AFC Darwen are looking forward to next season under the guidance of Mark Patterson. Mark made over 650 games as a professional scoring 70 goals and playing over 100 games as a midfielder for Blackburn Rovers. He also played for a number of other North West clubs including Bolton Wanderers. He went on to play, and then to manage, in non-League football including Chorley, Darwen and Leigh RMI. He has managed at Scarborough and was assistant manager at Hednesford Town.

Born and bred in Darwen Mark is relishing the challenge to restore some of the former glory to the club using his wide experience and knowledge of the game.

Mark is a qualified UEFA ‘A’ Licence coach, and has attended the FA Managers and Coaches course coaching at the Bolton Wanderers Academy and at Wigan Athletic. His wealth of experience also extends to having been first team coach at Accrington Stanley. Club Secretary Elaine Littler said ‘we are delighted to have Mark at the club. He has already put in place his team of back room staff who between them have the professional football experience to take the club forward. Many people forget that AFC Darwen are the highest ranked amateur club in the Borough.’

Mark is already assembling a squad of players to build on the last two seasons in the North West Counties Premier League.