League Two - Richardson leaves Stanley for Spireites

Accrington manager Leam Richardson has left the club to become Paul Cook's assistant at League Two counterparts Chesterfield.

PA Sport
League Two - Richardson leaves Stanley for Spireites
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Leam Richardson, Chesterfield (PA Photos)

Cook made the same switch when he took the reins at the Proact Stadium last October, leaving his then number two Richardson to step up.

A strong end to the season saw Stanley escape relegation with a game to spare, but Richardson, 33, is now reunited with Cook a day after assistant manager Tommy Wright and reserve-team coach Mark Crossley headed a list of four members of backroom staff let go by the Spireites.

Accrington were unbeaten in five games before a 3-0 home loss to Oxford in Saturday's final-day dead rubber, and an official statement this lunchtime confirmed the end of Richardson's near eight-year association with a club he represented 147 times as a player.

The statement read: "Accrington Stanley manager Leam Richardson has left the club to take up a job with Chesterfield. A formal approach has been made for the 33-year-old with a deal agreed between the two clubs after Leam indicated he wished to move on.

"Leam took charge in November and led us to Football League survival. All at the club would like to thank him for his service as player, coach and manager over the last eight years.

"Accrington Stanley will now begin the search for a new manager, with current assistant boss Paul Stephenson and first-team coach Paul Lodge remaining at the Store First Stadium to handle first-team affairs."

Lee Molyneux was the standout performer of Richardson's tenure at the Store First Stadium, scoring a host of important and often spectacular goals after reverting from full-back to a midfield position, and the former Everton youngster took to Twitter to wish his departing manager well.

Molyneux tweeted: "So "The Gaffer" has officially gone. Good luck to him. Done a good job this year and give me a chance playing."

Once-capped England striker Francis Jeffers was brought to east Lancashire by Richardson and expressed similar sentiments. He tweeted: "Gaffa (sic) has gone wish him all the best in new job enjoyed playin (sic) for him over the past couple of months !!!"

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