Oldest living Stags player Ottewell dies

THE oldest living Mansfield Town and Nottingham Forest player, Sidney Ottewell, has died aged 92.

An inside left, Horsley-born Ottewell was renowned for his powerful left foot shot and played for Stags between 1949 and 1952.

He started out playing for Holbrook CW where he was recommended to Chesterfield by an eagle-eyed detective sergeant.

Ottewell made his debut for the Spireites at just 17 but only managed two more appearances before war broke out to interrupt his career

During the war years as a PE instructor with the RAF, he still continued to improve his game with guest appearances for the likes of Fulham, Spurs, Blackpool, Bradford City, Birmingham and Chester.

After the war, he stayed with Chesterfield until 1947 when he moved on to Birmingham and then Luton.

Ottewell signed for Forest in July 1948 and played 30 league games and two cup matches under Billy Walker, but the Red were relegated from the Second Division at the end of his first season with the club.

He left to join Freddie Steele’s Mansfield halfway through the 1949/50 season for a £750 fee, scoring three goals in his 13 appearances.

In a fantastic 1950/51 he bagged 15 goals in 38 outings to finish second top scorer as he helped the club to runners-up spot in the Third Division North in his first full season.

Stags also shone in the FA Cup in that memorable season, battling their way through to round five when they were beaten 2-0 at a Blackpool side that included legends Stan Mortensen and Stanley Matthews.

The following season he netted three times in his 16 games but, with manager Steele returning to his native Potteries to manage Port Vale in the January, Ottewell joined league newcomers Scunthorpe and Lindsey United in the March for around £1,000.

However, his appearances became more infrequent in the 1952/53 season, and he retired in 1953 to enter the world of non-League management.

Starting out as player-manager of Spalding United, he was then appointed manager of Lockheed Leamington prior to the 1960/61 season and led them to successive championships of the Birmingham & District League in 1961/62, when they also won the Birmingham Senior Cup, and 1962/63, this time combined with losing in the Senior Cup final, at which point they joined the Midland League.

After guiding the team to third place in their first season at the higher level, Ottewell led them to the Midland League title in 1964/65 and remained manager until January 1969, which made him the longest-serving Leamington manager of the modern era.

Ottewell lived most of his life in Wollaton, Nottinghamshire, but later lived in Newthorpe.

One Stags fan who saw more of him than most was Peter Hollinrake, of Chesterfield Road.

“I used to live in West Bridgford so I saw him playing for Forest,” he said.

“Then roughly about the time Sid moved to Stags, I moved up to Mansfield too and saw him have two brilliant years here.

“He was one of those players you really like as a kid as he was a very aggressive little player.

“He never seemed to stay anywhere too long in his career, though, playing a couple of years here and a couple of years there.

“He was part of a great cup run and I can remember him scoring against Sheffield United in the FA Cup fourth round replay in 1951.

“United were a Division One side there and there were over 20,000 at the replay at Field Mill which was held in midweek.”

Ottewell passed away peacefully at Edward House Nottingham Rd Eastwood on 31st January.