WORCESTER City manager Carl Heeley has stepped down after seven years at the helm.
The club revealed the news in a statement on Sunday (January 29) just over 24 hours after the Blue and Whites suffered a 3-0 reverse at the hands of Gloucester City, leaving City without a win in 10 games.
In a statement, the club confirmed Heeley met with chairman Anthony Hampson, football secretary Joe Murphy and assistant manager John Snape to explain his decision.
“Carl felt it was time for a change for both himself and the club. In particular, after more than 20 years involvement in the game, Carl would like to change the focus in his life from football to spend more time with his young family,” the statement read.
“The club fully respect and appreciate Carl’s decision and he leaves with our sincere gratitude for the outstanding commitment he, and his family, have dedicated to this Football Club over a long period of time.
A true City legend, ‘King’ Carl has amassed almost 1,000 matches with City since first joining as a wholehearted player back in 1994.
He went on to become assistant manager, before taking over the role of manager in January 2010, beginning with a 3-1 win over Weymouth at St George’s Lane.
Fittingly for a man who was City’s captain and played more than 500 games for the Club, Carl was manager for the last ever fixture at St George’s Lane in April 2013 versus Chester, in front of more than 4,000 fans.
Despite his managerial tenure coinciding with continual difficult circumstances behind the scenes, with the club becoming homeless with an uncertain future, and having limited playing budgets in comparison to most other clubs in the division, Carl continued to defy the odds to keep City at National League North (formerly Conference North) level, whilst guiding the Club to some of the most memorable moments in its long history.
In November 2014 Carl put City in the national spotlight, with the amazing day at The Ricoh that will live long in the memory of all Worcester City supporters.
Goals from Sean Geddes and a penalty save by Nathan Vaughan secured a shock 2-1 win away at Coventry City in the First Round of the FA Cup.
The reward was a second round trip to another League One club Scunthorpe United where the Blue and Whites were eliminated following a replay which ended in an FA Cup record-breaking penalty shootout for Scunthorpe to eventually go through 14-13.
“Carl always wears his heart on his sleeve, and his honesty in deciding it was time to step down is reflective of the man he is,” the statement added.
“The Club would like to thank Carl for all his hard work and wish him all the best for the future and the Heeley family will of course always be made welcome at the City.
Assistant manager John Snape and captain Danny Jackman will take the reins in the short term while the club considers the next move.
What do you think? Let us know your views on Heeley’s departure or share your memories of the former City player and manager. E-mail email@example.com with your thoughts