Profile: potential new Lincoln City manager Gary Simpson
Gary Simpson is a frontrunner in the race to become Lincoln City's new manager, following the exit of David Holdsworth.
Simpson, who was Keith Alexander's assistant for four years, is understood to be an early favourite to fill the role. He will, however, have to trump Grant Brown, who is also understood to be on the board’s radar.
Gary Simpson is the fans' favourite to land the job, according to a poll.
In addition to Sincil Bank, Simpson’s managerial career has taken him to Gainsborough Trinity and Macclesfield Town.
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Prior to this he enjoyed a 15-year playing career, donning the shirts of clubs including Boston United, Stafford Rangers and Hyde United. Simpson’s playing days began at Stoke City.
He became player/manager at Gainsborough Trinity in 1991, a role in which he stayed until 1993. His focus then turned to the pitch – he penned a deal with Arnold Town before playing a season at Hyde United in 1994.
He was Keith Alexander's assistant at Lincoln for four years as they reached the play-offs during their reign in 2002 to 2006, and fulfilled the role of caretaker manager between 2003 and 2004.
Both Simpson and Alexander were placed on gardening leave in January 2006, but while the latter returned to his post days later, Simpson departed the club.
The following summer he joined Bury coaching staff, taking charge of both scouting duties and the Shakers' reserve side.
In March 2010, following the death of Keith Alexander, 50-year-old Simpson was promoted from his role as assistant to caretaker boss at Macclesfield.
He was the following month named permanent manager for the next two seasons, having led Macc to 18 points from his 10 games in charge.
In November that year he earned the praise of Macclesfield Town defender Paul Morgan for the start the club had made to League Two.
The player told BBC Radio Manchester: "I think the budget that Macclesfield have is the smallest in this league and we're in the top 10 and that's a tremendous effort - especially with the results we had last season too after the death of Keith Alexander so he's done a tremendous job."
In May 2011, having led the club to a 15th-placed finish in League Two in his first full season in management - their highest in six seasons - Simpson extended his contract. He penned a deal keeping him at the Moss Rose until the end of the 2013 season.
Chairman Mike Rance said: "Gary has brought the club through another hugely difficult season, pulling together a talented, young group of players."
But in March 2012, after a 16-game winless run in League Two which left the Silkmen only out of the relegation zone on goal difference, Simpson was sacked.
Chairman Mike Rance said: "Gary is a friend and a colleague and I'm pleased to say as we go forward he will remain a friend.
"He's a top guy and he'd done absolutely everything he could possible do for the club and he understands the reasons why we've done what we've done, and I wish him all the best for his future."
Twenty nine per cent of supporters would love to see the former Imps assistant manager back at Sincil Bank to succeed David Holdsworth as manager, according to a poll.