Best one so far for ‘Scoreboard Stu’ at the One Call Stadium

If there is one man who knows the score at Mansfield Town, it's scoreboard operator Stuart Eggleshaw.

Thursday, 27th January 2022, 3:30 pm
Mansfield Town's impressive new scoreboard dominates the Bishop Street/North Stand corner of the ground.
Mansfield Town's impressive new scoreboard dominates the Bishop Street/North Stand corner of the ground.

Known as 'Scoreboard Stu', he has been at the controls since October 2009 and has been blown away by the quality and flexibility of the newly-installed hi-tech board over the past two months since it was installed.

“I have operated three scoreboards here now and this new one is the Rolls Royce – really the bee's knees. Having the ability to have audio and visual is fantastic,” he said.

“It is probably up there as one of the best in the league given its size, the clarity of the picture and everything, and, of course, being able to use the stadium audio with it as well.”

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Stuart Eggleshaw - 'Scoreboard Stu' enjoying the Stags' new space age board.

Stuart explained how he started out in the job.

“I started in 2009. There was a release went out from the club asking for volunteers for various roles from 'meeters and greeters' to other bits and bobs,” he said.

“But one of the roles was for the proposed new scoreboard they had coming. As I was technology minded, and I liked my scoreboards, and I liked watching the game, I thought that was probably the best role for me.

“So I asked them please, please can I do the scoreboard?

“It was the old one with Greene King on it that is still at the south end of the Bishop Street stand, but no longer in use.

“All that was, was just words. We could have Stags for the top line and the opponents for the bottom line.

“We could have text going across so I could put latest scores up at half time and full time and thank you to today's sponsors. But nothing like what we can do now with graphics and using GIFs for showing the goalscorers.”

The huge scoreboard bought from the old Wembley Stadium that was installed in 2016 brought nothing but problems.

“The Wembley one was frustrating,” he said.

“Obviously the size of it was something to behold and if it was working so was the actual illumination is gave off. But sadly it wasn't fit for purpose.

“It started to fail which was frustrating for the fans and just as frustrating for me as operator.

“It didn't give me the capacity to get that information on there for fans and give that experience. That scoreboard was not much of an 'experience'.”

“When the panels didn't work correctly you couldn't see the time or score correctly. Or when we were showing sponsors' adverts, with the size of it and the spaces in between the digital displays, it had to be very basic adverts.

“On very sunny evenings, especially August as the sun was dipping down behind the West Stand, it would make it very difficult to see.

“And we could only change the contrast so much, whereas with the new one, I am reliably informed we can have real glaring sunshine on it but, because we can change the contrast and brightness, it will still make it clear to people in the stadium. It is a real sun trap over there - I am surprised there aren't a few beach beds over there next to it!”

But he is delighted with the new space age installation.

“The new one is absolutely fantastic,” he said. “We can show the sponsors' adverts and we can play videos using the audio in the stadium

“If we are playing the anti discrimination message we can play the video and the audio at the same time and it gets the message across better. Moving forwards it is a great opportunity for the club with advertising revenue potential.”

Remembering his best moments in the job, he added: “On the oldest one I operated, we got promotion while that was working. So it was a great moment being able to display 'champions' across it.

“I also remember Alan Marriott scoring against Wrexham – the only time I've been able to display a goalkeeper as a goalscorer.”

He added: “I had an incident with the newest one, second game in.

“It was Stephen McLaughlin who had scored but I managed to display Elliott Hewitt as the goalscorer. I don't know whether Elliott tried to claim the goal bonus or not but as soon as I noticed I quickly changed it.”

Stuart's love affair with Mansfield Town began when he was 11.

“I think my first game was against Blackpool and I think it was a 1-1 draw,” he said.

“I went with my older brother and his girlfriend, soon to become wife.

“From that I got the bug and started going along with friends from school, though not religiously, then going on the away trips on Chris Taylor's travels from about 13 after I got a paper round.

“Initially I went to the odd game, but became more regular around 14 and got my first season ticket at 15.

“From that very first game the attraction was the pride in it being my local team in the Football League. I liked the big crowds and the atmosphere. It was so good seeing all the people on the terraces – it was all standing then apart from the West Stand Upper. It gave me a real buzz – real excitement.

“I didn't have a pie that first game – I am not even sure pies were a thing then. But I am sure I had a Bovril or something of that ilk. And from then my love of Mansfield Town just grew.”

He added: “When I was 16 it was the Freight Rover Trophy – the club's first ever visit to Wembley – which would probably be my proudest moment along with promotion back to the Football League. Any promotion is a good moment.

“I was privileged to help the club's media department produce the official video when we went back to Wembley for the FA Trophy final and I have had close ties with the media department for the last 15 years or so.”