A programme especially for Stewart. He describes this as being the best ever match he has ever seen at Plainmoor. So seeing that this game took place only 47 years ago,I would expect a full detailed report from Stewart ;D
Firstly - tying in with the Torquay United v British Army thread - there's some detail on Tommy Northcott's army football career alongside Mel Charles (Swansea, Arsenal and Wales) and Albert Quixall (Sheff W, Man U and England).
Secondly, as was often the case at Plainmoor for many years, the referee was from South Wales. This, as you can imagine pandered to the prejudices of certain supporters who continuously moaned about "another bloody Welsh referee who won't give us anything" (due, perhaps, to their mysterious in-built bias towards teams from other parts of England?).
Welsh referees appear to have gone from English football now, the last being Keith Burge of Tonypandy in the late 1990s. Even in the mid 1990s you had the likes of Keith Cooper (Pontypridd) and Rodger Gifford (Llanbradach). Further back there were big-time characters such as Howard King (Merthyr Tydfil), Clive Thomas (Treorchy, later Porthcawl) and Leo Callaghan (Merthyr Tydfil). Checking lists in old yearbooks, referees from South Wales were particularly prevalent around 35-40 years ago which confirms with my distant memory of them being regular visitors to Plainmoor. I guess they disappeared as a result of football politics involving the FAW, the FA and UEFA.
* If, perchance, the ref was from Newport IOW I apologise for the mistake but it still doesn't spoil the observation about Welsh referees vanishing from Plainmoor.
Last Edit: Nov 21, 2009 11:20:10 GMT by bartondowns
Thanks for putting this up, it really does bring back memories.
It's sometimes strange how certain recollections jump to the fore about particular matches. My first mental image of this one is standing in the cowshed just before kick-off, wondering how on earth Colin Bettany was going to cope in the air against the three giants who were standing over the ball on the centre spot.
That memory makes me almost certain that it was Ray Straw who was playing at No. 9 for Mansfield, and not Ken Wagstaff, who was under six feet tall. I can also see those three, in my mind's eye, wearing a kind of silvery grey kit, and not red.
Note also that we had two players wearing No. 6 in the programme, although Ray Spencer actually was No. 4.
Gordon Astall, and not Bobby Webb, played on the right wing for Torquay, and despite being in his mid-thirties gave Wilf Humble a real roasting throughout the game. On the same side of the pitch, Ian Hall made a real monkey out of John Rossiter time and again. Mind you, quite a few left-wingers did that.
The reason I have selected this game as my favourite is that it was played in the spirit of a cup-tie rather than a League match. Play went from end to end with breathtaking speed and both teams must have had at least 20 shots on target. Terry Adlington and Colin Treharne were both brilliant that day.
The star of the game was Sammy Chapman, probably the best wing-half in the old Division 4 that season. Roy Chapman (2) and Ivan Hollett scored for Mansfield, although Bettany and John Williams coped pretty well with the three giants and Ray Straw had a very quiet game.
Ray Spencer was a very strange player. He seemed to thrive on winning 50-50 balls and passing accurately under pressure, but when in space always seemed to pass straight to an opponent.
Brian Handley was equally frustrating, as he sometimes scored spectacular goals with both head and foot, but was also infamous for kneeing chances over the bar from point blank range. His bodily movement was reminiscent of that of a giant spider.
Reg Jenkins, one of my all-time favourites, also had an excellent game and possessed great skill on the ball considering his upper body bulk, not to mention a ferocious shot.
There were similarly enjoyable matches the following season, including Newport County 8-3, Bradford 6-2 and Chester 5-0, but these were games in which Torquay ran riot. The Mansfield game has always stood out for me because it was such a spectacle of attacking football between two evenly matched teams.
Timbo, many thanks for finding the programme and putting it on here.
Maybe there was another reason for all the goals and excitement! Brian Philips and Sammy Chapman of Mansfield were both banned for life following the 1960s bribery scandal. Chapman was found to have bribed Hartlepools players before a vital match at the end of the season and Philips was the go-between who offered Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Esmond Million £50 to chuck Rovers' game at Bradford (which he failed to do; the match finished up 2-2)
I officially absolve Ivan Hollett of any involvement in corruption though, because he was my first football hero and I've got his autograph.