Ramsbottom United have been rocked by the news that manager Chris Willcock has resigned, just three weeks ahead of the 2021/22 season.

Willcock is to be announced as the new Workington AFC manager shortly and leaves the Rams following two and a half years in charge, after overseeing the sizable change in the attitude and desire of the team that he took on from the previous manager Mark Fell in October 2018.

With a record of 53 wins, 18 draws and 18 defeats in his 89 games in charge, resulting in a win% of 59.55, Willcock turned the club around in his two years in charge, leading them to the FA Trophy last 16 following the incredibly memorable run including games with Weymouth and AFC Fylde, to the play-offs semi-final in his first season and to second place in both of the ‘null and void’ seasons. His hard work and managerial style will be sorely missed in the Rammy dugout.

It comes some 20 years after he played for the club from December 2000 to January 2002, appearing in 31 games and scoring 17 goals – becoming the 19th manager of the club in the semi-professional era.

In a statement to the club media, he said “It is with strong emotions that I announce my decision to resign as manager of Ramsbottom United. I am proud of the progression of the team that I will leave behind and I have thoroughly enjoyed the last two and a half years spent as manager and I am grateful for the opportunity that the Chairman gave me to manage a club that I had previously played for.

“During the time that I have been at the club, it has been a rollercoaster of a ride with some memorable moments and games that will forever be remembered. These memories were only made possible through the hard work and perseverance of a group of dedicated players and a supportive management team who have been truly committed.

“I would also like to thank the fans and volunteers, alongside the Development Team and Juniors who have shown great support to myself throughout my tenure.”

RamsbottomUnited365 would like to put on record their thanks to Chris for all of his hard work on the clubs’ behalf. You turned us around following a number of years in the doldrums, gave us a team to watch and enjoy again, took us on a ride that none of us wanted to get off and those of us who were at the Weymouth away game, the AFC Fylde home game and many in between will always be grateful, thankful and indebted to you for all that you did for our club.

We wish you every success at Workington AFC – apart from the games against us, of course – and you know you will be made welcome back at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium.