Carolyn, to all of you, thank you.
Carolyn Radford, on social media, 29 Sept 2010
Ten years ago today we let our dreams take flight and our family began our adventures at Mansfield Town FC.
Proud of all our achievements at the club so far and John and I are excited to see where we can take the club in the future, always continuing to dream big!
Thank you for all your continued support and loyalty we really appreciate it and couldn’t do what we do without you. Hopefully we can all be together again safely at the One Call Stadium in the very near future! Sending lots of love to you all
video interview with Mark Stevenson for iFollow Stags:
Radfords reflect on decade at the helm
from video interview:
Carolyn and John Radford reflect on the highs and lows of ten years in charge of Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill
Carolyn Radford has spoken of her desire to achieve all her targets with Mansfield Town.
The Stags co-chairwoman says the aims set a decade ago by her and husband John after they bought the club are still to be met.
The Radfords bought the faltering Stags on 29th September 2010 and set about rescuing Mansfield from National League failures.
“It feels like yesterday, but also it feels like a million years ago,” she said. “I don't think we have achieved what we intended to yet, but we have also come on an awful lot and have a lot to be proud of.”
Amongst the proudest moments for Carolyn will always be Stags sealing their return to the Football League in April 2013 following a five year absence.
“Number one for me is the Paul Cox years and getting promoted,” she said. “I look back on that year, and the Liverpool game, with a lot of fondness.
“When we got promoted the trophy could have been going in a different direction and it ended up coming to us and being on our pitch.
“It was an incredible day that sent shivers down my spine. It is crazy to think where the time has gone.”
And while Carolyn has worked with many managers over the ten year period, that Blue Square Conference title success helped leave a special place in her heart for Cox.
Said Carolyn: “Paul Cox will always be my favourite manager. We worked closely together and had some great and terrible times.
“We always went for a drink and he was the manager that got us promoted. I have really fond memories of navigating our way through football with Paul and his wife.
“It created some magic that got us promoted. It was fun, it was hard work and there was a lot of energy around the stadium.”
And while John also looks back on that era with fondness, the completion of the impressive RH Academy and the purchase of Field Mill are moments that stand out.
“I pulled a programme out from the loft the other day and the programme notes were reflecting on year one,” he said.
“We were talking about the Haslam problem at the time and we had just let holdsworth go and appointed Duncan Russell.
“In that one year there were a lot of events, but over ten years there’ s been even more.
“I’m most proud of having the stadium back from Keith Haslam. We were stadium-less and we managed to keep it.
“There's been a lot we have tried to chase and go for, but one of our biggest achievements is getting the RH academy built, along with Steve H ymas and a few other directors.
“The effort that has gone on in the stadium to create the bars and run things better stands out, everything is improving and going in the right direction.
“When we thrashed notts county 5-0 (April 2016) was a brilliant moment and one of my best. Adam (Murray) was on thin ice at the time and that game made me really happy.”
But with the highs cao me the lows, and both John and Carolyn will forever remember defeat at MK Dons, and the failure to clinch promotion, as one of the darkest days.
“Mk Dons away is my worst moment,” said John. “We were there in the last few games and if it was COVID that season we would have gone up.
“We had one goal. I was livid and I took it out on the manager. We both had different opinions on the subject (John and Carolyn ) and we have argued about it ever since.
“It was one of the worst moments, that is football but it was one of the worst. You just have to get up and carry on and don't let it get you down.”
The ten years at the top has also come with many lessons learnt for the husband and wife team, with Carolyn admitting the departure of Steve Evans in March 2018 left a bad taste.
“I am an emotional personal and Steve Evans leaving bothered me at the time and it made me grow as a person,” she said .
“It made me realise that it is the nature of football and you have to prepare for it, but I felt personally aggrieved and that we had a personal connection.”
For John his choice of favourite manager is a rather surprising one.
“My favourite was John Dempster. Unfortunately his results didn't work out very well,” he said.
“I saw potential in him but it didn't work - he probably got the job too soon. We had pros that had been here a little too long for him.
“The chemistry wasn’t there. I wish I could have given him longer, but I just couldn't do that.”
The pair are now targeting further success at Mansfield and another decade to remember.
And key to those aims for John is to win promotion and to see homegrown talent progressing through the academy.
“ Sometimes you have to walk before you can crawl,” he said. “ We are getting there.
“I want to see us get a promoted a couple of times in the next ten years and see some of the players co me through from the academy.
"Even if they move on to higher league teams it would be nice to see.”
For Carolyn, finishing off the One Call Stadium remains one of her key aims.
"I want the stadium to play a big part and we need to do something with the Bishop Street stand,” she said.
"I need that stand knocking down and rebuilding so the stadium will look immaculate. I want to start it again and finish the stadium off."