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AFC Fylde confirm boss Jim Bentley is having heart surgery after tests

Jim Bentley AFC Fylde

The fans, players and officials of AFC Fylde are wishing manager Jim Bentley a speedy recovery tonight following news that he is to undergo heart bypass surgery.

The National League’s Coasters confirmed reports that the 44-year-old former former Morecambe boss will be “sidelined for a while” after surgery in a club statement on Friday night.

Pictured following his appointed in October 2019 as the successor to Dave Challinor, it is not known when Bentley will return to work at Mill Farm and club officials are asking for his privacy to be respected.

The Coasters said: “It is a concerning time for all at Mill Farm as we send our very best wishes to Jim and his family, who is remaining in a positive mindset about the situation whist receiving the best care possible.

“The procedure needed will see Jim sidelined for a while, with required rehabilitation thereafter. The club will remain in regular contact, supporting our manager in every way it can.

“We ask that Jim and his family have his privacy respected at this time, whilst welcoming the many well wishes already received from the footballing community.”

Bentley told the club’s website: “At the start of the year I had some chest pains whilst doing a bit of training. After getting checked out I was told I had a blockage in one of my arteries. I had some more tests and was placed on medication to help my condition.

“Due to the Covid situation, I haven’t been able to get into hospital but I finally went in to Liverpool Chest and Heart hospital this week to have a coronary angiogram and stent fitted, but whilst the doctor was carrying out the procedure he noticed that my condition was a bit worse than first thought.

“It was then recommended I have a heart bypass instead. It’s not the news I wanted but I am thankful I got checked out when I did as this could have been a lot worse. I’m looking forward to getting sorted and being back fit doing the job I love as soon as possible.”

AFC Fylde chief executive Jonny Castle told fans: “First and foremost our well wishes are with Jim and that the surgery goes as planned so he makes a speedy recovery. We are in constant contact and he has kept myself and the Chairman fully up-to-date with his progress.

“Jim’s a popular figure at Mill Farm amongst the staff, players and the fans so all of us will be looking forward to him returning as soon as he can to lead the club in our 2020/21 campaign. Until his return, we will all be continuing the hard-work behind-the-scenes and giving Jim our full support with anything he may need to help with his recovery.”

Bentley was the longest-serving manager in the EFL and Premier League when he left League Two Morecambe for Fylde after more than nine years at the helm. His side were second from bottom and fighting relegation when the coronavirus wrecked the season.

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Images courtesy of The Non-League Paper & @AFCFylde/Twitter

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