Charnock Richard have announced that their long serving manager Andy Westwell will be stepping down from the first team manager’s position at the end of the current season, following an almost continuous 18 year reign in charge at the club.
Since expressing his desire to complete one more season as manager at the end of last season, the club have implemented a succession plan which will see the former Reserve manager Ryan Donnellan taking over from Andy at the end of the current season.
A club statement said: "Charnock Richard FC would like to pay tribute to the amazing contribution that Andy has made to the development and success at the club since he was appointed as first team manager in March 2001.
"His dedication and loyalty to Charnock Richard FC over such a prolonged period is exceptionally rare in non-league football and is testament to the success which Andy has achieved during the most successful period in the club's history.
"We would like to thank him for all his hard work and dedication over the past 18 years and wish him the best of luck and success in whatever he does after he leaves the club at the end of the current season".
A brief summary of Andy’s achievements at Charnock Richard FC are summarised below.
Andy Westwell joined Charnock Richard FC in 1995 and made 129 appearances as a player before eventually being appointed as first team manager of Charnock Richard FC on Monday 19th March. He has very recently completed his 18th year anniversary as manager at the club.
Andy’s first game in charge was in a West Lancashire League Premier Division fixture against Freckleton on 24th March where he started with a 2-1 win. With only 12 fixtures remaining that season, the team ended in a creditable 7th position but in his next season, the club won the Lancashire Amateur Shield, 35 years after their previous success, and also won the Richardson Cup for the first time in their history.
The 2002/03 season saw the team win the Premier Division title, finishing with four more points than Kirkham and Wesham – a remarkable achievement considering the financial backing that the Fylde based club was receiving at the time. The following season, the club again won the Richardson Cup and would go on to win this trophy three times in succession in seasons 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16.
Under the jurisdiction of Andy, the Lancashire Amateur Shield was won a further three times in seasons 2006/07, 2010/11 and 2011/12. More importantly, Andy’s main achievement at the club included a further five Premier Division Championships won in seasons 2008/09, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15.
In addition to this, the club finished as runners-up four times and their lowest league position in any season managed by Andy was 5th. In the Goldline Trophy competition, in which the final was played at Bolton Wanderers Stadium, the trophy was won in 2005/06 and the club also won through to another four Goldline Trophy finals which were lost.
The above details show that there were only six seasons during Andy’s reign at the club where a trophy has not been on display in the clubhouse. In the years that Charnock played in the West Lancashire League under the management of Andy, of 626 matches played, there were 419 wins, 93 draws and 114 defeats.
At the start of the 2016/17 Charnock moved up into the North West Counties League Division 1 and finished as runner-up, gaining promotion to the Premier Division at the first attempt.
Since promotion to the Premier Division, the team finished a very creditable 6th position in season 2017/18 and look to be on course for another top half finish in the current season. The current statistics for the club show that there have been 119 matches played in the NWCFL, with 69 wins, 15 draws and 35 defeats.
Not only will Andy be remembered for his successes as first team manager but it should be noted that under his jurisdiction, the reserve and former academy teams have become organised to provide a pathway for players from the successful Junior Section to move forward into adult football. Many thanks go to Andy for an amazing career over the past 18 years.