Sean Margison has stepped down as manager of Toolstation NCEL Premier Division side Athersley Recreation, ending a 27-year association with the club.
The shock news was announced as the Penguins embark on a new campaign aiming to improve on their tenth-placed finish last season.
His assistant Wayne Thompson has taken over the senior role and the club are now on the search for his new deputy.
In a statement, Margison said: “It is with a sad and heavy heart that I have decided to resign as first team manager of Athersley Recreation Football Club.
“I have been honoured and privileged to be part of this great club for over 27 years.
“I have played with and managed some of the best lads you could ever hope to be around who have become lifelong friends and they, along with the club’s traditions, have instilled in me many qualities that have helped me become a better man – qualities such as loyalty, togetherness, fairness, hard work, integrity and sticking to your principles.
“Unfortunately, due to recent events I have to invoke one of these qualities as my principles won’t let me agree with the path that the club wants to take.
“There are too many individuals to list so I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been around the club during my time there – managers, committee, board, players, volunteers and fans.
“What a ride its been! What a club! All the best to the club and everyone concerned in the future.”
A statement from Athersley Recreation added: “The club would like to thank Sean for all his hard work both as a player and manager over the 27 years at the club.
“It has been a pleasure and an honour to have had such a dedicated man and is a true testament to why this club has had so much success and why he is loved and respected by all that have known him.
“We respect his decision although we did not want him to leave but the club sometimes have to make hard decisions which not all agree with.
“We wish him well for the future and he is always welcome to Sheerien Park and no doubt he will be getting his freebies off the REC INN CREW.”
Anyone interested in the club’s assistant manager role is asked to email their CV to secretary Peter Goodlad at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07910 121070 for further details.
The closing date for applications is Saturday 8th July, 2017, at 7pm.