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Archived News from August 2003

14th August 2003 21:13

Evening Post, 13 August 2003

Stags defender Jamie Clarke will have mixed emotions going into tonight's match with Sunderland - as he is a mad Black Cats fan.

The 20-year-old full-back used to have a season ticket at his home town club and is such a fan he has a Black Cat tattooed on his arm.

His father was a Sunderland player.

This evening's Carling Cup tie will be the first time he has played against the club he still supports.

But despite being desperate for Sunderland to end their dismal run of results, he hopes it does not happen tonight.

However, he knows that will not go down well with ten of his friends who will be in the away end at Field Mill.

Clarke said: "It's a dream come true to be playing against Sunderland.

"Of late it's been frustrating watching the bad results come in and it's become embarrassing. I'm desperate for it to end, I just hope it doesn't happen against us."

Clarke joined Mansfield five years ago on a YTS and lives in the town.

Dad Jeff made more than 200 appearances as a central defender for the Black Cats, between 1975 and 1982.

Jamie added: "There is no doubting I am a massive Sunderland fan. I got the tattoo done about three years ago.

"I wanted a Sunderland badge but the tattooist in Mansfield did not know what it was, so I went for the black cat instead."

Meanwhile, manager Keith Curle believes that if his side performs as well as they did in the defeat at Kidderminster, they will be in with a good shout against Sunderland.

And after his side's creative display at Aggborough, Curle faces a selection headache.

He was pleased with the performances of his two new centre-halves, Luke Dimech and Dave Artell, as well as striker Colin Larkin, who faces a fitness test.

And he said substitutes Craig Disley and Junior Mendes played a key role in the second half.

Now he has to decide which players to put in the starting 11.

"I will pick the players that I think will win me the game on the evening and I'm more than confident I have a team capable of doing that," he said.

"The defeat was disappointing but we can take the positive performance out of it and into the Sunderland match."
Evening Post, 13 August 2003
It was the moment that brought football out of the Dark Ages... and now the painting that captured the historic event is going on sale at Sotheby's.
Mansfield Town's Field Mill ground played host to the first match under floodlights on March 8, 1930, (comment from Martin & Paul: the match was played on Saturday 22 February 1930 and not 8 March 1930 as stated. 8 March is the publication date of the picture in the London Illustrated News) when Ollerton Forest and Welbeck Athletic clashed in the final of the North Notts League Senior Cup.
The match was the idea of Jack Hickling, a local entrepreneur who also promoted greyhound racing, wrestling, boxing and other sports. He was a Football League referee and part-time manager of the Stags.
Fourteen lanterns fitted with 1,000-watt lamps were put up around Field Mill, each 18ft high and giving a total output of 168,000 candlepower.
There to capture the historic match was artist Charles E Turner, whose signed watercolour from a private source is at Sotheby's football memorabilia auction at Olympia, London, on September 11.
His A Match Played by Artificial Light was reproduced in the Illustrated London News. It is thought no still photograph or newsreel footage exists of the game, making Turner's picture a unique record.
It goes into such detail that it even captures the ball boy, whose duties included dipping the match balls in a bucket of whitewash all evening. Many dignitaries were present at the game, including representatives of the Football Association and Wembley Stadium, the latter proclaiming the match "an absolute success".
But the FA was less impressed and the following notice was circulated to all member clubs.
It read: "The playing of matches under such conditions is undesirable and clubs... are prohibited from taking part in such games." Playing under floodlights was banned for another 20 years.
Sotheby's football specialist Graham Budd said: "Mansfield Town FC can justifiably claim to have staged the first competitive game under satisfactory floodlit conditions in Britain, although experiments had been attempted as early as 1878."
The painting has been given a pre-sale estimate of £1,000-£1,500 and is expected to attract a lot of interest from sporting fans, although Mansfield Town have yet to decide whether they will bid for the painting.
Were you in the crowd at the match or did you take part? If so, ring Stevie Roden at the Evening Post, on 0115 948 2000, ext 2544.


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