Morecambe boss Jim Bentley says thanks after becoming longest-serving manager in England

Jim Bentley and Ken McKenna. Picture: B&O Press Photo
Jim Bentley and Ken McKenna. Picture: B&O Press Photo

Morecambe manager Jim Bentley has thanked everyone associated with the club after he went top of the managerial charts last week.

Paul Tisdale’s departure from Exeter City made the Shrimps’ boss is England’s longest-serving manager at one club.

Bentley took charge of Morecambe in May 2011, 16 months ahead of his nearest challenger, Wycombe Wanderers’ Gareth Ainsworth.

His time in charge has been a challenging one with the Shrimps fighting to preserve their Football League status amid a litany of off-field issues.

“It’s something I’m really proud of and it’s a great achievement,” Bentley said.

“I’ve got to be thankful to the board of directors and the chairman for their support.

“I’ve had a good relationship with the fans, who have backed me all the way as well, so I have to thank them for that as well.

“When Paul moved on, I had some great text messages from people within the game congratulating me and that was nice of them to do so.”

Having been player-coach under Sammy McIlroy, Bentley took the main job aged 34.

Managing Morecambe would a difficult enough job for many more experienced managers and has proved to be the case against clubs with bigger crowds and budgets.

“I came in expecting it to be quite difficult because I was quite open-minded in that regard,” he admitted.

“There are a lot of things that we’ve had to put up with like never being the biggest club and not having the biggest of budgets.

“We’ve had the transfer embargoes and the ownership stuff so I’m really proud of staying in the Football league with all that going on.

“There have been some big clubs that have gone out of the league and others who are trying to come up.

“So, for us to have stayed up against all that means I’m really proud of the staff, the board, the players and everyone who has played their part in that.

“You see some clubs doing cartwheels because they have stayed in the Premier League but for Morecambe to stay in the Football League is a massive achievement.

“We all want to do better because, in the past, there were spells when we were top of the table or near the play-offs.

“Hopefully we can now look forward to a positive future and climb the table.”