Bolton Wanderers Chairman Sharon Brittan has paid tribute to club stalwart Jimmy Phillips who will be stepping down from his role as the club’s Academy Director.
During a 30-year affiliation with his hometown club, Jimmy represented Wanderers initially as a youth team player before going on to make over 300 appearances for the first team during two spells.
He also served as a coach before latterly running the club’s Academy, a position he held for the past 12 years, nurturing the likes of Rob Holding, Zach Clough and Josh Vela into professional footballers.
Jimmy also temporarily guided the first team as a caretaker manager on three occasions.
After coming through the club’s youth ranks, Jimmy signed professional terms with the club in 1983. He went on to make 108 appearances for the Wanderers before joining Scottish giants Rangers in 1987.
He returned to England a year later, signing for Oxford United where he scored eight goals in 79 appearances.
In 1990 he joined Middlesbrough where he made 139 appearances, scoring six goals before returning back to Burnden Park three years later.
During his second spell with the club, he helped Wanderers to two promotions to the Premier League as well as making an appearance in the 1995 League Cup Final against Liverpool at Wembley.
Jimmy called time on his playing career in 2001 and remained with the club as a youth and first team coach before becoming Academy Director in 2008.
He also had stints as a caretaker manager in 2012, 2016 and 2019 following the departures of Owen Coyle, Neil Lennon and Phil Parkinson respectively.
Jimmy said: “After 30 years’ service at Bolton Wanderers both as a player and member of staff, I feel the time has now come for me to pursue new challenges both personally and professionally.
“I look back over my time at BWFC with pride and fond memories. I would very much like to thank the fans for their great support over the years.
We have been through ups and downs on our journey together and their strength has been tremendous.
I am also extremely grateful for the dedication and loyalty of my colleagues at the Academy. I have very much appreciated their hard work over the years.
“Lastly I would like to wish Football Ventures the best of luck for the future of the club as they move forward under Ian Evatt's leadership. Bolton Wanderers will certainly always hold a very special place in my heart.''
Sharon added: “Jimmy is the epitome of a club legend and has devoted most of his professional life to Bolton Wanderers.
“Following the recategorisation of our academy to Category Three, it was mutually agreed that Jimmy would step down from his role as Academy Director.
“During my time as Chairman, I’ve always found Jimmy to be thoroughly professional and dedicated to his job.
“His passion for the club is evident and he will always be welcome at the University of Bolton Stadium.
“We’d like to thank him for his exceptional service to the club and wish him well for the future.”