Longest-serving football manager to retire after 50 years

Jimmy Davies in 2013 and early 1970s
Image caption Mr Davies, who first took charge in 1963, said he had enjoyed managing "tremendously"

English football's longest-serving manager is to retire at the end of the season from the club he formed with a group of friends 50 years ago.

Jimmy Davies, 71, is stepping down as boss of Waterloo Dock AFC, in the Liverpool County Premier League.

Mr Davies, who first took charge in 1963, said he had enjoyed managing "tremendously".

He added that life in the grassroots game had been "proper football".

Mr Davies's claim to be the longest-serving manager in England has been verified by The Football Association.

He said he had "made the bold announcement" ahead of the club's AGM though would remain on the committee.

"Time moves on [and] the modern age is catching up on me," he said.

Mr Davies will have been in charge for 24 more years than Sir Alex Ferguson, who recently announced he was stepping down at Manchester United after 26 years, but said there were not many similarities between their tenures.

"I don't think Fergie gets involved in washing football kits like my wife does," he said.

'Accidental manager'

Waterloo Dock AFC was formed by a group of friends who worked on Liverpool docks in 1963.

It was the same year Harry Catterick led Everton to the English first division title and Bill Shankly's Liverpool began a campaign that would bring them their sixth English championship.

In February of 1963 The Beatles recorded their first album, Please Please Me.

Mr Davies, who has logged every game's appearances and scorers ever since, said he had played "early on but after six weeks, the lads found me out and, trying to be nice, said 'you can go and be our manager'.

"It was purely by accident."

Mr Davies's tenure has seen the club win more than 70 trophies.

Waterloo Dock's best-known player was striker John Durnin, who started his career with the side before being sold to Liverpool for £500 in 1986.

Mr Davies's last game as manager will be on 28 May.

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites