John Cornforth returns to Blyth Spartans as assistant boss

John Cornforth.
John Cornforth.

Former professional player and manager John Cornforth has joined Blyth Spartans as the assistant to boss Tom Wade.

It is a return to south east Northumberland for the 49-year-old after he spent a short period at Croft Park under Wade three years ago.

“I’m delighted to be back at Blyth,” said Sunderland-based Cornforth.

“I needed to get back into football after a break following working as a coach in Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

“Once Tom asked me for a chat it was only ever going to be Blyth for me.

“I’ve kept in touch with Tom and I know we’re on the same wavelength.

“He’s done an unbelievable job over the past few years and I can’t wait to help out.”

Cornforth notched up 322 league starts as a professional for clubs such as Sunderland, Swansea, and Cardiff and Exeter, and he picked up two Wales caps before a cruciate ligament injury halted his playing career.

He then went into management and took charge at Exeter and Torquay.

Whitely Bay born Cornforth has nothing but praise for Spartans – on and off the pitch.

He said: “I know a lot of the players and they are great lads. I know we’ve lost a couple of players, but having Stephen Turnbull back is huge. He’s my type of player. I too was a play-making central midfielder.

“Off the pitch there’s so much happening, like the new 3G surface, and the media team, who do such a lot they seem be being regularly poached by other clubs – maybe they should be on contracts.

“In addition, I understand there will be news soon on the commercial side, and the pitch is looking superb.

“Blyth is a proper football club; steeped in history. And I’ve always received a tremendous welcome whenever I’ve been back.

“It’s all looking good and I’m hoping that we can go one better this season than we achieved last time round.”

Wade said: “It’s brilliant news having John back with us. He’s got such a wealth of experience and will add so much to the club.”