Over the last few months, positive results on the pitch for Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox have brought about some pretty wonderful changes in his life. In a bet with Mansfield chief executive Carolyn Radford, Cox agreed to move up his wedding date if they beat fellow non-league side Lincoln City in the second round of the FA Cup last December, which they did. In January, Cox was offered a free honeymoon by a sponsor if he could beat Liverpool in the third round of the tournament, but the Stags came up short, losing 2-1. Prior to Saturday's Conference match against lowly Barrow, Cox had a chance at an even better wedding gift when the club's owner, John Radford (Carolyn's husband), offered to give Cox his Aston Martin DB9 if Mansfield could score five goals in the first half.
The score at halftime: Mansfield Town 5, Barrow 1. And Radford wasted no time in living up to his end of the bargain. From the Nottingham Post:
Radford only arrived at the One Call Stadium at half time, after travelling back from Ireland, and informed Cox at the break that he was giving him his car. [...]
After the game, Cox joked he still wasn't sure if the car 'gift' was a wind-up as he concentrated on talking about footballing matters and a team performance that hit top gear.
He said: "As for the car, I'm not sure if it is wind-up. Maybe I'll get into the car park and it will be a bicycle with some stabilisers on it."
Far from it. The car was there, gleaming in the car park, complete with personalised registration MT51 COX.
You can see Cox's new Aston (complete with personalized registration plate) here.
Mansfield Town ended up beating Barrow 8-1 to match the club's best home result in their 116-year history. But Radford's wager was always a risky one since they beat Barrow, who are currently in the relegation zone, 7-0 in the corresponding fixture last season.
Perhaps Roman Abramovich should follow Radford's example and start motivating Chelsea managers with free Aston Martins instead of the threat of the sack.