Altrincham Football Club News Archive
29 October to 2 November, 2004

2 November 2004


At this Saturday's match at Moss Lane, there will be a STAR bucket collection for Mrs. Mary Mullen, widow of the deceased Worcester City steward, Brian Mullen who died last Saturday after helping to carry the stretcher for the injured Stephen Rose. Brian had supported and helped City for 48 years. STAR's Jacqui Forster informs me that "Mrs. Mullen says the gesture is very much appreciated and she will advise us retrospectively as to what cause the money will be donated to".


Alty manager Graham Heathcote has confirmed that Altrincham FC will stand by Stephen Rose (right), who broke his leg last Saturday at Worcester. Stephen, a joiner by profession, is unable to work at present and, as well as receiving support from the club, it is hoped that STAR will be organising a collection for him in the near future. He will be in plaster for 4 or 5 weeks and will then begin rehabilitation to rebuild the strength in his legs. "Rosie" has been an excellent servant of the club for the last three seasons, during which he has made 111(+8) appearances in a range of midfield and defensive positions.


Eddie Hussin, after his five bookings, will miss the away match at Redditch a week on Saturday.


A group of travellers has pitched a camp on the land adjacent to the Moss Lane ground and allotments. Negotiations are proceeding, involving Trafford Council, with a view to resolving the problem.


This Saturday, after the FA Trophy game v Ossett Albion, there is a Hot Pot/Curry Evening at Moss Lane (7.30pm). The event will include a panel made up of players who joined Altrincham in summer 2004; Colin Little, Colin Potts, Peter Wright and Eddie Hussin. There are just a few tickets left, available from the club (928-1045), priced £15.

Altrincham FC is also holding a Christmas Celebration Dinner, on Saturday December 4th at the Cresta Court Altrincham. Tickets are £40 per head and the event includes entertainment during the meal, a raffle, an auction and a disco till late. It all starts at 7.30pm and the dress code is lounge suits. Please ring the club for tickets, the proceeds of which go towards continuing the club's financial recovery.


Howard Watts's Through the Years feature has been updated for 6 November.


For those who missed Terry Rowley's fascinating article in the last issue of the Robins' Review on Altrincham players who scored Debut Hat-Tricks, the text is now in the Alty Legends section.


The This is Worcester City site has a match report from last Saturday's game. It also quotes City manager John Barton- "It was a day for the substitutes. Tom Warmer, Liam and Adam Webster did well and it was the little things that turned it. Tom came on and chased back and got tackles and that lifted the team and lifted the crowd". Goalscorer Mark Owen added, "It was a battle after Snapper got sent off after 15 minutes. To get a result when they were winning at half-time is a great result." The match report says "City profited from a huge slice of luck to register their first Nationwide North win in eight attempts. Mark Owen's superb second-half brace sent bewildered Altrincham back up the M6 to stew on how they failed to pile more misery on John Barton's men... Terrible finishing from the visitors, sprinkled with Owen's inspired late double, contrived to produce an astonishing result for City at a time when they needed it most". The Manager said "What happened at the end, you could not see it happening. It seems it was destined to be our day... The turning point was Barton's introduction of young substitutes Tom Warmer and Liam McDonald who both added urgency". As for the sending-off "Snape clearly took a disliking to his opposite number eight [Hussin] following an early scuffle between the two, but his temper boiled over when he launched his hand into Hussin's face... It was a reckless and thoughtless act from such an experienced campaigner". As for Alty's bookings, Hussin's was for violent conduct, whilst Band's and Owen's were for fouls.


Former Alty defender Neil Murphy is currently out of the Marine side with injury


The Nationwide North player of the month contenders selected for October are Peter Duffield (Alfreton), Clayton Donaldson (Harrogate), Terry Fearns & Kevin Leadbetter (Southport) and Norman Sylla (Redditch).

The Portchat forum says that "Southport's Liam Watson was today named Nationwide North manager of the month for October after 6 games unbeaten". Graham Heathcote was September's winner.

Barrow have produced a trading summary and balance sheet which show the amounts spent on wages.


  • Worcester C. 2 Stafford R. 1
  • Droylsden 1 Ashton U. 0
    1 November 2004


    Worcester City's website has posted the following announcement:

    "It is with great regret that Worcester City Football Club has to announce the sad loss of Club Stalwart Brian Mullen, who passed away during yesterday's game at home to Altrincham. Brian, who was a steward for the Club for many years, suffered a heart attack after carrying the stretcher for Altrincham's Stephen Rose who broke a leg during the game. The Club would like to pass on their sincere condolences to his wife Mary and their family for their sad loss. Brian had been involved in the Club behind the scenes for over 25 years whilst his wife Mary has been a turnstile operator for the same period of time.

