FORGET the last 19 month nightmare ever happened. It was just bad dream.

Wrexham Football Club has become bit of a soap opera in recent years but the return of Dean Keates as manager bares all the hallmarks of Bobby Ewing’s jaw-dropping back-from-the-dead scenes in Dallas!

It’s an unbelievable tale of the prodigal son returning after discovering that the green, green grass of home in Walsall wasn’t as good as it was back at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground.

Some fans will welcome Keates back, remembering his whole-hearted efforts on the pitch as Wrexham captain, lifting the FA Trophy at Wembley and almost guiding the Reds to the verge of the play-offs before he got a call that changed his life.

Walsall - his hometown club - wanted him as manager. It was a take-it-or-leave-it-now-or-never offer that proved too good to turn down.

Some Reds supporters didn’t like that and still don’t, questioning Keates’ loyalty and whether it would have been better for him to have a ‘reaching the play-offs’ tick on his CV instead of ‘you’re fired’ one after failing to make an impact at a struggling League One club that now finds itself one division away from non-league football.

Keates shouldn’t regret making that decision to leave for Walsall but will the Wrexham board regret going back to a manager who effectively walked out on them when they needed him most?

Just like it was for Keates back on March 16 last year, this was a difficult decision for the board to make but they claim to have appointed the best candidate, ignoring the likes of Andy Morrison, Ian Culverhouse, Gary Waddock and another ex-Reds boss in Brian Flynn.

Keates seems to have been their number one option from the minute they showed his predecessor, Bryan Hughes, the door, 13 days ago.

With the club crying out for some stability, Keates is well-respected by the players, including the highly influential captain Shaun Pearson and the coaching set-up is virtually as it was when Keates quit.

Carl Darlington, who again is someone whose role divides opinion among the Wrexham supporters, is still there as coach alongside Andy Oakes.

So the return should run smoothly although it will be very interesting to see the reception the new Reds boss receives before tonight’s home game against Harrogate Town.

Just as interesting was the fact that there were no quotes from the members of the board with club legend, Dixie McNeil fronting their ‘we’ve got the one that we want’ press release.

You get the impression that McNeil was thrown in front of the bus with that call and I’m sure he won’t be entirely happy with the way that statement was worded.

Goalscorer turned manager and now club president, McNeil, was also at the top table as Keates held his first press conference yesterday but there was no sign of the other two men on that three-strong interviewing panel - believed to be Spencer Harris and Peter Jones.

Here’s how the statement read: “The recruitment process to appoint Dean as our first team manager was headed up by former manager and player, now club president, Dixie McNeil on behalf of the Wrexham Supporters Trust. Dixie commented on the appointment saying: “We talked to a number of people about the position, which we narrowed down to and then interviewed five people. Dean gave a very good interview and we decided he was by far the best person for the job.

“I wish Dean all the very best of luck. It’s really nice that he wanted to come back to the club and I hope that the Wrexham supporters will get behind Dean. Together we can turn this season around and I believe Dean can push us up the league table.”

And going back to the start of all this, here’s the statement the club sent on Keates’ departure 19 months ago that has a similar theme to the end of it, begging the fans to continue their brilliant backing.

“Walsall FC approached us and triggered the release clause in Dean’s contract in full, therefore we were obliged to allow Dean the opportunity to speak to the club that he supports,” the statement read. “We are in a strong position and our focus remains on achieving promotion to the Football League this season.

“There are just nine games of the season to go and now more than ever, we need the support of each and every fan of Wrexham AFC to rally around our interim management team of Andy Davies and Carl Darlington, the remainder of the staff and the playing squad.”

The onus is again placed on the shoulders of all those Wrexham supporters who are desperate to see a return to the good old days.

Some have threatened to rip up their season tickets rather than return to The Racecourse but their love for the club will probably result in them going back at some stage.

Their ‘Wrexham til I die’ chants will still ring out at home and away grounds for the remainder of this season but the loyalty, faith and desire of the club’s fantastic football fans has been stretched to the very limits. And that is something the Wrexham board can’t afford to ignore when they look back and re-evaluate things at the end of the season.

But if Keates can conjure up a couple of quick-fire wins, then life as a Wrexham fan will become a bit more bearable.