POLLOK manager John Richardson last night stepped down from his post - but insists it is not a knee-jerk reaction to Sunday's cup final defeat to Clydebank.

The Newlandsfield club relinquished their Sectional League Cup crown to the Bankies in a 2-0 defeat at Lochburn Park. However, Rich wants to put to bed any terracing whispers and revealed he will walk away from the game for good.

He said: "Clydebank were the better team on the day and fully deserved their win.

"It looks like a knee-jerk reaction for me to resign less than 24 hours later, but those close to me know this is not the case and that I have been weighing up my options for some considerable time because of a family health issue.

"Matters have now reached the point where I need to spend time away from the game so I have opted to quit rather than leave Pollok in a state of limbo and right now I would say there is no likelihood of John Richardson ever returning to the Junior scene.

"I've loved my time here so it troubles me to turn my back on the place at a time when the team-building job is still work in progress. I'll leave it to others to decide whether the team is better than when I took over."

Ask me about John Richardson and I'll tell you of a teenage full-back breaking into the Juniors at Vale of Clyde in the early 1980s when the game was much more physical than it is nowadays.

Nevertheless, the youngster impressed to the extent that Shrewsbury Town took him south for trials and he had the distinction of staying in the same club boarding house as David Moyes, Dougie Bell, Alan Irvine and Jim Melrose.

Our paths crossed again when a homesick John came back up the road to join the Sconey Davidson-steered Kilbirnie Ladeside and I cannot recall him ever shirking a challenge in often meaty clashes against Auchinleck Talbot.

His by-now honed competitive qualities then served him well playing with Shotts Bon Accord (five seasons), Maryhill (three seasons) as well as shorter stints at Pollok, Cambuslang Rangers and Larkhall Thistle before hanging up the boots at the age of 36 and stepping into management in tandem with long-time ally John Mitchell.

The duo enjoyed instant success at Kilsyth Rangers and latterly with Rob Roy, so Rich was never going to be fazed by the challenge of taking up the helm at a relegation-threatened Pollok when disgruntled supporters forced previous boss Willie Irvine to quit two years ago.

Keeping the famous old Southside club up against a backdrop of financial meltdown was no mean feat, yet John achieved it via the play-offs.

He went on to better the club's's league position last season while also lifting two pieces of silverware - the Euroscot Eng-sponsored Sectional League Cup and League Cup.

It's looking like he has now called time on his spell in Junior football and he added of his stint at Pollok: "Our club officials being very supportive of my behind-the-scenes concerns has been a godsend as, indeed, has the work put in by my No.2 Stevie Docherty and player/coach Brian McGinty.

"They have put as much time and effort as myself into putting the current Pollok team on the park and I believe they have earned the opportunity to continue in the job and try to bring further success to this club and its supporters.

"The Pollok manager's position is a prestigious one so plenty of others will be throwing their hat in the ring, but none deserve it more in my book than Docco and Gints."

Southside club officials met last night and it is believed they have asked Docherty and McGinty to look after team matters on a caretaker basis, starting with Saturday's home clash against Luncarty in the Scottish Junior Cup first round.