AFC Hornchurch fans have been hailing Jim McFarlane for reaching and passing another milestone at the helm of the Ryman North’s Urchins.
After stepping up as Colin McBride’s number two to take charge in the summer of 2009 and kicking off his reign with a goalless draw at Margate, McFarlane secured the same scoreline in his 400th game at the helm, last Saturday’s 0-0 draw in Ryman North at Tilbury.
The Essex club’s supporters association paid tribute to McFarlane, pictured celebrating the club’s Ryman League play-off final success in May 2012, in an article charting his reign in the Romford Recorder on Wednesday.
Following his side’s 3-0 win at East Thurrock United in the Essex Senior Cup on Tuesday night, McFarlane’s record reads: managed 401, won 181, drawn 92 and lost 128 with a goals for column of 631 and 482 against 482. His best league performance to date is a 9-0 win over Leyton in March 2008, his worst, a 7-1 loss at Tonbridge in October 2010.
As their manager prepared for match 402 against Heybridge Swifts at Bridge Avenue on Saturday, a spokesman for the fans told the paper’s website: “Not a bad record by any standards. With no managerial experience, many wondered how long Jim would remain as manager. Over 400 matches later, Jim is still going strong.”
A total of 164 players have appeared for Hornchurch under McFarlane’s management, Elliot Styles the only one to have played in every season since he took the helm seven years ago after originally arriving as a player in the summer of 2006 after McBride’s appointment as manager.
Having made 634 appearances and scored 75 goals before following McBride from Purfleet, he went on to make another 107 appearances for the Urchins, scoring eight goals before becoming McBride’s assistant manager after making his last appearance at Sutton United in April 2009.