James Graham “Jim” Bentley was born on June 11th 1976 in Liverpool and is currently manager of League Two club Morecambe. Bentley, who debuted for Telford United in 1997, moved to Morecambe in 2002 where he predominantly played at the centre of the defence.
In June 2010, Jim was appointed player-coach, having spent the previous season in a coaching role with the reserve team. On 13 May 2011, Bentley was appointed the player-manager of Morecambe on a two-year contract, but since then (as of February 2013) he has concentrated on the managerial role and has not played a competitive match since taking on that post. He signed a two-year contract extension with the Shrimps on 10 October 2013.
Jim is an iconic figure who epitomises all that is good in the game of football. When I spent 11 years raising money (£30,000) for the Orthopaedic Ward at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary Jim was always first to put his name forward whether it was a Golf Club Dinner, a Sponsored Walk, a reunion at the Skerton Liberal Club or playing the role of an auctioneer at one of our charity auctions. I remember on one occasion he drove from Birkenhead to Lancaster, joined us on the sponsored walk to Caton, and then drove home to the Wirral. He regularly presented the cheque to the Orthopaedic Ward sister and was popular with the nurses on that ward particularly when he wore his shorts.
His dad, Jack, was Jim’s hero and a legend at Wellington Town FC (now Telford United) where he scored a remarkable 431 goals in 835 appearances, including 52 in a single season. The club was formed in late 1872 as Parish Church Institute, and in 1879 was renamed Wellington Town. In 1969 the club was renamed Telford United in recognition of the new town which had grown around Wellington.