Jim Bentley has left Morecambe after eight years as manager to join National League side AFC Fylde.

The 43-year-old kept the Shrimps in the Football League throughout his tenure on a tiny budget.

Kevin Ellison and Barry Roche, both of whom are long-serving players, have been installed in caretaker charge until a successor is found.

They find themselves as early frontrunners for the full-time job, other names such as Stuart Drummond and Dave Challinor are also in the race, as reported by The72.

Bentley first joined Morecambe as a player in 2002 from Telford United and made just under 300 appearances as a centre-back.

He then went onto oversee 434 games as their manager and will now be looking forward to a new challenge in his career at AFC Fylde.

Morecambe released an official club statement on their website yesterday which read: “He has been an amazing servant for us as player, captain and manager and has deservedly gained a fantastic reputation throughout the game for what he has achieved with the club.”

“We cannot thank him enough for his contribution to the club over the years and it goes without saying he will always be welcome at the Globe Arena.”

Here is how the Shrimps fans have reacted to his departure: