Wisbech Town legend Steve Appleby quits as boss while Downham Town chief Pete Brassett also resigns

Former Wisbech Town boss Steve Appleby.

Former Wisbech Town boss Steve Appleby. - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Town were left stunned tonight after Steve Appleby quit as the club's manager.

One of the area's most succesful non-league bosses decided now was the time to end his 1,282-day reign. His loyal assistant Chris Dear departed with him and Appleby admits it was a decision he should have made in the summer when the Fenmen turned down promotion to Step Four of the pyramid.

He said: 'I let my heart rule my head in the summer. I'm very loyal and I tried to work through things and I tried to give it my all.

'If I'm honest, I have lost a bit of desire, a bit of motivation and I didn't feel I was doing myself or the club justice. It's the right thing to do, even if I love the club. I respect the reasons behind the decision to not take promotion, but even now I'm still absolutely gutted about not going up.'

Ex-Fenmen midfielder Appleby, the third longest-serving manager in the club's history, stepped into the hot seat on February 10, 2010 after Dick Creasey had temporarily replaced King's Lynn Town-bound boss Gary Setchell. He helped Wisbech secure their highest league finish in 16 years, runners-up last season, and win two League Cup finals in three campaigns.

The 46-year-old was quick to dismiss immediate rumours linking him with the soon-to-be possibly vacant Spalding United post. Appleby wasn't the only boss to go this evening. Downham Town's Pete Brassett also resigned from his post, citing personal reasons.

The 26-year-old boss of the Thurlow Nunn First Division club, who has been involved with the club since 2010 and became manager in January, said: 'At this moment in time, my family need me more than the football club.

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'I need to put my family first for once. I want them and my wife (Leanne) to take centre stage. After eight football and cricket seaons I feel I need a rest. My work/life balance is terrible, and if I'm not at work I'm sorting football stuff.

'It's time my family sees me and my wife gets the husband she deserves. We've been married for 18 months and I've only been free for three weekends. We've got a kid on the way and for now, I need to spend time with her and my family. I wouldn't rule out a return to football in the future, but now I need some time away.'

Brassett's assistant Steve Nobes also followed him out of the door.