BARNOLDSWICK Town chairman Ian James has paid tribute to Ben Hall and Stewart Airdrie after the duo decided to step down from their positions as co-managers of the club.

Hall and Airdrie have worked well together with the third joint boss Kevin Richardson and the trio led Barlick from the West Lancashire League, through the North West Counties League First Division and into their current position as Premier Division promotion hopes.

But Hall and Airdrie have now stepped aside while Richardson will carry on and will be joined by star striker Paul Fildes in a new management team at the Silentnight Stadium.

And James said: “This is a very sad end to four years of a very fruitful and harmonious period in the history of Barnoldswick Town Football Club, with Stewart and Ben deciding to call it a day on their managerial careers, both for differing reasons.

“In the time I’ve come to know these lads and their association with our club, we have not only progressed at the speed of light through the football pyramid, but in no small way with Kevin making up the ‘Three Amigos’, progressed the club off the field as well.

“On behalf of the committee, players and all the supporters I would like to thank them both for all their hard work, patience and humour.

“They have enriched and invigorated the club to make us into what we are today.

“The club must move on and as one door closes another opens, and I would like to welcome Kevin Richardson and Paul Fildes as the new management team to the club.

“I’m sure with their experience and the backing of players, supporters and committee, that they can progress the club on its upward spiral.”

James says Hall and Airdie will not be lost totally to Barlick and expects them to join Town’s fan base and take their place among spectators in the Silentnight Stadium’s always lively Sewer End.

Smiled James: “On a slightly more humourous note, and speaking to Ben and Stewart, I believe that the Sewer End has two more vocal supporters – heaven help you Paul and Kevin.”