Mansfield Town remembers Ian MacKenzie, star of Third Division championship-winning side

Ian MacKenzie - on the back of Kevin Bird - celebrates the Stags winning the Third Division title with a thrilling 1-0 win at championship rivals Wrexham in May 1977. Billy McEwan also joined the celebrations for this well-remembered photo.
Ian MacKenzie - on the back of Kevin Bird - celebrates the Stags winning the Third Division title with a thrilling 1-0 win at championship rivals Wrexham in May 1977. Billy McEwan also joined the celebrations for this well-remembered photo.

Mansfield Town has paid its tribute to former player Ian MacKenzie, who was part of a golden era for the Stags, after the ex-central defender died.

MacKenzie, 67, was a regular in the 1976-77 Third Division Championship-winning side and started the following season in the old Second Division — today’s Championship — for the only season in the club’s history.

A spokesman for the Stags said: “The club sends its sincere condolences to Ian’s family at this sad time, while always revering him fondly for his service at Mansfield as part of an unforgettable era for the Stags.”

The club was represented at MacKenzie’s funeral in Lincoln by his former teammate, Kevin Bird.

MacKenzie made 70 league appearances for the Stags over three seasons, scoring one goal.

He was signed by manager Peter Morris in the summer of 1975, after playing for Sheffield United and Southend United, and quickly became a reliable centre half.

MacKenzie was a fans’ favourite for his consistency as the Stags memorably lifted the Third Division championship, playing in the memorable title winning 1-0 win at rivals Wrexham in May 1977.

Unfortunately injury limited his appearances in the Second Division and in the following summer of 1978 he retired.

MacKenzie went into the pub trade and initially ran the Eagle Tavern in Mansfield before leaving the area to return to Sheffield and later Peterborough.