    The Club would also like to pass on their thanks to Club Director, Bob Marley and the Altrincham physio [Sean Riley] for their valiant efforts in trying to resuscitate Brian and also to the Altrincham Management & Officials for their understanding of the situation and wish Stephen Rose a speedy recovery.

    A sad day was made even worse with the news that long-time supporter Leslie Strain suffered a heart attack on the way home from the game and sadly passed away. Again the Club would like to pass on their condolences to Mr Strain's family".

    As previously expressed on this website, everyone connected with Altrincham FC also extends their deepest sympathy to the families of both the deceased. As a similarly sized non-league club, where everyone knows everyone else, we can appreciate the distress that will have been felt throughout Worcester FC. Altrincham FC would also like to thank Worcester City FC for its assistance in the treatment of our injured defender, Stephen Rose, who was able to return to Altrincham on Saturday evening with his broken leg in a full length plaster cast. All at Moss Lane wish Stephen a speedy recovery.


    Above: Worcester's John Snape stumbles towards the referee after being prised off the prostrate Eddie Hussin by Val Owen. Meanwhile Val Owen is at the centre of things as Colin Potts arrives from the right. In the background are Band, Aspinall, Little, Talbot and Scott. Snape was sent off.

    Match report here

  • Table
  • Alty Line-Up
  • Alty Stats

    Andrew Smith of Worcester City has a report and photos here. For more on this game, see the news below for 31 October.


    Report on Youth Page.

    Right: Autumnal action at Wythenshawe Town's Ericstan Park, as an Eagley player leaps in front of Adam Ball.


    Terry Rowley's updated Nationwide North attendance statistics are here.


    Vauxhall's Anthony Wright was shot in the street over the summer. The club website reports that he is now back playing with Vauxhall Motors Reserves. However, first-teamer "Mike Tomlinson is due to see the specialists about his ongoing ankle injury in just over two weeks time".

    Kettering Town report that "Liam Folds and Jamie Kearns are the latest casualties as manager Kevin Wilson looks to change things around at the Club. He has been saying for a while that some players needed to play up to their reputations or he would have to take decisions that would be hurtful to everyone concerned. Folds and Kearns follow the recent departure of Simon Underwood who went to Stamford".

    31 October 2004


    Yesterday's result at Worcester paled into insignificance as two people died at the match at St George's Lane. In addition, Altrincham's Stephen Rose suffered a broken leg and, at half-time yesterday, a collection was held for Aaron Kerr, Worcester's keeper whose career has been threatened by a bad injury. A Worcester steward, who had just helped to carry off Stephen Rose, collapsed and died in the changing rooms. Then, a 71 year-old spectator, attending the match with his grand-daughter, collapsed and died as he left the ground. The condolences of all at Altrincham FC go to the relatives of both the deceased and our best wishes go both to Stephen Rose and Aaron Kerr for full and complete recoveries from their injuries.

    Above: Not the best of pictures but it does show how close Alty came to getting a reward at Worcester. Colin Little (far left) seems certain to score but the ball came back off the far post and evaded the incoming Marcus Hallows.

    Through the Years for 30 October is here.


    Niell Hardy made his debut for Ashton United yesterday. In the NLP, Mike Marsh's non-league dream team includes Paul Ellender "a quality player" who can switch positions with ease". Also in Marsh's side is goalkeeper Tim Clarke, also once briefly at Moss Lane. Former youth keeper Barry George was on the bench for Radcliffe in the FA Cup yesterday and also in the Cup, Matt McNeil (Hyde), Ian Craney (Accrington), Tony Sullivan (Lancaster), James Glendenning (Vauxhall) and Mark Quayle (Northwich) were in action. The FA Cup 1st Round draw throws up two ex-Alty men as managers - Owen Brown's Vauxhall travel to Graham Barrow's Bury. After being made an offer by Hyde, Jason van Blerk is now training with Mossley whilst Michael Reynolds has joined Belper Town on loan from Worksop Town.


    Altrincham host Ossett Albion next Saturday in the FA Trophy. The Yorkshire side won on Saturday and in Danny Toronczak have the leading scorer in the UniBond First Division. Albion have also made a recent signing, Michael Senior from Halifax Town.


