Bentley resigns as Morecambe boss to pass on longest-serving manager crown

Jim Bentley
Jim Bentley

The EFL's longest-serving manager Jim Bentley has resigned as Morecambe boss and is set to join National League side AFC Fylde.

The club announced Bentley's departure on Monday morning following Morecambe's 1-0 defeat against Stevanage at the weekend, which left them bottom of League Two.

Bentley, who joined the club as a player in 2002 and skippered the Shrimps into the Football League, took over as manager from Sammy Mcilroy in May 2011 and in that time became the Football League’s longest serving manager.

But his departure means Wycombe's Gareth Ainsworth takes over that mantle, just 18 days ahead of Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe. Cobblers manager Keith Curle is 39th on the list.

Morecambe drew 2-2 with the Cobblers last month and have only 10 points from 16 games this season.

A board statement said: “It is with great reluctance that we have accepted the resignation of Jim Bentley today.

"Jim has stated his desire to take on a new challenge and it is only right that we honour his wish after the service he has given this club.

“He has been an amazing servant for us as player, captain and manager and has deservedly gained a fantastic reputation throughout the game for what he has achieved with the club.

"We cannot thank him enough for his contribution to the club over the years and it goes without saying he will always be welcome at the Globe Arena.

“Jim’s name is synonymous with Morecambe and he has always had the very best interests of the club at heart, playing and managing with great pride, honour and integrity and he departs with the best wishes of everyone connected with the Shrimps.

"Our efforts are now focused on appointing a new manager as soon as possible and that process starts immediately, with a caretaker manager to be announced later this week.''