TRIBUTES TO JOHN HASELDEN
Mansfield Town fans reflect on title-winning season with team coach who lost Alzheimer's battle
'The team that year was unbelievable'
By Gurjeet Nanrah, nottinghampost.com, Community Reporter, 17 APR 2020
John Haselden was Mansfield Town Football Club's first team coach during the 1974/75 season and recently lost his battle with Alzheimer's
Fans of a Nottinghamshire based football club have reflected on their teams title-winning season 45 years on after the first team coach from that year recently passed away.
John Haselden was Mansfield Town Football Club's first team coach during the 1974/75 season and is regarded as an "unsung hero" of the team's success that saw them win the Division Four title.
While living in Nottingham, he suffered with Alzheimer's for the last six years of his life, a battle he eventually lost on March 30.
That season - Haselden's first as a coach - is widely regarded by fans as 'one of the best in the club's history' and one that "springboarded" his coaching career that also took him to Nottingham Forest and Notts County.
Read more at https://www.nottinghampost.com/sport/mansfield-town-fans-reflect-title-4055270?fbclid=IwAR0lAApEuhbuyQbiQYMA2VzcCP5PpY2nmiSn1OfM9xvIJAn-8eJn_HpPkBQ
Alan Wilson, match day announcer at Mansfield Town Football Club, and a 60-year-old resident of Sutton-in-Ashfield has been watching the Stags since 1969.
He said: "John came to the club as first team coach and it was John's first season here when the team won promotion from the fourth division into the third.
"The manager at the time was Dave Smith and I remember they won the title with 68 points that year. One game that has stuck in my mind was when they beat Scunthorpe 7-0 and there was a crowd of 11,000. I think it was the last home match of the season.
"Field Mill - as it was called then - used to be rocking.
"The team that year was unbelievable. It was a very fit team and the other team didn't get stuck in in the first 15 minutes, they would usually get mowed over.
"John was quite influential as first team coach I think. He was a bit of a unsung hero, while Dave Smith was most likely getting all the headlines."
Haselden took the role of physiotherapist and coach under Tom Johnston at Huddersfield Town in 1976 after leaving Mansfield and was promoted to the manager's role in 1977.
He also worked as a coach at Reading before leaving in 1993 to join the backroom staff at Nottingham Forest for nine years.
Martin Shaw, club commentator at Mansfield Town, is 55 and lives in Guildford, Surrey.
Despite that, he still has not missed a Mansfield match since 2012.
Martin said: "John retired as a player the year before he joined Mansfield. He came here as a trainer coach which is a position that does not really exist in today's game.
"I guess it was sort of like being assistant manager and a coach. To the fans he was quite low key because Dave Smith was getting all the attention.
"The team won the division title in 1974/75 and scored over 100 goals in all competitions. It's the first season I remember well and it's one of the best seasons in the clubs history too.
"The 7-0 win is a very memorable game for fans where the team clinched the title.
"The players from the time have all gone on to become legends of the club, along with the manager. Even all these years on, they are household names around Mansfield."
John even played four matches for Mansfield Town in his playing career when he was on loan from Doncaster in 1971/72.
A spokesperson for Mansfield Town Football Club said: "Mansfield Town is deeply saddened to hear the news of John’s passing.
"He’ll be forever remembered at the Stags as a key part of the coaching staff in 1975 when we won the Fourth Division title.
"His time at Mansfield was the springboard for a long and distinguished career in coaching and physiotherapy, which spanned over three decades.
"John was a true a gentlemen and was hugely generous of his time to others. Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s family at this sad time."
Latest | April 2020