STOCKPORT COUNTY legend Jim Gannon has returned to the club for a third spell as manager, leaving Evo-Stik NPL North side Northwich Victoria.
Gannon, called ‘The Ghost’ by Hatters fans, made more than 350 appearances for the club as a player in the 1990s before leading Stockport to promotion from League Two via the play-offs at Wembley in 2008.
Despite the club flying high in League One, he was made redundant by club administrators in 2009 as County fell into financial trouble.
Following spells at Motherwell, Peterborough and Port Vale, Gannon returned to Edgeley Park in 2011 after County’s Dietmar Hamann experiment failed and the Southwark-born boss saved the Hatters from relegation.
He was sacked two years later before County fell into the Conference North, Gannon moving on to manage Northwich Victoria.
The Vics finished in the play-offs last term, before losing to Bamber Bridge, and they sat in second this season before Gannon’s exit. They also made the second round of the FA Cup where they were beaten by a late Northampton Town fightback.
Gannon replaces Neil Young who quit last week and the returning boss said: “Stockport County FC holds a special place in my heart, and to be given the opportunity to work here once again is both a very proud moment on a personal level, and also an exciting football challenge as a professional.
“I will always be grateful to Northwich Victoria FC for giving me the opportunity to grow my love for the game again, and to provide me with an environment to develop and grow a great young team. I am deeply saddened to leave them at this point but I trust that they will enjoy a successful end to a great season.
“It has been difficult last few days, but the decision to join County was made very easy by the professional way in which the representatives of the board have presented the club, its stability and vision for growth. Negotiations were simple and straightforward as it was clear we share the same strong desire to ensure progress is made on the playing front of the club.”
Northwich Victoria added: “It is with regret that the football club announce the departure of first team manager Jim Gannon who is taking up the vacant managerial position at Stockport County with immediate effect.
“Obviously Stockport County is a club close to Jim’s heart having had an illustrious playing and managerial career with them. We would like to wish Jim well in his new role and would like to thank him for all his hard work the past 23 months.”