Cook about turns and takes Stanley job

Last updated : 13 February 2012 By Tony Scholes

Cook, who joined Accrington after leaving Turf Moor at the end of the 2002/03 season, hung up his boots when Stanley reached the Football League. He had a spell as manager of Southport before moving on to Sligo almost five years ago, a club who have also been served as manager by Steve Cotterill, Jimmy Mullen and Tommy Cassidy.

Such has been his success there he's been linked with other jobs and notably recently he's turned down overtures from St. Johnstone and Derry City whilst being linked with a coaching role at Bristol City.

It looked almost certain on Saturday that he'd also turned down Accrington, but earlier today his agent, another former Claret Gordon 'Stretch' Armstrong, confirmed he was on his way to the Crown Ground.

On confirming the appointment, to run until the end of the 2013/14 season, chief executive Rob Heys said: "We are delighted to welcome Paul to the Crown Ground and look forward to seeing him and Leam Richardson continue to take Accrington Stanley forward.

"Paul knows what the club is all about, he knows that he will have the support of everyone here from the board to the staff, the supporters and the players."

Cook himself said: "It's with great sadness that I leave Sligo, but all my thoughts now are on trying to maintain the success that Accrington Stanley have enjoyed since I was here as a player."

The reaction in Ireland has been one of disappointment but also one of thanks to Cook for his contribution since his appointment in April 2007.

Michael Toolan, the Sligo Rovers chairman, said: “Paul Cook has the distinction of being the most successful manager in the history of Sligo Rovers. His achievements will live long in the memory of everybody associated with Rovers and we want to thank him for his outstanding and historic contribution to us.

“Paul is greatly admired for his management skills but also the attractive style of football his team produced, his engagement with supporters and the hunger to see Sligo Rovers win honours. It produced three trophies, regular European football and some of the best league seasons we have ever had.

"It made him universally popular with the club’s fans, the wider community in Sligo and beyond. We did not want to lose Paul but we also respected his wish of returning to England."

Cook becomes the third former Burnley player to appear on the list of current managers alongside two others from League Two - Mark Yates at Cheltenham and Steve Davis at Crewe.