    Stalybridge, who had to play midfielder Paul Sykes in goal last week as they had no registered reserve, have signed Phil Priestley from Prescot Cables. He is the former Bangor City keeper, too.


    Alty manager Graham Heathcote won the Nationwide North Manager of the Month award for September. But apart from a CSC win at the start of October, The Robins have failed to win in seven games since then. Graham is pictured with Dalton Steele (right), by Gavin Rathbone, receiving his award with Jo Ryan, the Nationwide Building Society Football Liaison Officer for Altrincham FC and a keen Altrincham supporter and STAR member.

    In The Pink, Graham Heathcote, speaking before yesterday's game, said "From our fans' perspective, our last few games have been wonderful but, speaking as a manager, I have to say we have been playing too open and consequently been shipping goals. I'm not blaming the lads at the back... We've been leaving our defenders too exposed... We look great going forward, but you also want to see people doing their defensive jobs when the need arises". After losing in the FA cup, Graham said, "We went out .. to a heartbreaking late goal and it would have been easy for the lads to have eracted badly. But, instead, they've showed terrific character".

    30 October 2004


    Saturday: League
  • Gainsborough T. 1 Moor Green 1
  • Kettering T. 0 Ashton U. 0
  • Nuneaton B. 0 Redditch U. 1
  • Runcorn FC Halton 0 Harrogate T. 0
  • Worcester C. 2 ALTRINCHAM 1

    Pictured right is Alty's Stephen Rose.

    FA Cup 4QR

  • Southport 3 Hyde U. 1
  • Northwich V. 1 Vauxhall M. 2
  • Hinckley U. 0 Burton A. 0
  • Stafford R. 2 Gateshead 1
  • Morecambe 5 Hucknall T. 1
  • Worksop T. 1 Alfreton T. 1
  • Lancaster C. 1 Scarborough 1


    There was a disappointing turnout at Friday night's Fans' Forum but that in itself could be interpreted as a sign that things are going well on and off the pitch as it is always club crises that really pack the crowds in! Amongst the topics covered was the club's financial situation, which remains under control with the monthly VAT and Inland Revenue bills being consistently met on time by the Board. The entire Board of Geoff Goodwin (chairman), Andrew Shaw and Grahame Rowley joined manager Graham Heathcote and Reserves' boss Neil Brown to form the panel for the Forum. Discussion of financial matters also covered the question of STAR's shareholding policy. For its part, the Board's overriding concern is to unite the club to wipe out the historic debt at the club and they appealed to all fans to support social and other fundraising events.

    Neil Brown explained the philosophy of the Reserves which was to bring young players through, to rehabilitate injured players and to keep fringe players match-fit. He would welcome supporters at Abbey Hey for the Reserves' home games. In this connection it emerged that Rod Thornley will play four Reserves' home games in November to build his fitness after his knee operation last summer. Graham Heathcote identified a fit Rod Thornley and a visionary midfielder as the two major pieces of the team jigsaw that needed to be completed.

    Graham Heathcote explained how the new pitch had had teething problems, which had been exacerbated by the incessant rain this summer and autumn. He was confident that the pitch would be an excellent surface, once it had bedded in. On playing matters Graham also explained how the players are paid and that the club had always tried to treat them well, preferring weekly wage payments to pay as you play arrangements.

    Those who did not attend missed a very informative evening and those present were grateful to the board and team managers for giving up their time to be present.


    This is Worcs says that City manager "John Barton is banking on striker Leon Kelly to bring Altrincham to their knees at St George's Lane tomorrow and in the process trigger another flurry of Nationwide North goals for the Worcester City hitman. Kelly began the season in magnificent fashion and led the scoring charts after grabbing 10 goals in his opening 10 starts... The 26-year-old predator, who joined from Ilkeston Town prior to the 2003/04 season, then struggled with form and fitness... an unstoppable header at Vauxhall Motors proved to be his first City goal in 43 days". Barton added "Leon is one of those players that always gets earmarked by the opposition more than the others... They target him and make his job that little bit more difficult. Adam Wilde and Jai Stanley are others, while I've been here, who have also been shown that extra respect from teams". The article recalls how "Almost a quarter of a century ago, tomorrow's fixture would have been a top-of-the-table clash between non-league heavyweights. In the Alliance Premier Division 1979/80 campaign, Altrincham were crowned champions with Worcester seven points adrift in third position. Both clubs are looking for a return to the Nationwide Conference but City are not in promotion form having failed to win in their last seven league matches, picking up just four points... Barton is likely to field the same side that picked up a point in midweek, with Nick Colley, Pat Lyons and Carl Heeley expected to start... Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote said: 'This is a tough league and I can understand why Worcester are drawing a lot of games. Almost every team at this level is as good as each other. Sometimes we have not picked up the right result away from home but we are working on that. I don't think there is much between us and Worcester'".

