AFC Wimbledon midfielder Steven Gregory could barely hold back the tears when describing outward bound Terry Brown as a “father figure” and a “phenomenal” man.
Brown is thought to have offered his resignation on Tuesday night having bid what appeared to be an emotional farewell to fans after the 1-0 League Two defeat to Torquay United.
The club confirmed yesterday (Wednesday) that Brown and assistant manager Stuart Cash had left the club with first team coach Simon Bassey taking over as caretaker manager.
Speaking after the Torquay defeat, Gregory said the whole squad and backroom staff were incredibly emotional and despondent.
The 25-year-old, who spent two years with the Donsand helped them into the Football League before joining AFC Bournemouth in 2011, added that his relationship with Brown was the main reason he accepted a loan move last week.
Gregory said: “It is difficult to explain just how phenomenal Terry is and what he means to everyone here at the club.
“Personally speaking, he is like a father figure to me. When I was here previously, my own father passed away and Terry was amazing through it all.
“He is a massive part of why I wanted to come back and help the guys out.”
He added: “Wimbledon is very close to my heart. I came here to win games and that has not happened, which is really disappointing. The dressing room is very emotional at the moment.”
Among the favourites to take over the Dons’ hot seat is former Brentford boss Andy Scott.
Scott said: “It would be disrespectful to talk about Terry’s position until anything has been confirmed, but I am out of work and would be interested in any job that became available in League One or Two. I dearly want to get back into the game.”
Gregory bemoaned his side’s luck after a freak goal from Torquay’s Rene Howe on Tuesday night condemned the Dons to their second home defeat on the bounce and led to the emotional scenes at the final whistle.
Gregory said: “It makes it harder to take because tonight’s goal was a fluke and it led to a defeat and against Rochdale we were down to 10 men after 25 minutes and we were always going to struggle.
“It is so hard to take. Everyone in the changing room is gutted.
“The lads are working their socks off and giving it everything they have got. It is not a question of trying it is just sloppy mistakes.
“The goal was a fluke, but it came from a mistake. Winning is a habit and losing is a habit, when you’re losing games it is so hard to turn it round.”
He added: “But the support here is phenomenal. I’ve come from Bournemouth where they boo if you draw – you come here and when we were 2-0 down on Saturday, they were only booing the ref and cheering us.
“There is so much support for the players and, of course, Terry because he has done so much for the club.”