Going... but not forgotten! Lee Canoville will depart Boston United on Saturday

Canoville with the Lincs Senior Shield.
Canoville with the Lincs Senior Shield.

SATURDAY’S clash against Guiseley will not only bring the curtain down on Boston United’s season, but also on Lee Canoville’s time at Boston United.

The final whistle will blow to signal the end of the 31-year-old’s York Street career, following last week’s statement that he will not be kept on as joint manager due to what chairman David Newton described as ‘budget constraints’.

Jason Lee may get the gig full-time, but Canoville can leave knowing he has left a legacy at the club.

He first arrived at York Street in the summer of 2005, then a stringy 24-year-old.

He was a product of the Arsenal youth set-up and had since made his name as a full back at League Two rivals Torquay United.

He arrived at Boston citing his desire for a ‘new challenge’ - and he certainly got that under Steve Evans.

He made 64 appearances, scoring twice, in an 18-month spell before finances at the club spiralled out of control.

As high and mid-range earners were moved on, Canoville found himself joining Shrewsbury Town on loan in January, 2007, until his Pilgrims contract ran out.

Many thought this was the end of his love affair with United.

That summer he joined Notts County, along with fellow ex-Pilgrims Lawrie Dudfield, Gary Silk, Ian Ross, Alan White and Lee.

This was followed by spells at Halesowen and Gainsborough Trinity, before making a surprise comeback to York Street in 2009.

Rob Scott and Paul Hurst named him club captain, and Canoville led the Pilgrims to their most successful season in recent memory - lifting a treble of trophies.

Boston won the UniBond Premier play-offs, the UniBond League Cup and also the Lincolnshire Senior Shield that campaign.

He also scored twice - finishes against FC United of Manchester and Frickley Athletic, that can count among some of the best seen on that pitch.

Not bad for a central defender.

And it looked like Canoville was in a position where he could repeat that feat of captaining the side to promotion a year later, when his career took a dramatic twist.

Little more than 12 months ago, Scott and Hurst quit Boston for Grimsby Town.

But Newton acted quickly, appointing Canoville and Lee as joint bosses.

Despite rescinding the armband, Canoville played his part on the pitch and in the dug-out as they finished off what the previous managers started.

United finished third in the Blue Square Bet North in their first season back at that level.

But heartbreak was to follow as United were knocked out of the play-offs in the semi-finals, losing at home to Guiseley on penalties.

This season was Canoville and Lee’s first full campaign as bosses.

After a major squad rebuilding this summer, the fledgling pairing overcame a poor start.

After an overhaul of the playing squad, the amber and blacks appeared to have found the right balance and formation, only for a late slump to rule out any slim hopes of a top-five finish.

And so ends Canoville’s second spell at York Street, a victim of cutbacks, but a man who should have earned nothing but respect from the Pilgrims terraces for his devotion to the cause.