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Mansfield Town fan marks Black History month

Posted onPosted on 29th Oct

Mansfield Town supporter Alan Dawson gives his personal view of black footballers at the Stags to mark Black History Month.

It is fitting that during Black History Month one high-profile black footballer, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, has become awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list after he campaigned for disadvantaged children to continue claiming free school meals during the school summer holidays.

Black high-profile modern-day footballers, like Rashford, playing in the Premiership are endorsed globally and have thousands of followers on their social media sites. However, before the invasive influence of social media, black footballers, especially those playing in the lower divisions, were generally only familiar to the supporters of the clubs that they played for.

I remember standing on the North Stand during the early 80s and watching black forward, Keith Barrington Cassells, or ‘Rosie’ as he was better known, score a hat-trick on his debut.

Not only was he part of the team that was promoted to the old Third Division, but the following season he picked up a winners’ medal in the Freight Rover Trophy after the penalty shoot-out victory against Bristol City.

He went on to score 52 goals in 163 appearances for the Yellows before injury cut short his playing career.

Historically Stags have always had a positive connection with the black community, such as with Lloyd Lindbergh Delapenha (Lindy), who was the first Jamaican to play professional football in England. He played for the Yellows during the late 1950s, scoring 27 goals in 115 appearances. Furthermore, he was the first black player to play for the club.

The Stags 2020-21 squad includes several black players keen to help the team gain promotion to League One. No more so than veteran striker Nicky Maynard, who scored 15 goals for the Yellows last season. He is partnered by free-scoring Jamie Reid, who recently signed from Torquay after scoring 78 times for Torquay over the last three seasons. Hoping to keep the goals out at the other end is recently-signed defender Rollin Menayese, who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo before making his home in Wales.

Although the club has had an indifferent start to the season and has let manager Graham Coughlan go after a 4-2 home reverse to Barrow. Hopefully when Stags fans are allowed back into One Call Stadium, they will encourage the new signings and support the club to reach the same heights as the Yellows reached with Keith Cassels over 30 years ago.