June 29th 1985

Despite a huge improvement in fortunes the previous season, Harwood manager Rick Grogan decided to quit the Showground

Grogan quits –
Darling takes over

RICK GROGAN has stepped down after a year as manager of Great Harwood Town and his successor is the former Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City player Malcolm Darling.
Darling teams up with Harold Martin, his former colleague at Darwen. Martin, Harwood’s player of the year last season, had already been upgraded to coach at the Showground prior to Mr Grogan’s departure.
“Last summer, after being persuaded to come back into management by the new board of directors at Harwood, I was really looking forward to the new term,” said Mr. Grogan. “But this year the feeling of excitement at the prospect of a new season just wasn’t there and I felt, with the training for the new term getting under way on Tuesday, now was the best time to step down.
“There is certainly no animosity between the club and myself, I enjoyed last season very much and I felt under no pressure at all.”
Harwood acted quickly on Thursday evening to appoint Mr. Darling just a few hours after Mr. Grogan’s resignation..
Mr. Darling, who was linked with the Harwood job a few weeks ago, when Mr. Grogan was re-appointed for this season, said he was looking forward to the Harwood job.
“Training starts on Tuesday and I will be taking stock then of what players we have and the make up of the team for the new term. I have been looking for the right managerial opportunity to come along and I am delighted to have got the Harwood post. The set up there seems very impressive and I look forward to working with Harold again.”
Mr. Darling, who played for a host of Football League clubs as well as having a spell in the United States, has managerial experience with Northern Premier League side Morecambe, as well as being a short-lived successor to Jimmy Birkett at Darwen.
“I feel that Malcolm and Harold will make a very good management team for us,” said chairman Mr. Tom Edwardson. “Rick rang me to step down on Thursday and we approached Malcolm and he accepted later the same evening.”

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