Former Mansfield Town captain Richard ‘Richie’ Barker is to return to One Call Stadium as part of a panel of club legends in a special fan-organised event, which will act as a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society and to raise awareness of Dementia.
Barker is now the assistant manager at Championship side Rotherham United and will be in the opposing dugout on Saturday 28 July as the Stags welcome the Millers for a pre-season friendly, however supporters will get the opportunity to hear Barker’s memories of his time at the club the previous evening (July 27), as Mansfield Matters - a supporters' podcast - presents ‘Legends Live’.
Starting at 8.00pm in the Sandy Pate Sports Bar at One Call Stadium, the evening will see a number of club legends from a variety of seasons return, answering questions and sharing their memories and stories from their Stags career.
The event is the conclusion of the ‘Mansfield Matters’ series, ‘A Trip Down Memory Lane,’ where each week a former player or manager of the Stags has joined host Craig Priest and panellists Simon Mercer, Nathan Edge and Cam Felton to share their memories – with players such as Ian Bowling, Bobby Hassell and Micky Boulding taking part so far.
The evening will be hosted by journalist and Stags fan Craig Priest, who said: "We’ve really enjoyed meeting up one-on-one with former players and sharing the videos online, but we wanted to do something special for supporters in a live environment and are really excited to welcome some real club legends back home.
"I’m delighted that Richie has agreed to join us, it fits perfectly with the schedules of the clubs in pre-season and I’m sure it’s going to be a great night for supporters of all ages."
"Nathan [Edge] has done a lot of work for charity and in doing so has become really good friends with Kevin Bird who is living with Dementia.
"It’s really sad to see the impact it’s had on his life – and like many former footballers, the cause has most likely been playing the beautiful game and making memories for generations of Stags fans – so we really wanted to give something back that wasn’t as painful as walking from ground to ground as we did back in November!
"I’m delighted that Richie has agreed to join us, it fits perfectly with the schedules of the clubs in pre-season and I’m sure it’s going to be a great night for supporters of all ages with some of the other guests we’ve got lined up!
"I’d like to express my thanks to all at Mansfield Town for allowing us to use the Sandy Pate Sports Bar."
Richie joined the Stags in 2004 having established himself at Macclesfield and Barnsley and went onto become a popular figure amongst the Mansfield faithful, captaining the side and contributing with 40 goals in 95 league appearances.
Since hanging up his boots, Barker has moved into management and coaching, achieving promotion with Bury after making the transition from youth team boss, before going onto manage Crawley and Portsmouth, stepping back to be assistant at MK Dons, Charlton and now Rotherham with former Stags loanee Paul Warne.
Barker, who has often been tipped by bookmakers to manage the Stags when the job has become vacant, will share his side of the stories – the good and the bad, in a night packed with memories.
The popular front man won’t be alone, as Mansfield Matters will present a panel of legends over the course of the evening, with more names to be announced soon.
Getting under way at 8.00pm on Friday 27 July, the evening will be packed full of entertainment, including a quiz, prize raffle and more.
It’s FREE for supporters, however, donations on the night will be very actively encouraged with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society.
Mansfield Matters' ‘A Trip Down Memory Lane’ has already begun to raise money for the charity, and so far the series has included interviews with Ian Bowling, Micky Boulding and Bobby Hassell – with episodes still to come from Jon D’Layrea and Stuart Watkiss.
The series is available in audio form here, and supporters can watch the episodes in full for FREE:
Ian Bowling https://youtu.be/UMOw3NQ9DdY
Bobby Hassell https://youtu.be/P8wIZhXMQKU
Micky Boulding https://youtu.be/BUaty38VTnk.