Mansfield boss Cox backs swell of support for terrace return

Mansfield Town's manager Paul Cox is in favour of terracing.
Mansfield Town's manager Paul Cox is in favour of terracing.
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Calls for terraces to be re-introduced at grounds across England have been backed by Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox.

Standing was outlawed in football’s top two professional divisions after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

Ian Stringfellow wheels away in front of the old West Stand terracing against Rochdale in 1991-92.

Ian Stringfellow wheels away in front of the old West Stand terracing against Rochdale in 1991-92.

Some clubs in Leagues One and Two still have standing areas - Mansfield’s divisional rivals Rochdale, Fleetwood, Exeter, Torquay and Scunthorpe among them.

And Yeovil have retained terraces in the second tier after being given a period of grace following their promotion to the Championship.

But many stadiums went all-seater following recommendations in the government’s Taylor Report written after 96 fans lost their lives at the Liverpool-Nottingham Forest semi-final.

Recently, however, there have been an increasing clamour for terraces to be re-introduced across the board as a response to improvements in safety procedures and policing.

13 clubs, including Aston Vila, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace, Derby County and Plymouth Argyle, are in favour of a Football Supporters’ Federation proposal for a pilot scheme.

And Cox says he would love to see terracing return to the One Call Stadium for Stags games at some point.

“I think it’s what a lot of fans really enjoy and have grown up doing, so it would be great to see them have that chance again,” he said.

“When you see a load of fans gathered together behind a goal it makes for a great atmosphere that you don’t always get with seating.

“When I was playing there were lots of grounds with terracing and it made for a terrific sight - and sound

“And I think with the safety procedures now in place it can be done so that people’s safety is not put at risk.”

It was back in May 2000 that Mansfield last featured terracing at Field Mill before building work that summer paved the way for new all-seater stands at the North Stand and Quarry Lane Ends.

The main West Stand - later renamed the Ian Greaves Stand - was finished in February 2001, opening for the home game with Exeter City.

Since then there has been talk of converting the Bishop Street side of the ground into terracing.

Current chairman John Radford has acknowledged there is a desire from fans, but has pointed out that the ground is currently big enough to cope with demand and therefore it is difficult to justify the expense.

Cox added: “I know if I were a fan then I would always want to stand. I think people get more involved in the game that way.

“We’ll have to see what happens in the future, but I believe it would be good for football to see the return of terracing.”