Ward sacked by struggling U's; LEAGUE ONE.
The Essex outfit, just one point above Coventry after collecting four draws from their first eight matches, have named Joe Dunne as caretaker for Saturday's home match against Hartlepool.
And that means that three of the bottom four will soon be under new management with rock-bottom Bury set to announce their full-time boss later this week.
Ward took over at Colchester in May 2010 when Aidy Boothroyd was headhunted by the Sky Blues and chairman Joe Dunne admitted yesterday: "In so many areas, John Ward will leave Colchester United in a better position than when he first took over as first-team manager.
"So much of Colchester United is better than it has ever been but sadly that is not being reflected in first-team results and the board has decided that this action is required to stop the negativity of the on-field results impacting on the other areas of the club that have also been drastically improved.
"I would like to thank John Ward for his time in charge.
"He has done more for Colchester United than many people realise and the board of Colchester United and especially myself would like to wish him all of the very best for the future."
Bury, meanwhile, are poised to name Richie Barker's full-time successor before Saturday's trip to Stevenage.
They confirmed last week that caretaker Peter Shirtliff is out of the running but stressed that they want him and development coach Ben Futcher to stay on and work with the successful candidate.