League One club Cambridge United have confirmed that they have officially parted ways with their head coach, Mark Bonner, as they struggle down in the bottom-half of the third-tier table.
The majority owner of the club, Paul Barry, said in a club statement: “I want to start by simply saying this – Mark Bonner will rightly go down as one of the most important people in the history of Cambridge United Football Club.”
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The 38-year-old coach leaves his hometown club after spending over three and a half years at the helm, in which Cambridge gained promotion from League Two to League One during his time in charge.
Bonner, with no playing career, joined the club at the age of just 17, working in the Centre of Excellence, which eventually had to be closed after the club entered into administration. He joined Southend United three years later to work in their academy before returning to Cambridge in 2011.
Working in a number of roles, as well as being in charge of the club’s feeder side the Cambridge Regional College, Bonner eventually worked on the coaching staff of Shaun Derry and then Colin Calderwood.
After Calderwood’s dismissal in February 2020, Bonner was given the job on a permanent basis the next month, just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. In his first season in charge, Cambridge gained an extremely unlikely promotion to League One, having started the campaign as one of the favourites for relegation.
They have started both seasons in the third-tier positively before fading relatively dramatically and they narrowly avoided the drop on the final day of last season.
The U’s began this season with four wins in their opening six matches but have since managed to pick up just three victories in their last 13 so find themselves, once again, tumbling down the League One table.
The club have stated they will now be considering their options as to the next appointment before adding: “In the meantime, Barry Corr, working with Kevin Betsy will have responsibility for the first-team squad.”