BEST EVER STAGS XI CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS: You vote Gordon Hodgson and Peter Morris

1976 Stags v Sheffield Wednesday (Gordon Hodgson)
1976 Stags v Sheffield Wednesday (Gordon Hodgson)
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Chad are asking readers to select their Best Stags XI of all time.

Your seventh and eighth players have been chosen . . .

Interest and debate have been high and you had already named Rod Arnold, Sandy Pate and Mark Kearney as keeper, right back and left back respectively, George Foster and Kevin Bird as your centre halves, and Liam Lawrence on the right of midfield.

Now your votes have named Gordon Hodgson and Peter Morris as Mansfield Town’s greatest ever central midfielders from your shortlist of 11 players.

Hodgson led the way with 38 per cent of the vote with Morris taking 22 per cent.

Third was Paul Holland with 13 per cent, just ahead of fellow legend Adam Murray on 11 per cent.

Next we will look at the left of midfield and get you to select the best from the shortlist.

GORDON HODGSON

A native Geordie, Hodgson was a youngster at Newcastle United when spotted by Stags’ chief scout Sam Weaver.

The cultured midfielder became new manager Dave Smith’s first signing, paying £8,000 for his services, and went on to succeed Sandy Pate as captain.

Incredibly, in his four years with the Stags, Hodgson only missed two games, both through suspension.

A former England schoolboy international and a cultured midfielder, he helped the club to win the Division Four and Division Three titles in a remarkable era for the Stags before a £35,000 move to Oxford United.

Hodgson had scored 23 goals in his 184 League outings for Mansfield, 24 goals in 213 games overall.

He ended his career at Peterborough United before joining the Police. He died in April 1999, aged just 46.

PETER MORRIS

Morris had two spells with Mansfield, the first as a precocious young talent and the second at the end of his career as a player-manager.

Given his debut at the age of 17 by boss Raich Carter, New Houghton-born Stags fan Morris quickly blossomed into one of the club’s greatest post-war discoveries and one of the youngest captains Mansfield had ever had.

But, after eight fantastic years, including promotion to Division Three in 1963 and third place in Division Three in 1965, Mansfield shocked their fans by selling him to First Division Ipswich for a cut-price £15,000.

Morris won the Division Two title with Ipswich before moving to their biggest rivals, Norwich City, where he also won Division Two promotion and enjoyed reaching the League Cup final in 1975.

Stags ended up paying £10,000 to bring Morris back in as player-manager in July 1976 with Morris 17lb heavier then when he left!

He took the club to Division Two (the current Championship) for the only time in their history in 1977.

But relegation the following season saw him dismissed.

He had played 328 games for the Stags over the two spells, netting 53 goals.

A brief spell at Peterborough saw him retire from playing and move on to a managerial career.