National runners-up accolade for Mansfield Town programme

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Mansfield Town’s official match programme ‘The Stag’ has been named as joint runner-up in Programme Monthly’s Sky Bet League Two Programme of the Year awards.

The Stag was chosen as joint runners-up along with Hartlepool United and were pipped to the post by Plymouth Argyle.

Priced at £3, the 80-page perfect-bound programme is the club’s only official publication, showcasing the club’s history as well as featuring a number of exclusive interviews and editorials with players and key figures across all spectrums of the club.

In its critical review of all 24 League Two clubs, Programme Monthly – the well-respected football programme journal – wrote of The Stag: “The Stag retains its matt cover, which helps to set it apart from most other clubs’ issues, and the design inside varies in style, but is of high standard.

“Laws of the Game’ is an interesting and unusual feature, with laws fully explained in answer to a series of questions.

“The main player interview is a nicely presented four-pager, the subject of which is also the subject of a free loosely inserted double sided A3 sized poster pullout.

“There is interesting coverage of the U21s with even a one page player Q&A.

“Youths and ladies also receive some coverage; not unusual, but it is more interestingly provided than the norm.

“There are first team squad pages on ‘My Favourite Things’ and ‘Room 101’ – answered by the same player and there are seven pages on the visitors, including a page looking at clubs around the world who share their colours.”

It continued: “The historical section begins with ‘Scrapbook’ reproducing newspaper cuttings from the Freight Rover Trophy success in 1987, before ‘Memorable Match’ recalls a past game over a double page spread with plenty of photos. ‘Bigger Picture’ sees a double page spread with just one vintage picture.

“Stags In Shot’ brings the retro section into colour with two pages of photos from the more recent past.

“So overall, a cracking issue with plenty of good historical content.”

Programme Monthly selected ‘Cover to Cover’ as the programme’s best feature, where club historian Paul Taylor selects eight match programme covers from past fixtures, both home and away, against the opposition.

The Stag’s editor Mark Stevenson said: “This is testament to a great publication, rich in high-quality journalism and eye-catching images and one which is widely regarded as the best programme in the club’s history.

“Naturally, we would have liked to claim the ultimate crown but to be given the silver medal is recognition of the smart work of all of our contributors, but none more so than that of Matthew Joule, my deputy editor, and our photographer Chris Holloway, whose images so often wonderfully complement the words.”

Stags’ chairman John Radford added: “The Stag is an excellent publication, well worthy of its £3 cover price and includes a free A3 poster of a selected player for younger supporters.

“Mark and his team do a great job and we’ll be looking to compete at the top end of the EFL’s Programme of the Year awards at the end of this season.”