TONY Lowery said Bedlington Terriers would always be close to his heart as he stepped down from his role as joint manager at Welfare Park last week.
Lowery’s decision, which he said followed months of deliberation and was not a spur of the moment announcement, brings the curtain down on a 15-year association with the outfit.
It is also a similar period where he formed one part of a double act managerial partnership with Keith Perry.
Lowery said: “It’s a sad call really because Bedlington are a smashing club and it took a big part of my life.
“But I thought after the campaign we had had that a break would do me good.
“It was a difficult season and I had lost a little bit of enjoyment.
“However, the club will always be close to my heart.
“I wish Bedlington all the best for the future and would like to thank the club and the supporters for my time there.
“We did reach the semi final of both the League Cup and the Northumberland Senior Cup last term before going out to West Auckland and Newcastle United Reserves respectively, but I really wanted to win some silverware.
“However, the club are not a million miles away from achieving something.
“The first time I was at the club we had an unbelievable time winning the league five times as well as the Northumberland Senior Cup, League Cup; reaching the second round of the FA Cup and also losing in the FA Vase final at Wembley.
“Keith and I came back a second time when the club were struggling - but they have improved every year.”
Former chairman David Holmes, who also left the club last week, said: “Bedlington Terriers Community Football Club would like to express their gratitude to Tony for his hard work and commitment during his time as team manager and I would like to add my personal thanks to him for his support and friendship during our time together at the Terriers.
“I’m sure that all of the supporters would join me in acknowledging Tony’s contribution over 15 years and he will certainly never be forgotten by anyone associated with Bedlington Terriers.”