Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has paid tribute to Garry Thompson following the decision to not renew the Shrimps winger’s contract.
Thompson’s deal ended on December 31, but Bentley was full of praise for the man he not only managed but also played alongside during his Shrimps career.
The Morecambe boss said: “Thommo has been a fantastic servant, I know him from playing with him, he’s a good friend of mine, I can’t speak highly enough of him.
“But his career looked dead and buried at 37 when he got his injury at Crewe last year, when he snapped his Achilles, but as a football club we have done right by him.
“Any other club could just say ‘he’s 37, he’s injured, away you go’.
“But we got him right, we gave him the opportunity to get back, obviously on a very low wage which has been very hard for him to manage.
“But to be fair to Thommo, he’s been doing other things away from football now for life after his career, which are progressing well so fair play to him.
“So, when it comes to the end of his contract, which is a strange time because it’s mid-season, usually it’s at the end of the season where you say your goodbyes and everyone goes on holiday.
“This stage of the season there’s still a lot of football to be played when you look at it, the whole thing, Thommo’s got to do right by himself, first and foremost.
“I’ve got to do what’s right by the football club.
“If it was about Jim Bentley and Garry Thompson I’d give him a couple of years and I’d give him any money because it’s not my money, but when I am working for the football club I’ve got to spend the money wisely and do what we’ve got to do.
“So, putting everything in the pot with regards to finances, with regards to where he is at in his career and wanting to play regularly, is he going to get into our team on a regular basis?
“His age, the other players in the squad, my job to improve all areas, certainly to score more goals, there’s a lot to take into consideration.
“I’ve had a couple of chats with Thommo, unfortnuately that’s the route that we’ve gone down.
“He’s left the club and I can’t speak highly enough of him.
“There’s been a good response with regards to the best wishes and feeling towards him because he’s a fantastic person, he’s been a great player for us and we wish him well for the future.
“But it’s my job to try and do what’s best to try and spend what money we have accordingly in the positions that I feel we need it.
“And that’s what hopefully we will get right in the coming weeks during the January transfer window but he’s been fantastic for us.
“I would like him to come back and say his proper goodbyes because it was a bit awkward with the way his contract ran out on the 31st and him getting his head around everything.
“I’m sure he will, he’s a friend of the club and he’ll certainly hold the club dear to him for the rest of his life but at this present moment, unfortunately the way it is, that’s what’s happening.”