IT would be one romantic return for Keith Hill if 20 years after becoming Denis Smith’s first signing as Wrexham manager, the defender would be back as the new Reds boss.

“If the Wrexham board came calling then of course I’d be interested,” said Hill. “Wrexham was a special club - a unique club - for me and I’ve got so many good memories of my short time there.”

Hill arrived in October 2001 just after new boss Smith had taken over from the club’s longest serving manager.

“Denis had just come in - and what a great manager he was," said Hill.

“I couldn’t believe how good the ground was, they had a brilliant training ground and the fan base was unbelievable.

“You had Joey Jones there, who was brilliant. Kevin Russell and a great set of lads as players - Darren Ferguson, Brian Carey, Lee Trundle, Robbo (Steve Roberts), Carlos Edwards and big Dennis Lawrence.

“It was a great team and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I remember us beating Wigan 5-1 in the Football League Trophy , Trundle scored one of the best hat-tricks I’ve seen and then we went to Wigan on the Saturday and beat them 3-2 - and I scored!”

Hill headed back to Cheltenham after a two month spell at The Racecourse, winning promotion with them via the Division Three play-offs.

As a manager he has added two automatic promotions with Rochdale to his CV and despite taking Tranmere Rovers to the play-offs and the Football League Trophy final, he was axed after the final week of the season.

“I still find that decision difficult to understand,” added Hill. “Taking them to the Papa Johns Trophy final and then reaching the play-offs only to be told I was going. “

Having also bossed at Bolton and Barnsley since starting out on the managerial merry-go-round, Hill, now 52, is waiting to see what happens during the next few weeks.

“I’ve seen the names that have been mentioned - Michael Flynn, Nigel Clough and Mark Hughes with his home-town links,” said Hill.

“It just proves that despite falling into the National League, the club still attracts big names.

“You look at the set up and this is a club that should be playing in the higher echelons of League One - and not playing in non-league football.

“I have deep respect for Wrexham and I have to admit I was sad when they did go down out of the Football League.

“It was a slow demise but you do ask yourself what is a club like Wrexham doing in the National League?”

David Flitcroft, who was Hill’s right hand man at Rochdale and Bolton, is also listed at 14/1 to be the next Reds boss.

The former Chester winger is currently the director of football at Port Vale, who this week signed a player that Wrexham fans would have liked to see back at The Racecourse, midfielder Brad Walker.