KEVIN Gill was overcome with emotion after confirming his resignation as Crossflatts Village manager due to work commitments.

Gill - who is undoubtedly the most successful manager in the club’s proud history - leaves the club in safe hands after lifting five trophies in the last two seasons.

He said: “It’s been one of the hardest decisions I have ever made but I think it’s the right one.

"I am going to be away for most of next season so it’s only fair that I step down.

"I absolutely love this football club and I will miss it badly.”

Gill took over the management reins from Stephen George before the start of the 2016-2017 campaign and he had a successful first season in charge, with Village finishing second in the Wharfedale Triangle Premiership, before losing to Bradford Phoenix in the Keighley FA Sunday Cup final 7-2.

The defeat to Bradford Phoenix proved to be the catalyst for the club’s glorious run as Gill made his best-ever signing in Les Cooper.

Gill added: “I realised during the Keighley FA Sunday Cup hiding against Bradford Phoenix that I needed some help running the side, so I got Les Cooper in that summer as my joint-manager and he’s played a massive part in the last two seasons, and he's helped us get established as one of the best Sunday sides in the local area.”

Cooper’s arrival, the club’s switch to the Bradford Sunday Alliance League back in 2017, and several astute new signings helped the club to the most successful season in their history.

Last season they won the Bradford Sunday Alliance Championship on goal difference, after overcoming a massive goal-difference swing in the run-in, including a 17-1 win away at Toller in the penultimate game of the league season.

The club also won the Keighley FA Sunday Cup and Bradford Sunday Alliance Senior Cups to secure the treble.

Promotion to the Premiership followed and they won that title at the first attempt last season, retained the Keighley FA Sunday Cup, and then missed out on back-to-back trebles when they lost to Oakenshaw AFC 1-0 in the Bradford Sunday Alliance Senior Cup final.

Gill joined the club in a permanent basis back in 2013 after leaving the Army and he quickly became a fans' favourite with his all-action no nonsense playing style. He started out as a box-to-box midfielder but dropped back into centre-back a few seasons later.

Village Secretary Paul Dean said: "When he took over as manager, he had a vision that the club would play good football and that the players would always give their all for the fans.

"He wanted to create an atmosphere where players could express themselves and play to the best of their abilities - and that has what he has achieved.

"In each of his three seasons in charge, he has managed to be successful and improve each year without affecting team morale, - which is testament to his man management skills.

"Gill leaves a legacy behind him and the club is now in a great position both on and off the pitch.

"He was a fearless player and an excellent leader of men. He led by example both on and off the pitch, and even more so in the bar afterwards. Kev is a one-off and he will be sorely missed."

Cooper also announced that he is stepping down from his role, so that he can enjoy retirement.

The club have just confirmed current players Oliver Metcalfe and Joe Lunn will be taking over from Gill and Cooper as joint-managers with immediate effect.

Both Metcalfe and Lunn are experienced and loyal Village players and they will look to build on the excellent work done by Gill and Cooper.

With pre-season training beginning later this month, the new management team will be looking to add a couple of quality signings to their squad to add their mark to an already impressive group of players.

The new management duo will be looking to retain the Bradford Sunday Alliance Premiership title and make further progress in the FA Sunday and West Riding County FA Sunday Cups next season.