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Runcorn Linnets appoint experienced EFL legend ahead of battle for playoff place

Runcorn Linnets appoint experienced EFL legend Billy Paynter ahead of his side’s battle for a playoff place with five games remaining.

He comes in to replace Dave Wild, who has been axed as manager, with the club sitting 5th in the Northern Premier League – West Division with 52 points from 33 games. Macclesfield can seal the title on Saturday.

38 year old Paynter, who had been a first team coach at Runcorn, has stepped up and face fourth place, hopeful of staying in the playoffs after patchy form in recent months at risk of losing them the valuable position they’re currently in.

The club said in a statement: “Following an emergency meeting of the Trust Board this evening, Runcorn Linnets have dismissed Dave Wild from the position of manager over matters of gross misconduct.

“First team coach Billy Paynter has agreed to take charge of team affairs, assisted by Jamie Rainford, with immediate effect.

“The club will be making no further comment on this matter.”


Billy Paynter is the head coach of the Northern Premier League Division One West club Runcorn Linnets.

He mostly played in the English Football League, scoring 131 goals in 529 cup and league appearances.

He was born in Liverpool and began his career at Port Vale in 2000. He made more than 150 appearances during his six-year tenure with the club. In 2005, he was voted Player of Year.

In January 2006, he was sold to Hull City.

He then moved on to Southend United eight month later.

After a stint on loan with Bradford City, his career was halted and he eventually moved to Swindon Town, August 2007.

He averaged more than one goal per three games for the club and was transferred to Leeds United in May 2010.

After joining Brighton & Hove Albion as a loan player in October 2011, he was granted a free transfer by Doncaster Rovers to take place in August 2012.

He was a key player in Rovers’ 2012-13 League One title win.

In January 2014, he was loaned to Sheffield United.

In June 2014, he signed with Carlisle United.

He then moved on to Hartlepool United 12 months later.

In November 2017, he moved to non league football and played for Warrington Town for a short time.

After retiring from playing, he became a coach. He has coached at RIASA, Port Vale, Everton and is now the head coach for Runcorn Linnets’ first team.

Youth career
1994–2000 – Port Vale

Senior career – *Club domestic league appearances and goals

2000–2006 – Port Vale – 144 games (30 goals)
2005–2006 → Hull City (loan) – 9 games (3 goals)
2006 – Hull City – 13 games (0 goals)
2006 → Southend United (loan) – 1 game (0 goals)
2006–2007 – Southend United – 8 games (0 goals)
2007 → Bradford City (loan) – 15 games (4 goals)
2007–2010 – Swindon Town – 122 games (45 goals)
2010–2012 – Leeds United – 27 games (3 goals)
2011–2012 → Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) – 10 games (0 goals)
2012–2014 – Doncaster Rovers – 46 games (13 goals)
2014 → Sheffield United (loan) – 13 games (0 goals)
2014–2015 – Carlisle United – 18 games (1 goal)
2015–2017 – Hartlepool United – 53 games (17 goals)
2017 – Warrington Town
Total – 478 games (116 goals)

International career
2006 – Football League England U21 – 1 game (0 goals)

This is what fans had to say as Runcorn Linnets appoint the experienced EFL legend, to replace Dave Wild, ahead of the battle for a playoff place in the 8th tier…

@ianwatling: Results have been poor since the Widnes game in December, always felt there was something going on behind the scenes. Hopefully it’s not been left to long to make the promotion spots

@Tina76866520: Gutted but @Paynts13 and @jayray10efc will be amazing let get behind these lads on Saturday utfc 💛💚

@Wilksy76: Really interesting. Let’s be honest, the football hasn’t been great recently. Nobody likes to see this sort of stuff but it might be a good thing going into the last throws of the season. 🤔

@lucyryder1107x: I’m sure @jayray10efc and @Paynts13 will do an amazing job for the rest of the season. Glad that your hard work has paid off. Lucky to have you pair at our club👏

@alexmorrell7: davey wilds yellow green army 🙁

@CarrPaul529: Good luck Billy 👍

@Chubbs1965: Gross misconduct you say? Hmm?

@s_mcneice10: Rough as that, cmon @Paynts13 🌽

@kc2310: Nice one to Wildy for getting us in to the position we’re in 👍 Good luck to @Paynts13 & @jayray10efc for the remainder of the season now 🔰


@PureSports01: Hope it doesn’t mess up the season but had to be done. I’m sure @Paynts13 will keep things steady and continue doing a great job.

@Jayleach10563: Not been quite right since the widnes away game up until then team was flying. Thanks @Wildy23 . Good luck @Paynts13 @jayray10efc COYL

@joannej1970: Wow didn’t see that coming good luck @Paynts13 and @jayray10efc 💛💚

@AllyLinnets: What the actual fuck

@NickARoyle: From a purely non-football perspective, I’ve not been impressed with some of the stuff he’s posted on social media. Not that popular with many of the fans, either, from conversations I’ve had. But good luck to him, and thanks for the many positive things he did for the club.

@4020pix: This is the fella that wanted to fight me for taking a photo of him at the end of the Reds match. Called me a fat c**t and had to be restrained from getting to me by a player. Wonder if it’s anything to do with anger? 😂

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