Ex-Blues boss Williams recalls great escape at Buxton

Former Whitby Town boss Darren Williams shows his delight during his spell in charge of the Blues Picture: Brian Murfield
Former Whitby Town boss Darren Williams shows his delight during his spell in charge of the Blues Picture: Brian Murfield

Darren Williams’ sacking earlier this week brought to an end a managerial reign at the Turnbull Ground that stretches back more than four years.

Williams took over as manager in October 2011 with the Blues looking doomed to relegation, yet he masterminded a spectacular final day of the season escape.

A Tom Portas goal in a 1-0 success at Buxton saved Town from the drop after Williams brought about a staggering upturn in the club’s fortunes after taking over a struggling side from his predecessor Tommy Cassidy.

“Winning at Buxton on the last day of the season and staying up after we looked dead and buried has to be the highlight of my time here,” Williams reflected.

“Nobody gave us a chance, and the club were even preparing for life in the division below, yet we pulled it off. It’s one of the biggest achievements in my career.”

Since saving the club from relegation in 2011/12 he has since guided the club to 12th, ninth and 13th-placed finishes in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

After a slow start to 2012/13, Williams led a much-improved Town team to a comfortable mid-table finish, a relative luxury by comparison to the trauma of the previous campaign.

Inspired by 30 goals from Graeme Armstrong - arguably Williams’ best signing for Whitby - the Blues side of 2013/14 mounted a genuine bid to reach the play-offs, eventually falling short, but leaving the fans with plenty of memories along the way.

Highlights included beating FC United of Manchester home and away and an incredible 7-0 drubbing of north east rivals Blyth Spartans at their own ground.

Looking to the future, Williams remains ambitious, and admits he hopes to embark on a new challenge sooner rather than later.

“I want to get straight back into management as soon as possible, but I need to wait for the job that is right for me.

“Just a day after Whitby sacked me I’d already had two offers, but they weren’t right for me at this moment in time.

“I’m ambitious, and I believe I’ve done a good job at Whitby and that I have the ability to take a club a long way as a manager.”

Dave Campbell’s association with the Blues stretches back more than 19 years, both as a player and a member of the backroom staff.

Williams said that he feels particularly bad for Campbell that he has been cut adrift by the Turnbull hierarchy.

“Dave has been such a loyal servant, like me he has done so much for the club and has been connected with the place a lot longer than I have,” he said.

“He deserves better, in my opinion. it’s a real shame that after everything he has given to Whitby Town that things have ended up like this for him.

“I know that we will both want to come back to the Turnbull in time, once the dust has settled as we have so many friends here. We will be back, and I look forward to it.”