jim harvey - Chester City's latest man at the helm
Former Morecambe and Forest Green Rovers manager Jim Harvey has today been appointed as the latest manager of struggling Chester City Football Club. Caretaker boss and club captain Tim Ryan will be Harvey’s Assistant as Chester prepare to claw back a 25 point deficit and attempt to perform a great escape and survive in the Blue Square Premier League.
Jim Harvey in profile
Born in Lurgan, Northern Ireland. Signed for Arsenal in 1974, sadly his 1st team opportunities were somewhat restricted with only making 3 league appearances. In 1980 Jim had a free transfer to Hereford United where he became a favourite with the fans with 278 leagues games.
In 1987 Jim left Hereford on a £25,000 transfer to Bristol City but only made 2 league appearances before he went on loan to Wrexham making 6 appearances in league games. He was once again transferred for £25,000 to Tranmere Rovers in late 1987. He quickly made Captain, making 121 league appearances, 12 League Cup and 8 F.A. Cup appearances , scoring 15 goals.
Upon leaving Tranmere Jim spent a season at Crew Alexandra, under Dario Gardi as a player and on the coaching staff. At the beginning of the 1993-94 Jim signed for Vauxhall Conference side Southport, in their 1st year in the Conference. He made 12 appearances for Southport before signing with Chester City as a non-contract player, Reserve Team Coach and Director of the School of Excellence.
In early 1994 Jim was appointed by Morecambe Football Club as Assistant Player – Manager to Leighton James. He also has F.A. qualifications in management and injury treatment. On 7th June 1994, he became Manager after the sacking of the former manager.
In his first season 1994-95, as manager, Jim gained Morecambe F.C promotion to the GM Vauxhall Conference as Runners-up in the Northern Premier League. Within the Conference League Jim has become well respected as a manager, winning Morecambe’s second national trophy in 1997/98 when the team won the Bob Lord (Spalding) Trophy, beating Woking in a exciting 2 leg final. He has also taken the club to several Lancashire (ATS) Junior Cup finals, winning in 1995/96 and 1998/99 and Runner-up in 1997/98.
It can only be a short time before Jim Harvey once again brings back some silverware to Christie Park, home of Morecambe Football Club. Already at the beginning of the 2001/02 season Jim was the longest serving manager of any team in the Nationwide Conference, as well as the longest ever serving Morecambe boss and furthermore, in November 2001, Jim signed a new contract tying him to Christie Park until at least 2004. Season 2004/05 saw Jim and the team saddly missing a play-off place on the last game of the season.
Sadly before the Cambridge United game on November 12 2005, Jim suffered a heart attack before the game and was taken to the local hospital at Lancaster. On doctor’ advice Jim took time off his duties recover. Whislt recoving his personal friend Sammy McIlroy will be in charge for the first team. However on 16 May 2006, the board announced they had released Jim Harvey from his contact as manager. With this announcement came the end of the longest era of a manager at the club. A manager that supporters’ will alway remember as the the man who changed the fortunes of the club by taking then into the Football Conference and raising the profile of the club both on and off the pitch.
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