By Sam Elliott
Bobby Wilkinson has denied bizarre claims that he quit as Hungerford Town manager during half time on Saturday.
Wilkinson, who only signed a new contract with the club in February, says he would have “much more class” than to do that to the club he loves.
He left the Crusaders after nearly eight years in charge on Saturday and admits he shed a tear after telling his players and the board of directors he was leaving.
But he insisted today that no such conversation happened until after the 3-2 defeat in the National League South at Welling United.
A Hungerford statement last night appeared to confirm the manager left his position during the interval – and that has been flatly denied by the man himself.
“No, that’s not true whatsoever – everyone knows that’s not how I do things,” Wilkinson told The NLP.
“It would make a great story, but it’s inaccurate and they have now changed the wording on the website.
“I knew I was leaving, but I didn’t tell the players until after the game at Welling. We had the chat on the pitch and it was very emotional.
“Everyone knows my attachment to the place but I could never leave during a game. I don’t know anyone that would.”
First team players Ian Herring and Jon Boardman will take temporary charge but there is turmoil at the club.
“Losing such a highly regarded manager is one thing, but it was immediately followed by the resignation of the newly appointed club chairman and vice chairman with the inevitable resignation of Bobby Wilkinson’s full management team,” read the club’s statement.
“It is the end of a very successful 8 years and the Crusaders wish to thank Bobby and his team for their extraordinary endeavours and historical success.
“It is fair to state that Bobby is one of the most exciting managers on the National League circuit and has outgrown the humble Crusaders eco system.
“We wish him every success with his next venture as he will inevitably take his unique winning skills to higher levels.
“As with all clubs who have hundreds of years history, the show must go on.”
Hearing more from Wilkinson is Sunday’s Non-League Paper