Danny Grainger is set to quit as Workington Reds manager at the end of the season to pursue new challenges.

The Borough Park club tonight announced that the 37-year-old would leave when his contract expires in the summer.

Grainger said it was the "right time...to see what the future holds for me personally."

The surprise news comes two months before the end of the current Northern Premier League Premier Division season.

It will bring an end to Grainger's two-year second spell as manager of the west Cumbrian club.

The former Carlisle United captain led Reds to NPL West promotion through the play-offs last season and they have consolidated in mid-table in the higher division this term.

Workington said they announced the news "with great disappointment" but "fully understand" Grainger's decision and said the Cumbrian will leave the club with their best wishes and thanks "for two wonderful seasons".

News and Star: Grainger's assistant managers at Reds are Jamie Devitt, centre, and Conor TinnionGrainger's assistant managers at Reds are Jamie Devitt, centre, and Conor Tinnion (Image: Gary McKeating)

He will oversee the rest of the current season but Workington said they were grateful for the early notice so they could start planning to recruit a successor in time for next season.

Grainger, in a statement, said: "This isn't a decision that has come easy but I feel it will be the right time to leave the club at the end of my contract and see what the future holds for me personally.

"I wanted to give the club plenty of time to find my successor which is why we made the decision to announce this news so soon."

Grainger went on to pay tribute to board members, staff, supporters and all the players he has worked with at Workington.

"We have had some great times and the effort and devotion from them has been incredible and I couldn't have asked for a better group of players to work with," he added.

"We have nine league games left and will be giving absolutely everything to collect as many points as possible." Workington won their first game of 2024 on Saturday with a 2-1 home victory over Matlock Town which leaves them 14th in the NPL Premier table.

Grainger, from Eamont Bridge, started out in management with Workington in 2019 when he was appointed the club's boss after he retired as a player at Carlisle.

He was twice denied promotion with Reds during the Covid pandemic, before he left to become assistant head coach at Scottish club Falkirk in 2021.

The following year he returned to the Borough Park. Former Hearts, Gretna, Dundee United, St Johnstone, St Mirren and Dunfermline Athletic defender Grainger also runs the Cumbria Football Academy which he set up in Penrith several years ago, while he also coaches in Carlisle United's youth set-up.