Colne chairman Dave Blacklock has hailed Nigel Coates for a “magic” job after he stepped down last week after 10 years in the post.
Coates - who also played for Colne Dynamoes in their 1988 FA Vase triumph at Wembley - led the club to the North West Counties Second Division title in 2003/04, adding the Second Division Cup and reaching the FA Vase semi-finals that season.
And he has regularly steered the side to top 10 finishes since promotion to the top flight.
However, the constant turnover of playing staff, with clubs with more financial clout often prising away his best players, took it’s toll, and Coates made the decision to call it a day before the Reds lost their LFA Challenge Trophy derby at his former club Nelson 4-3 last Wednesday night.
Blacklock admits it wasn’t a surprise, but he is sorry to see Coates pass on the mantel: “It was going on for about a month - it’s the second team that has been cherry-picked by clubs with bigger budgets.
“He kept bringing players in and building them up, only to have them leave for other clubs, and it was a constant frustration.
“But we’re fully appreciative of what he’s done.
“He’ll still be around for assistance and advice.
“He’s done a magic job, and it was a sad day for the club.”
Former Burnley youth team player Steve Pickup and Dixon Lambert have taken the helm for now, and while they could eventually success Coates, Colne are looking at their options: “We will advertise for a new manager and see who is out there.
“Steve has been about the game for a long time, and is a good lad, and will have a lot of contacts - he knows the league upside down, and Dixon has also been involved for some time, so we’ll see how things go.
“We won’t be rushing into anything.
“But it’s a good job for someone - the club is stable and we have ambition - we have an academy, and we are well backedby XLCR.”