- On July 24, 2018
Four inductees to ‘Legends Wall’ were selected and announced on Thursday 19th July, at the Shrimps Trust AGM. Morecambe supporters put forward 30 nominations during the course of the 2017/18 season, which saw nominees evenly split into three categories; “Pre-Conference”, “Conference Onwards” and “Officials and Fans”. Members were able to vote for their preferred candidates from each category, with the most popular selections joining the late Gerry Irving – who was pre-selected by the Trustee Board as a mark of respect and appreciation following his passing in June 2018.
Conference Onwards: Jim Bentley
Jim Bentley began his football in 1997 at Telford United, following in his father’s footsteps. The commanding centre-back was brought to Morecambe by Jim Harvey in 2002 and became an instant fans favourite. Having turned down offers to join other clubs, Jim left Bucks Head to sign for the Shrimps as it represented what he felt was his best opportunity to play in the Football League. That ambition became a reality in 2007 when ‘Jimbo’ captained the side to a famous 2-1 victory against Exeter City in the 2006/07 Conference play-off final at Wembley in front of 40,000 spectators. During his playing career, Jim made 326 appearances, scoring 34 goals in 9 seasons whilst also winning the 2003/04 Lancashire Junior Cup. Jim was appointed player-manager of the Shrimps on 13th May 2011, and has since hung up his playing boots to concentrate on the managerial role. Jim is currently the longest-serving manager in the top five divisions of English Football and has won the League Two Manager of the Month award twice during his tenure. During his 16 year association with the club, Jimbo has played for or managed over 650 games.
Pre-conference: Ian Cain
Winger who made 362 appearances for the club, scoring 75 goals in 8 seasons. Leading goal scorer and Player of the Year in 1989/90. Also chosen as NPL Player of the Season and an integral part of the team that gained promotion from the Northern Premier League. “Genius” (Andy Carter). “One of non-league’s flair players and the reason I chose to follow Morecambe” (Paul Hogdson). Ian Joined the Shrimps from Fleetwood Town for a then club record fee of £7,500 (determined by tribunal). This was soon made to look like a shrewd piece of business, as ‘Cainy’ fired the club into the GM Vauxhall Conference, before going on to be a mainstay in the side that established the Shrimps in the highest tier of non-league football. Fondly remembered by Supporters, Ian regularly features in many supporters all-time Shrimps XI and put on his playing boots in 2014 as part of the Morecambe Legends XI team that played the touring Shanghai Clever XI side at the Globe Arena.
Officials and Fans: Rod Taylor
Having initially been appointed as a director in February 1994, Rod Taylor is now approaching his 25th year as a member of the board. During that period and alongside fellow directors, Rod has overseen the most successful and sustained period of success in the clubs history – from the building of the North Stand at Christie Park, the transition to a full-time professional club, promotion to the Football League and the move into the Globe Arena. In 2016 when the sale of the clubs majority shareholding ultimately resulted in the Shrimps facing a severe financial crisis that threatened the clubs existence, Rod became the public figurehead that reassured and communicated with supporters and the local community. ”Mr Morecambe – this club would not be where it is without him” (Brian Campbell). “Simply a wonderful man, Rod deserves this nomination” (Debbie Dewhirst). “No need to explain” (Mark Lewis).
Trustee Board: Gerry Irving
The former Workington Red joined the Shrimps from Queen of the South in 1964. Gerry was an integral part of the 1967-68 team (perhaps the most successful side in the clubs history), which captured the Lancashire Combination League, the Lancashire Senior Trophy and the Lancashire Combination Cup in the same season. In total Gerry would play 243 games in league and cup for the Shrimps, scoring three goals. During his time at the club, he also won a further two Lancashire Combination Cups, the Lancashire Junior Cup and was a member of the 1967/68 Lancashire Combination title-winning side that lost just two league games. After retiring in 1969 Gerry remained involved with the club as a coach, acting as assistant manager to Ronnie Clayton and Dave Roberts in the side that lifted the 1974 FA Trophy at Wembley. He was a regular attendee and follower of the club and featured as a panellist at the Trusts Legends Evening in March 2018 alongside Keith Galley, Paul Burns, Andy Grimshaw and Danny Carlton.