Keeping score – a brief history of scoreboards at Mansfield Town Football Club down the years

Mansfield Town's first scoreboard was installed at the Quarry Lane End before the war and was primitive and of its time.

Thursday, 27th January 2022, 6:21 pm
Mansfield Town's old scoreboard in 1976.
Mansfield Town's old scoreboard in 1976.

Like other grounds, it was made up of pre-printed boards that a scoreboard operator placed into the appropriate slot.

The score and shirt number of the latest scorer were on the far left of the scoreboard.

With no mobile phones and only pocket radios to find out what was happening elsewhere, half-time scores from games around the country were placed in a series of slots lettered A to W. The key to what games they were could then be read in the A to W list in the match programme.

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A history of Stags scoreboards - early 2010s

That original scoreboard was modified and updated but finally removed in the late 1980s.

Since then Mansfield have had little luck over their scoreboards.

A history of Stags scoreboards - 1990s

Stags' first electronic scoreboard was installed on the corner of the Quarry Lane End and Bishop Stret side next to the floodlight in August 1990 and worked until August 1994.

Made by NEI of Gateshead, who provided one for Newcastle United, the cost of £25,000 was funded solely by sponsorship and self-financing from advertising revenue

However, a break-in at the ground then saw vital operating equipment stolen and it was rendered unusable, but it stayed up until 2000.

A replacement scoreboard was purchased from Leicester City's old Filbert Street ground in June 2002, during the tenure of Keith Haslam as chairman, but was never installed which it is believed was due to the cost.

A history of Stags scoreboards - 2000

There were even rumours the board never left Filbert Street.

With Haslam gone, eventually a new electronic scoreboard was installed on the Bishop Street side, towards the end with Quarry Lane Stand.

It was used for the first time in October 2009 for the home clash with Altrincham.

It last worked in about 2014 and is still up and visible in that corner today, though no longer working.

A history of Stags scoreboards - 2018

New chairman John Radford then bought a giant scoreboard from the old Wembley Stadium – but again this turned out badly for the club.

It was installed on the Bishop Street side, towards the North Stand end and used for the first time in December 2016 against Colchester.

But it suffered working problems as well as poor visibility due to its position in direct sunlight and last worked in 2019.

Finally Stags went space age hi-tech at the end of last year when they installed a superb new digital scoreboard within the framework of the old Wembley board, first used in November 2021 against Scunthorpe United.

This one has everything and should serve the club well for many seasons.

Many thanks to Martin Shaw for his lengthy scoreboard research.

A history of Stags scoreboards - 2021

Thanks to Phil Smiggy Smith, Dave Morris, Dan Westwell, Chris Holloway for use of the photos.