Mansfield Town Football Club was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former manager Duncan Russell, who has died following a short battle with cancer. He was 59.
Affectionately known as 'Russ', the former serviceman became assistant to then manager David Holdsworth in the summer of 2010.
A UEFA A Licence holder, he previously worked in various roles at clubs including Derby County, Walsall, Wolves and MK Dons.
He became Stags' boss in December 2010 following an unbeaten three match spell as caretaker after David's departure.
Assisted by the fiercely loyal Paul Hall, Russ guided us to Wembley in May 2011 following a highly memorable FA Trophy journey which included a gripping semi-final win against Luton Town over two legs.
Stags lost in extra time 1-0 to Darlington at the home of football, but Russ became only the second manager in the club's history to lead the Stags out at Wembley.
At the end of 2010-11, Russ and the club amicably parted ways.
As recently as March of this year, Russ was met in his hometown by the club's chairman John Radford, chief executive Carolyn Radford and head of media & communications Mark Stevenson. It was there when the club learned the sad news of Russ' diagnosis of terminal cancer.
Russ was invited as a special guest to a match of his choice at One Call Stadium for 2017-18, but would sadly never make it.
Chairman John Radford led the tributes this evening, telling www.mansfieldtown.net: "I am very sad to learn of Duncan's passing. He was a wonderful man, with a fine sense of humour and determination of spirit.
"He was very proud to manage our football club and that he led the Stags to Wembley was doubtless the highlight of his football career. It was an excellent achievement, and he will always be remembered by everyone at the club for this feat.
"We met with Duncan a few months ago near his home in Derbyshire and he was, typically, in an optimistic and buoyant mood, given that he had then just been given the news by doctors about his health.
"He spoke warmly of the club, the manager and our fans and we reminisced with fondness about his time as manager.
"Both Carolyn and I hold in our thoughts and prayers Duncan's family at this sad time. Football has lost a lifelong student of the game and we have lost a gentleman and friend."
The club sends its sincere sympathies to Duncan's family at this sad time.