Chairman John Radford welcomed over 300 people to Mansfield Town Football Club's Annual Dinner Awards on Sunday evening.
Transcript of Mr Radford's welcome speech:
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Civic Centre, here in the heart of Mansfield.
First of all, thank you to Ulyett Landscapes who are sponsoring tonight’s event, as well as eight other local companies who are sponsoring the awards for this season’s key achievers.
This season has been one of consolidation, and in typical Mansfield Town fashion, we have experienced many ups and downs. The bottom line is; whatever we have had to overcome, we have done so together.
While I will have to wait another year to see us move into the next tier of English football, I am pleased with our mid-table finish in our first season back in the Football League.
It’s worth remembering that in the past few years, we have picked this club up and we have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for Mansfield Town Football Club, the best is yet to come.
Eyebrows were raised in October 2010 when I outlined my initial plans to take the club forward. My three initial objectives were: to regain the stadium from the hands of a former owner and put it back in the club’s hands, to obtain promotion back to the Football League, preferably as champions, and whilst the two first goals have been achieved, I will have to wait a little longer to achieve my third and most challenging aim of getting our club into the Championship. But while I am at the helm, I will let nothing stand in my way to ensure that Mansfield Town Football Club is mentioned in the same breath as those in the Football League’s top division.
Much work has been done off the field to build the foundations of our long-term future. And I must take this opportunity to thank Paul and Tina Broughton, who have ran the club with great fervour and diligence in the past 12 months whilst Carolyn and I have been on baby duties! My heartfelt thanks are also extended to directors Steve Middleton and Andy Sutton in helping me guide the ship.
Great work has been done by our staff to implement the work of change and growth, some small, others large, but all vital in helping us improve.
And now for all that remains to be done, just for a moment dwell on what has been achieved in the past 12 months;
- a state of the art 3G, built and used by all of our teams as well as the community;
- a new supporters’ bar, rivalled by only few in our division;
- stronger relationships with local business, re-built after years mis-trust
- new advertisers and sponsors on board, generating additional income
- a variety of events at the club on a nightly basis, making us a community hub
- a growing and improving youth system
- closer relationships with our supporters groups than ever before
- The construction of a new training ground, to be in place by the new season
I want to end this welcome address to you by reflecting on the season just passed. As a lifelong fan of the club, I have a number of moments and memories from over the years following the Stags up and down the country which are close to my heart; the most recent of which came on a sundrenched afternoon in September across the border when Ben Hutchinson’s pint-point corner was met by head of one Calvin Andrew to sink the Spireites on their own patch. To see the army of fans which we took to the Proact Stadium that day and the scenes of jubilation and unity with the players at the end will live with me for a long time. Which leads me on nicely to thank our players and management for their efforts this season.
I want to talk also about our manager Paul Cox who has the second best post-war win ratio as manager of Mansfield Town, winning precisely 50.36% of matches whilst in charge at the club, a record surpassed only by Freddie Steele. Paul has done well in this first season for us back in the league and I commend the efforts of both he and his coaching staff.
My thanks are extended to our staff who run the club on a daily basis, under the guidance of our directors. Every single one of our staff go above and beyond the call of duty and I appreciate the work which you do, although perhaps at times I do not show it!
Finally, to our supporters: So many of you have written to me to say thanks, but I could say as much to you. My sincere thanks to those of you who have stood by us through thick and thin, and to our supporters’ groups, whose efforts are never overlooked.
To all of our sponsors and commercial partners; Thank you to those sponsors who have come on board this season once more, both old and new, we are proud be associated with you.
As I left the house earlier with my wife to join you here tonight, I looked at the Radford family emblem, which is position at the front of our house. On it is emblazoned a Stag, with inscription underneath in latin, stating Mercy, truth and wisdom. These are the values of my family and in essence the values our club, and if we can all stay true to these, then our future will be a bright one.
Thank you and enjoy your evening.