MICHAEL Clegg has quit Atherton Colls to become the manager of Ashton United.

After guiding his hometown club to the Northern Premier League for the first time in its history Clegg officially announced his departure today to take up the reins at Ashton, who have recently attracted new wealthy ownership.

Clegg was appointed in the summer of 2014 and led the previously unheralded team to an unimaginable string of trophies in just over five years.

Colls, currently placed just above the relegation zone with games in hand, now begin the search for a new manager after reluctantly stepping aside to allow Clegg to make the move across Manchester.

“It is with great sadness that Atherton Collieries can confirm the departure of manager Michael Clegg and his staff,” a Colls club statement read.

“Taking charge in 2014, three promotions in five years saw the club rise from the North West Counties Division One to the Northern Premier League for the first time in its history.

“We’d like to put on record our thanks to Michael for the most successful period in the club’s history, the club will forever grateful for the memories created during his tenure.

“We are accepting applications for the role of Manager, please contact Chairman Paul Gregory on 07811 341673 in the first instance, the deadline for applications is 7pm on Saturday, November 30.”

A statement from Ashton United’s joint chairmen, David and Jonathan Burke, said, “Despite broad interest in our vacancy from a number of outstanding individuals Michael fits the ethos and ambition of our club perfectly. We look forward to him taking the reins and introducing new impetus to the club as we look to quickly climb the league. Welcome to Hurst Cross, Michael.

“Ashton United would like to thank and acknowledge the support of Atherton Collieries FC who, despite losing their very successful and ambitious manager, have not presented any barriers to Michael moving across Greater Manchester We wish them well for the future.”