Geraint Bater and Neil Arndale will take charge of Larkhall Athletic in the Evo-Stik League Southern’s Challenge Cup on Wednesday night after Wayne Thorne stood down after nearly seven years at the helm.
Thorne’s assistant managers were appointed as joint caretaker managers for the first round clash at home to Frome Town following the resignation of Thorne on Monday in the wake of their 2-0 weekend victory over Slimbridge in Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South & West.
Appointed at Plain Ham in late 2010 after originally arriving as assistant manager, went on to be named Western League Manager of the Year in 2014 after steering the Larks to an unprecedented league and cup double and promotion to the Evo-Stik League Southern.
As well as guiding the Larks to the play-off final and the brink of a second successive promotion in their first season after stepping up, Thorne also led them to the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on two occasions – a new club best – and the fifth round of the FA Vase twice.
Larkhall Athletic chairman Paul Rankin paid tribute to Thorne in a statement on the Somerset club’s website confirming the appointment of Bater and Arndale while they seek his successor.
He said: “Wayne has been pivotal in the club’s success during his time as manager. The club will always be grateful for his contribution and there will always be a welcome for Wayne and his family at Plain Ham.”
Thorne, who spent a week in an induced coma in August 2013 following an horrific car crash and famously opened his eyes when he heard his team had won their opening game of the season, has since taken to Twitter to thank everybody who has helped him during his time as Larks boss.
In one of a series of Tweets hailing the club’s fans, players and officials, he said: “Thank you all at @LarkhallAFC for everything a journey that has seen a lot of ups and downs and lots of emotion along the way.”