King’s Lynn Town boss Gary Setchell hails his Captain Marvel after delivering touching gesture

Gary Setchell, far left, has had some warm words of praise for his captain Richard Bunting - picture

Gary Setchell, far left, has had some warm words of praise for his captain Richard Bunting - pictured here lifting the Evo-Stik Division One South crown on Tuesday. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

King's Lynn Town boss Gary Setchell is hopeful he can get another couple of seasons out of his Captain Marvel.

Skipper Richard Bunting will have an operation later this month on the groin problem which all but ended his part in the Linnets' title run-in.

Setchell was unable to call on his midfielder's services, on the pitch at least, after Lynn's trip to Chasetown on March 19.

And he believes that it's only during his absence that supporters have fully realised how important Bunting's role is in the side.

'He's been a terrific captain and if I can get one or two more years out of him once he's had his operation we'll be a lucky football club,' said the Lynn boss.

'Because I think if people didn't appreciate him before he was injured, they certainly did once he was. The players knew how big of a role he done but the in-the-stands supporter started to realise how big he was for us. He's been a real find for me, as have all of the signings.'

Bunting, 30, Dan Quigley and Russell Dunkley joined The Walks' club last summer after helping Long Buckby pip Setchell's men to the United Counties Premier Division.

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The trio have played an integral part in winning the Evo-Stik Division One South title with Lynn's on-pitch leader playing 39 times and scoring once.

His final appearance of the campaign came in the closing minutes of Tuesday's championship-clinching victory over Sheffield in what was another memorable moment on an unforgettable evening.

Despite being injured, Setchell brought Bunting on as a late substitute – to huge applause – so he could fully enjoy the wild celebrations which followed at a packed Walks.

The Lynn boss said: 'I didn't want him to just get stripped and come up and get the trophy, and not feel a part of it. I wanted him to be on the pitch at the end.

'He said: 'Gaffer, don't bring me on, not when the game's like this'. But I knew if the ball went into his area he'd have put something on the line and risked being out even longer because that's the type of player he is.

'But I think he earned the right to be on the pitch at the end of the season. The lad's appreciate it, I know Richard appreciates it, and he fully deserves it.'

Bunting played much of the season with an on-going groin problem which developed into a Gilmore Groin – more commonly known a sports' hernia. The holding-midfielder should be fit for pre-season once he has had surgery to rectify the issue on May 23.