Newcastle Town manager Ivan Lodge has thanked the well wishers from across football and the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League who have sent messages of support since he suffered a stroke at the weekend.

Delighted Castle officials reported on Wednesday that their manager is recovering well and cracking jokes in his hospital bed following an emergency operation to remove a blood clot on the brain.

The 53-year-old was rushed to hospital on Saturday night after feeling unwell when he returned from a short break.

Brother-in-law Scott Dundas said: “The doctors are pleased with his progress and he is certainly looking better. The operation went well and he has started physiotherapy. Already there is an improvement in the movement in his arm and his speech is a lot better which is an encouraging sign.”

After revealing that their manager had been well enough to review the weekend’s action and call coverage of his illness a “bit dramatic”, Newcastle Town secretary Ray Tatton thanked everybody who’d been in contact with the First Division South club.

He added: “Messages wishing him well have been pouring in from all over, including many from other teams in the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League, and Ivan, his family and the club, would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and support.”

Lodge’s number two, Port Vale legend Robbie Van Der Laan, has stepped up to take charge of team affairs and will be assisted by Will Ryder and the club’s reserve team management duo of Dave Dale and Callum Carey for the first time at Romulus on Saturday.


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