James Beattie: Accrington Stanley part company with boss

James Beattie
Former Southampton and Stoke striker James Beattie was in his first managerial job

Accrington Stanley have parted company with manager James Beattie by mutual consent after 16 months in charge.

The 36-year-old former England striker took over from Leam Richardson in May 2013, having initially been a player-coach at the Lancashire club.

Stanley are 21st in League Two, with four points from six games.

Beattie's former assistant Paul Stephenson will act as interim manager for Saturday's home League Two game against AFC Wimbledon.

"It is with a hugely heavy heart that I decided to end this journey," Beattie told the club website.

"I can never fully repay the faith and backing I got from the players, my staff and of course the fans who always gave me 100%."

Beattie's career
Beattie's playing career began at Blackburn and took him to Southampton, Everton, Sheffield United, Stoke, Rangers and Blackpool before he joined Stanley in November 2012
Combined transfer fees paid for him totalled more than £14m
He won his first England cap against Australia in February 2003 and went on to win five in total, without scoring
His club career included 497 appearances and he scored 141 goals

Accrington lost six of their first eight matches this term, including being knocked out of both the League Cup and Johnstone's Paint Trophy, but registered their first win of the season last weekend against Tranmere Rovers.

However, that result was not enough to persuade the former Southampton and Stoke forward, who scored six league goals in 25 appearances as a player for Accrington after joining in 2012, to carry on.

The club, who have one of the smallest budgets in the Football League, finished 15th in League Two in Beattie's first full season in charge.