JUST over two weeks ago Brian Flynn surveyed the Racecourse pitch and drove from the ground to his home in Burnley for the last time.
During his 12-year reign Flynn enjoyed invaluable experience as the Welsh international from Port Talbot cut his teeth in management.
"Of course I was excited to become a manager," he recalled. "I'd already spent two years at the club so from a playing point of view I knew the levels of the team. But dealing with the board and other influences affecting a manager was new to me, so that was something I found out about quickly".
Flynn took over when Dixie McNeil quit in October 1989, just after he had taken the team, anchored in midfield by Flynn, into the play-offs only to narrowly lose to Leyton Orient.
Despite being in such a strong position the season before, the team struggled the next term and at one point were six points away from safety and, with only two points available for a win, had just 15 games to put it right.
"This was the first test of the young managerial team of myself and Kevin Reeves," said Flynn. "But when it mattered the team produced championship-winning form and we managed to stave off relegation from the league with three games to go.
"This was a real success - Wrexham didn't go into non-league football and it provided a wake-up call to the whole club."
The next season proved to be a turning point as relegation from the league was suspended. And while Wrexham still had no financial muscle to bring in players, Flynn had employed Cliff Sear to look after the youth set-up and the club changed its emphasis.
"I was able to blood a few youth players that season," said Flynn. "I was lucky that we had good youngsters coming through like Chris Armstrong, Lee Jones, Waynne Phillips, Gareth Owen and Steve Watkin.
"I had to accelerate the development of these players, with some playing up to 30 games that season. Because of the finances my hand was somewhat forced, but the lads did well and went on to become the basis of a side that could achieve something."
Flynn learnt his trade at Burnley, a club with a family atmosphere and a big emphasis on bringing through young talent.
"I wanted to instill the same sort of values at Wrexham," he said. "One manager especially had a big influence on my career, Jimmy Adamson. He helped my development and I learnt a lot from him."
With the family atmosphere at the club, the next season was one Wrexham fans would not forget in a hurry. Flynn invested in a few old-heads to teach his crop of youngsters, including striker Gordon Davies and one Mickey Thomas.
"And I think Arsenal visited us in the FA Cup that year," said Flynn. "Everything was set up for an upset and it was really the springboard.
"The cup run gave us a bit more revenue and raised our profile. Beating them 2-1 really was a fairy story, we'd finished 92nd in the league and they were champions.
"We narrowly lost out in the next round against West Ham, but we still managed to draw at Upton Park, before only being defeated 1-0 back at the Racecourse."
Flynn was then able to make what he views as his most important signing. "It took a lot of persuading to get Tony Humes from Ipswich," said Flynn. "We watched him a few times and knew what he was capable of.
"He was dropping down a fair few divisions and uprooting a young family, but he was such an influential signing and definitely my best."
After the euphoria of the cup run, Flynn confirmed Wrexham's growing stature the very next season by winning promotion.
"It was a 6-1 defeat at Crewe that got us going," he recalls. "We then went on a 22-match unbeaten run, returning to Gresty Road and winning 1-0 in the Autoglass Trophy a few weeks later to lay a few ghosts to rest.
"The youngsters of a few years ago were now battle hardened and there was a certain Gary Bennett who couldn't stop scoring."
And under Flynn Wrexham have enjoyed their longest stay in the Second Division and cemented a reputation as a bit of a cup side.
"In a recent survey I think we came out as the greatest giantkillers of all time," he said. "I know for a fact that in the 10 matches we played against Premiership opposition we won four, drew three and lost three.
"And the only one we lost outright at the first attempt was Manchester United away, and I think we can be forgiven for that one!"
But despite narrowly missing out on the play-offs on more than one occasion, he was never able to take Wrexham up to the First Division.
"In the past few seasons a lot of money has been spent on the infrastructure of the club," he said. "This has taken money away from transfer funds, but to be honest I never spent big in the transfer market anyway. My only two signings over £100,000 were Brian Carey and Andy Marriott."
Money instead was ploughed into the training facilities at Colliers Park, the Pryce Griffiths Stand and Flynn's legacy to Wrexham, the Youth Academy.
"I instigated the bid for the Academy, I thought it was vital to the future of the club," he said. "I did everything I could to get the idea going because there's nothing like bringing on a young player.
"I'm proud of it and my time at Wrexham. I learnt so much here and hopefully I was able to give something back. It also helped that I had a wonderful chairman,"
Both Flynn and his assistant Kevin Reeves say they have a desire to get back into football and what they've learnt at the Racecourse will be put to good use at another club.
They may have left on a sour note after announcing they would not renew their contracts, a subject that Flynn would not discuss, but in time even the most stubborn fan will recognise the improvements made at the club during the Flynn era.