‘Good to be back’: Ex-Shaker Ronnie Jepson makes Gigg Lane return as Bury FC assistant manager

By Mark Shales

Bury FC have appointed former player Ronnie Jepson as their new assistant manager, following the departure of Peter Shirtliff.

The 50-year-old joined the Shakers for £40,000 in 1996 and helped them to the Second Division title, going on to score 12 goals in 59 appearances.

Jepson becomes the latest arrival at Gigg Lane, following the recent takeover, and the former Gillingham boss is delighted to be part of the club’s new era.

“It’s good to be back,” he told his new club’s website. “I have some great memories of this place and a lot of success here.  

“When the gaffer rang me and offered me the job, I didn’t think twice.  We had a quick chat and everything was sorted out quickly and I’m ready to go.

“I know where this club can go and I know that Kevin Blackwell is very excited with the new ownership.  

“These are exciting times for this football club.  It’s a fresh start with new owners, plus I know Kevin from old.  He wants to be successful and he’s a driven man, the same as me.”

A former striker, Jepson scored 86 goals in 554 appearances in an 11-year career that took him to Preston North End, Huddersfield Town and Oldham Athletic, amongst others.

Following a coaching spell with Burnley, Jepson was appointed full-time manager at Gillingham in November 2005, but resigned after two years following a poor run of form.

Since then he has coached with Huddersfield, Crystal Palace and QPR, before serving as Neil Warnock’s number two at Leeds United until last April.

His predecessor, Shirtliff, joined the club as assistant to Richie Barker in June 2011, but approached new chairman Stewart Day on Monday night, stating his desire to leave.

The 52-year-old spent seven weeks as caretaker manager, following Barker’s departure on the eve of last season, and had hoped to keep the post full-time before Blackwell’s arrival.

And while Blackwell extended his thanks to his outgoing assistant, the Bury boss believes Jepson can help turn the fortunes of the Shakers over the coming months.

“I’d like to thank Peter Shirtliff for the work he has done for me and for the club during my time here,” he said. “I’d also like to wish him all the best for the future.

“I’m delighted to have Ronnie on board and it’s great to see him back at the club where he had so much success as a player.  

“If he can do as well in management as the time he had here with Bury as a player, then it bodes well for the future for this great club and I am looking forward to working with him again.”

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