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Club News


8 May 2014

John to leave the club with immediate effect

John Ward has today been sacked from his role of Director of Football at Bristol Rovers Football Club.

The Board of Directors made the decision following relegation to the Conference.

Clearly radical changes need to be made to the structure of the club, and the position of Director of Football is no longer viable.

Chairman Nick Higgs said: “Due to the situation we find ourselves in, it is no longer economically viable to have a first team manager and a Director of Football.

“We would like to thank John for his services, but now is the time to be making these changes.”

Ward was appointed manager in December 2012 when Rovers were languishing at the bottom of League Two, and helped them to a mid-table finish.

In March this year Ward moved to Director of Football at the Club, handing over managerial responsibilities to his assistant manager Darrell Clarke.

This was Ward’s second spell as manager of Bristol Rovers. He was previously in charge between 1993 and 1996. He was appointed manager in March 1993, too late to stop Rovers being relegated to Division Two. 

During the 1994/95 season Ward led Rovers to Wembley, where they lost 2-1 in the play off finals to Huddersfield. 

Throughout his three year spell in charge he won 64 out of 149 league matches, led the club to the Southern Final of the Auto Windscreen Shield and reached that play off final. 

Ward began his managerial career at York City in 1991, after a playing career that saw him turn out for Lincoln, Watford and Grimsby. 

Following his spell at Rovers, he went on to manage Bristol City within a year of leaving Rovers, before becoming assistant manager at Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he went on to take caretaker charge following the departure of Colin Lee. 

Ward was appointed Cheltenham Town manager in 2003, guiding them to promotion to League One at the end of the 2005/06 season. 

He then moved to Carlisle United in 2007, and guided them to a play off position in his first year in charge. 

He then joined Colchester United as assistant manager under Aidy Boothroyd in September 2009. Boothroyd left to take charge of Coventry in May 2010 and Ward took over as manager. 

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