Two weeks on from when Tony Mowbray gave his clearest indication to date that he would be leaving the club, Rovers have confirmed the departure of the club’s second-longest serving post-War manager.

The search for his successor will now begin, as Rovers head into the post-Mowbray era.

The statement outlines a joint decision being reached, with the manager’s contract expiring at the end of next month, but while Mowbray has talked openly about his position, the club’s first comment came four days after the completion of the season.

What the last two weeks have done is bring about a separation between the decision itself of Mowbray leaving the club, and how it has been handled. Him taking ownership of his departure has put the spotlight firmly on the club.

For supporters, questions will remain over why Mowbray wasn’t at least approached over a new contract, whether there were ever plans to, or if the club have long been planning for life without the man who has been in charge for over five years. Or, as the manager suspects, was it all down to the league position this season?

While described as a joint decision, Mowbray had outlined that had an offer of a new deal landed on his desk at the start of the year, he would have signed without hesitation.

Some will feel Mowbray’s departure overdue, yet it has been the handling of the decision, rather than that itself, which has been the biggest topic for discussion.

Rovers, and their owners, trusted Mowbray implicitly, and for the most part, so did supporters, bringing calm and serenity where previously there had been chaos.

Mowbray spoke of a journey, one he will depart from after five years, and there was a sense of disappointment on his part at how this has played out. Mowbray’s belief is that management is more than about results, there has to be a trust in the process from above, and that should have been there whether Rovers finished in the top six or not, an inclination on his part as to what he felt it would have taken for an offer to have been made.

Yet that was Mowbray, principled to the end.

He has received hundreds of letters and emails both thanking him for his time in charge, and also support in how things have played out.

While the stats will show 107 wins and 267 games in charge, what Mowbray brought to Rovers stemmed beyond results and style, he brought hope to a generation of supporters, a team and group of players they could get behind, who weren’t just here for the short-term but willing to commit themselves to the club.

Mowbray's imprint on the club cannot simply be measured by statistics and his exit will have a profound impact at the Senior Training Centre.

While there are issues to address, the club is on much firmer footing than the shell he arrived at in February 2017.

He has planted foundations from which his successor will look to take forward.

The statement includes words such as ‘stability’ and ‘platform’, ‘hard work’ and ‘self-sacrifice’, while also recognising Mowbray’s traits as a person, ‘a very honest and decent human being’.

Football and family are the driving forces in Mowbray’s life, and after five years on the road away from his Teesside home, he will return there knowing he has put everything into the job, and making it work.

His work will be appreciated and remembered for some time to come, but the Mowbray chapter is now over, with new beginnings to be written for both him and the club.

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