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Dave Challinor



Challinor arrives at The Vic on the back of a long and hugely successful spell as boss at AFC Fylde, during which he oversaw The Coasters’ impressive elevation through the footballing pyramid.

When Challinor took the reins at Fylde, the club were playing their football in Northern Premier League Division One North but an ambitious strategy on and off the pitch was to pave the way for a rapid rise.

Born in Chester, Challinor began his playing days in the colours of Tranmere Rovers where he came through the ranks to develop in to a hugely popular centre-back at Prenton Park.

Allied to his competitive and no-nonsense nature as a defender, he also caught the eye due to his enormous throw-in – in 1998 he claimed the World Record for the longest thrown when he hurled a ball 46.34 metres to beat the record held by Andy Legg.

Challinor enjoyed success with Tranmere, playing for them in the 2000 League Cup Final, before Stockport County stumped up a fee of £120,000 to take him to Edgeley Park in January 2002.

After a couple of seasons with The Hatters he was allowed to join Bury on loan in January 2004 and he made that move to Gigg Lane a permanent one in the summer which followed.

He was installed as Club Captain at Bury and spent four years there before a knee injury forced him to retire from professional football at the end of the 2007/08 campaign.

Challinor was able to play part-time and became skipper of Colwyn Bay with whom he reached the play-offs two seasons in succession and secured promotion in 2010 after which he was appointed as Player/Manager of the club.

His first season as manager saw The Bay finish runners-up in the Northern Premier League Premier Division and they triumphed in the play-offs to be promoted to National League North, while they also claimed the North Wales Coast Cup.

It was in November 2011 that Challinor was tempted away to join AFC Fylde as boss and his magic touch continued as they were promoted from Northern Premier League Division One North as champions in his season in charge.

The Coasters made it to the play-offs in the season under his watch, while also making it through to the First Round Proper of the FA Cup and winning silverware in the form of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy.

They went one better in 2013/14 when Fylde won the play-offs to take their place in National League North, retaining the Challenge Trophy in to the bargain and claiming the Fair Play Award.

In 2016/17 there was more joy for Challinor and the Fylde supporters as they clinched another promotion as Champions of National League North and he led the club in to the fifth tier for the first time in their history.

He then led them a third place finish in the National League in 2017/18 only to fall at the play-off hurdle, while last term he took them to Wembley where they won the FA Trophy.