Gary Bell’s decision to quit as assistant-manager of Ballyclare Comrades came as a bolt from the blue for many connected with the Dixon Park club, writes John Gillespie.
Bell stepped down with immediate effect from his role as Eddie Hill’s number two after Saturday’s 5-3 defeat at Dergview but it wasn’t a knee-jerk move. After three years in the job, he says he’s leaving football for the forseeable future.
“It’s nothing to do with anyone in football or anything to do with Ballyclare or Eddie Hill, it’s the right time for me to spend more time with my family,” he said.
“I have had some great times at Ballyclare as a player but as assistant to Eddie I have had some really fantastic memories. It’s been three great years and it was a decision that broke my heart; to be telling the boys and telling Eddie that I was stepping down. Deep down, I know it was the right decision for me.
“We reached two Steel and Sons Cup semi-finals and got promoted to Championship 1 and put the club back where it belongs.
“I hope that Eddie gets a replacement who has as much love for the club as I do.”
He added: “Eddie respects my decision, he’s a great friend and I wish him and the club all the best.”