The match against Clitheroe last Tuesday evening marked 50 matches as Ramsbottom United manager for Chris Willcock.

He took over at The Harry Williams Riverside Stadium on 4 October 2018 following the departure of Mark Fell to Lancaster City with the club languishing in 15th place in the NPL West Division.

Chris, who was a prolific striker for the Rams from 2000 to 2002 showed his work ethic and passion for the position immediately as he went on a 12-match two-month unbeaten run and recorded just one loss in his first 18 to the end of the calendar year.

2019 opened with a loss to eventual league winners Atherton Collieries but would continue with the never-to-be-forgotten FA Trophy run that took the club to an away victory at Weymouth and to within two minutes of disposing of eventual Trophy winners AFC Fylde at the Riverside.

He took the club from a lowly 15th under Fell to fifth and an unlikely play-off place before kicking off the 2019/20 campaign with a single loss in the eight games thus far.

Chris’ 50 matches have seen Rammy win 30 and lose only eight with 12 draws, of which 35 were in the league where he has overseen 22 wins, six draws and just seven defeats.

And it has been hugely entertaining as well as there have been 112 goals scored and 57 conceded.

Chris’ predecessor Mark Fell, alongside for much of it Paul Fildes, saw 20 wins and 20 defeats (10 draws) from their first 50 with 80 goals scored and 93 conceded.

Many a comparison has been made with the golden era of the club under Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley and their record after 50 games comes up just shy of Chris’.

‘Jonno and Bernard’ saw 29 wins and 13 losses in their first 50 (eight draws) whilst in the league, they saw 40 games and 23 wins, 9 losses and 8 draws. They also saw their charges score 114 goals to the 87 conceded.

The strong start to the 2019-20 campaign sees the Rams currently placed second in the league and through to the second qualifying round of the FA Cup so this season promises to be just as exciting as the the last. Here’s to the next 50 games!

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