GORMAN ON COMPASSIONATE LEAVE
(Friday 21st April 2006)
John Gorman shows the stress in a recent game at MacclesfieldWanderers Manager John Gorman has said that his inability to motivate himself prompted his decision to step away from his job and take 'compassionate leave'. Gorman, who lost his wife to cancer in February, told the playing squad his decision on Wednesday with an official announcement being made on Thursday morning. The Wycombe boss told the Wanderers World subscription service "It's been a very difficult decision but I spoke to the Board last night and my decision was that I'm not been motivating myself, never mind the team and I don't think it's right that I should be the Manager at this time when the team has been struggling."

Gorman, who was appointed Wycombe Manager in November 2004, insists he is not walking away from the job but admits that the effects of losing his wife means that his life is unlikely to ever get back to 'normal. He added "Because of my circumstances it has taken a bit out of me and I've decided I've not been of any help to the team. I'm not walking away. What's happened to me has taken its toll and probably I should have done it straight away but maybe I've had time to reflect and now it's just come to head and results haven't helped and I've been really down about things and thinking that I'm not helping the team of late, so it would be better if Brownie and Rhino and the other staff can help and probably better than me at the present time."

The statement issued at around 10.45am on Thursday 20th April on the official website (www.wwfc.com) read, "Following discussions yesterday between John Gorman and representatives of the Board of WWFC, the Club has reluctantly accepted John's wishes, in that the change in his family and personal circumstances brought about by the recent passing of his wife Myra, mean that he feels he is unable at this time to correctly lead and motivate the team and continue in the role of football manager for Wycombe Wanderers FC. As a result the Board support John in allowing him to step back from his day to day involvement with the team and focus his time and emotions on his home and family. John plans to resume his full time duties with WWFC before the start of the new season. In the interim, and effective as of today, Steve Brown, assisted by Keith Ryan and Terry Evans, will take over football team selection and training of the players, starting with the game against Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday April 22nd."

A further statement from Chairman Ivor Beeks was issued later in the day. It said, "He (John Gorman) needs some time and space to collect his thoughts and come to terms with the situation. We are extremely sorry to lose John's services but he has been struggling with all the problems he has had to deal with over the past two to three months. This decision is very admirable to move over for a period of time and let someone else take on the responsibility. He has done it with the best interest of the Club and team at heart and it is just typical of the man." The statement concluded, "The Club have looked after him and told him to return when he feels the time is right." Wanderers Managing Director Steve Hayes has also stressed that there is still place at the Club for Gorman. Hayes commented to the Bucks Free Press, "John Gorman is still our Manager and we look forward to seeing him again when the season is over".

If Gorman decides to return remains to be seen having admitted that the combined effects of dealing with the death of Mark Philo followed six weeks later by his wife of 37 years has made a dramtic impact on his own life. He said the decision to leave was his own but was backed 100% by the Board. He said "They (the Board) felt that I obviously need time out to get myself back to normal, which I doubt if I will ever." Gorman explained his feelings leading up to his decision, commenting to Wanderers World, "I found that when Mark Philo died it was a big thing for the Club and I took a lot on at the time, not realising that the events that were going to occur later with my wife. To be honest it has hit us like a ton of bricks and it's got worse rather than better. If results had been better maybe I could have found a little bit more enjoyment and a bit more will. But I just felt I couldn't motivate myself in the morning to go to work which before was the opposite and I couldn't wait to get there." He now believes that his absence will allow the team to achieve their season long ambition of promotion, adding, "I feel that not being the there the lads will just get on with it. All we need now is wins to get in the play-offs."

Meanwhile, Steve Brown, said that the Manager had not been himself since the passing of his wife and that he had confessed to him after the Lincoln game that he had lost the motivation to lead the team. But Brown now wants to complete the task of getting promotion, saying to the Bucks Free Press, "We will do our best to finish the job he started. If we do get into the play-offs and go up it will be John Gorman's achievement not ours. The credit will be down to him and the players."

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