Lowestoft Town desperate to see off Chapman in style
- Credit: Nick Butcher
It promises to be an emotional occasion at Crown Meadow as Micky Chapman takes charge of Lowestoft Town for the final time against Barrow.
After 33 years with the Trawlerboys, Chapman's long association will officially end just before 5pm this afternoon and supporters will be keen to show their appreciation to 'Mr Lowestoft'.
Chapman admitted he will find it difficult to say goodbye to the fans.
'I'm really going to miss the supporters – there's no doubt about that,' said Chapman, who has helped take the club up through the non-league pyramid alongside Ady Gallagher, inset, and Craig Fleming, who left the club earlier this season.
'I've made so many friends at Crown Meadow over the years and it's going to be difficult to say goodbye.
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'I've already shed a few tears since I announced my decision and I'm sure there will be a few more come the end of the Barrow game.'
Chapman has decided to call it a day from football altogether to spend more time with his wife, Rhea. He has assured supporters that he won't be turning out for any other club in the future despite the inevitable offers from other non-league clubs in the area.
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'There's no point any other clubs trying to contact me – I'm a Blue and I always will be,' he said.
'I'm just looking forward to having a bit more time to myself and not having the stress of it all. I've loved every minute of my time at Lowestoft but it's time someone else gave it a go.'
Chapman insists he won't be a stranger to the club and is looking forward to watching the Blues next season as a supporter.
'My Saturday afternoons are going to be my own again,' he said.
'But I will definitely go and watch Lowestoft when I can. I can't wait to watch them without all the pressure involved. I'm looking forward to just watching them and then going to have a pint with the fans in the clubhouse after.'
Chapman's farewell is not the only item on the agenda at the Meadow though. Visitors Barrow must beat Lowestoft to be certain of taking the Conference North title and promotion with it.
AFC Fylde, who came up alongside Lowestoft, sit in second place just two points behind the Bluebirds and could take advantage of any slip-up.
Lowestoft will be without Danny Crow due to an ankle injury sustained on his comeback from a shoulder problem.
Andrew Fisk is also sidelined with a calf injury whilst Rossi Jarvis is suspended due to his sending off against Worcester City earlier this month.