Govan-based Jimmy had been filling the role since close friend Drew’s appointment. However, work pressure on top of him providing support to wife Lynn following the recent birth of their daughter, Ava, has caused the former Linlithgow, Cumnock and Arthurlie forward to curtail his football commitments … for the time being.

And he admitted to feeling relieved that gaffer Drew had come up with such a ready-made replacement.

“Our chairman Paul Fox will be delighted as he won’t need to shell out for a change of name on my tracksuit top,” he grinned.

“All kidding aside, it’s a real feather in the big man’s cap to entice someone of Gerry’s experience and standing in the game to join his backroom team and I can see Bellshill going from strength to strength as a result.

“Remember, we’re talking here about a player who, after leaving Celtic, was involved in a £1.5million transfer from Portsmouth to Manchester City, so I can just imagine the respect he’ll get.

“He’ll possess an array of training drills picked up at his various clubs which will be like a breath of fresh air to everyone. I’m gutted to be walking away at a time when there are definite signs of a reversal of fortunes at Bellshill.”

The former Linlithgow and Pollok coach denied his departure was linked with a Senior club enquiring after his backroom expertise.

He said: “Danny knows my reasons for taking a break are exactly as stated. He is also aware there was an approach from a club which I turned down.”

Drew believes the arrival of Gerry Creaney and yet another backroom coach – ex-Bellshill and Baillieston midfielder Frank McAleer – demonstrates the club’s desire to steer themselves clear of relegation danger.

He said: “The fresh ideas and the know-how of Gerry and Frank will be a massive boost to me behind the scenes.”

Drew has also strengthened his playing arm with the capture of one-time Celtic and Ayr United defender Mark Casey following his recent release by Clyde.

Meanwhile, yet another stopper on the lookout for a new club is the vastly-experienced Craig Baxter, placed on the open-to-transfer list today by Cumnock, while Cambuslang Rangers boss Alan Wardlaw has declared himself willing to listen to offers for striker Kevin Ogilvie.