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Jim Bentley resigns as Morecambe manager

Jim Bentley has resigned as manager of Morecambe.

The 43-year-old, who was the longest-serving manager in the Football League, is expected to take over at National League AFC Fylde.

Bentley had been in charge since May 2011 and his departure brings to an end a 17-year association with the Shrimps, who he signed for as a player in 2002.

“It is with great reluctance that we have accepted the resignation of Jim Bentley,” said Morecambe in a statement.

“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.”

Morecambe are currently bottom of League Two and have won just two of their 20 matches in all competitions this season.

AFC Fylde are 19th in the National League but are expected to announce Bentley as the successor to Dave Challinor, who was sacked earlier this month.

Following Bentley’s exit, Wycombe’s Gareth Ainsworth becomes the longest-serving manager in the Football League.