Former Mansfield Town midfield star Darrell Clarke this morning left his job as Bristol Rovers manager with the club in the Sky Bet League One drop zone.
The Mansfield-born 40-year-old has been manager there for four years, guiding the club to successive promotions from the Conference and League Two.
But, after losing four on the spin with Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat by Doncaster Rovers, Clarke has left the club ‘by mutual consent’.
A club statement said: “Darrell Clarke has been a loyal servant of Bristol Rovers Football Club for nearly six years, initially as John Ward’s assistant, then progressing to first team manager – a role in in which he has enjoyed considerable success with promotions from the Conference and League Two before consolidating the club’s position in League One over the last two years.
“This season commenced with optimism and high expectations of a challenge for the play-off places but results and performances have been disappointing.
“After much soul searching and lengthy deliberations it has been mutually agreed that it is probably in the best interests of the club and of Darrell Clarke to seek a fresh way forward. Darrell leaves the club with immediate effect and on amicable terms.
“The board would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Darrell for the hard work and dedication he has shown to the club and the positive effect he’s had on players, staff and supporters during his tenure.
“Darrell will remain a friend of the club and will no doubt achieve further success in his career after a deserved break. Everyone at Bristol Rovers wishes him well for the future.”
Clarke joined Stags’ youth ranks at the age of 10, finally offered a professional contract at Field Mill by boss Andy King in 1995.
He made 149 starts for Mansfield plus 25 more appearances off the bench, scoring 28 goals before moving on to Hartlepool United in 2001.