Wagstaff's prolific goal scoring feats in the Nottinghamshire minor Leagues persuaded the manager of Mansfield Town to give him a chance in the professional game. The Stags manager at the time was a certain Raich Carter- he knew a thing or two about scoring goals and under Carter's tutelage, goals flowed freely from the boots of Waggy. He could poach within the six-yard box with deadly menace; he could weave his way through a packed defence as if they didn't exist, then put the ball in one corner of the net whilst a flailing keeper was still diving to the other side. He played with style and courage and his 93 goals in 181 outings for the Stags were a clear indication as to why Cliff Britton had to fork out £40,000 to take him to Boothferry Park.
Paltry in today's inflated transfer market, it was a substantial sum in the mid 60's but it was an investment that reaped untold dividends as Waggy continued his goal scoring feats with monotonous regularity - a goal on his debut was almost a pre-requisite. His was a talent that had no trouble in setting new club records and his partnership with Chris Chilton was one that, had it been with some more fashionable and prominent club, would possibly have brought international recognition. For several seasons he maintained his average of a goal every other game, despite the attention of defenders who often erred on the crude side of clumsy in trying to prevent this cheeky forward from making a monkey out of them. What saved him from serious injury in those early days was his phenomenal speed - he was deceptively fast for his frame.
Injury would finally catch up with him however and a cartilage operation which saw him sit out a large portion of the 72/73 season was the first signal that Waggy was descending from his seat with the Gods to join the mere mortals of professional football. His career continued for a couple of seasons more but finally in 1975 he conceded to the accumulation of injuries he had acquired in the latter part of his spell with the Tigers.
He was an intelligent player, knowing where to be and what to do when the ball arrived but he was no respecter of reputations and made some of the top goalkeepers of his era look silly. It was all part of the exposure that singled him out as an individual, yet he never lost sight of his responsibilities to the team. He was always capable of doing something out of the ordinary. It was that capability that made him different. It also made him great.