    For Alty, Steve Torpey will be missing today with a hamstring injury.


    Former Alty captain Ian Craney has again been named in the National Game XI for next month's Under-23 friendly with Italy. Elsewhere, "Stockport boss Sammy McIlroy has decided not to appeal against Danny Adams’s sending-off at Port Vale on Saturday... Adams... has been one of County’s most consistent performers this season and during the excellent unbeaten run towards the end of last term... McIlroy added: 'Danny has really turned a corner for us lately, we will no doubt miss him. One consolation is that at least he can get his suspension over within the space of a week, we’ll just have to get on with it. Danny’s gutted, but the referee said his hands were raised'", reports the Stockport Express.


    Frickley Athletic have signed centre-back James Cotterill from Barrow.

    Kettering Town "Supporters visiting the Main Stand at Rockingham Road on Saturday will be faced with seeing the first six rows of seats cordoned off. The move has been precipitated by the Club following the Annual Safety Inspection... Chairman Peter Mallinger explained 'A certain amount of corrosion has taken place in the concrete under the stand in the area of the first few rows of seats. The rest of the stand is in good order... We are calling in experts to advise us'".

    On the Conference site,John Moules writes, "In Nationwide North several clubs are at various stages of stadium development with Hinckley United on course to open their brand new facilities by the end of the year. Alfreton Town and Hucknall Town plan to continue stadium development plans while Kettering Town, Worksop Town, Nuneaton Borough, and Worcester City are involved in progressive discussions for new stadium developments".

    29 October 2004


    Above: Gavin Rathbone's picture shows Rod Thornley heading home at the far post after Eddie Hussin (on ground) had headed the ball across to him.

    In SAM Graham Heathcote said, " I think you have got to take your cap off to the lads. They wre two-nil down at half-time, deservedly so, and looked drained, as if there was nothing in the tank. At half time we had to get them to do some of the things that they are good at. Points-wise it was not a good return but game-wise it was".


    Ashton United now confirm that "Niell Hardy has joined Ashton United FC, after being released by Altrincham" (see below).


    "Worcester City are to hold a collection during Saturday's home fixture against Altrincham to raise cash for long-term injury victim Aaron Kerr. The Northern Ireland Under 21 goalkeeper is out of action for at least 12 months after rupturing lateral knee ligaments during City's goalless draw against Alfreton Town on October 8. It is feared the damage could be career-threatening... Former Walsall stopper Kerr, 21, proved something of a saviour when he agreed to answer City's SOS call following a month-long rib injury to the club's number one goalkeeper Danny McDonnell. He made seven appearances for Worcester on a game-by-game basis and jetted to and from Northern Ireland and his native Carrickfergus on almost every occasion. City's board agreed to organise a cash collection as a gesture and supporters can make their own donation when buckets are handed around at half-time on Saturday.

    This is Worcester adds, "There is enough quality in John Barton's squad to suggest a top-eight finish is within their grasp. But the manager needs his strongest side week in, week out, to achieve this. It will be early December when Danny McDonnell and Jai Stanley emerge from the treatment room, while Barry Woolley's broken jaw won't heal until Christmas... The return of Mark Owen and John Snape is a timely boost for Barton and both played influential roles in an encouraging team display at Southport".

    The Conference statistics show that Alty are 12th in current league form and Worcester 20th - their last 6 matches were, most recently, 3 draws preceded by 3 losses. Alty's sequence is DWWLDD. Alty are 2nd in home form and Worcester are 12th but away Alty are only 15th.

    Saturday: League

  • Gainsborough T. v Moor Green
  • Hucknall T. v Stalybridge C.
  • Nuneaton B. v Redditch U.
  • Runcorn FC Halton v Harrogate T.
  • Worcester C. v ALTRINCHAM

    Pictured right is Alty's Stephen Rose.

    FA Cup 4QR

  • Southport v Hyde U.
  • Northwich V. v Vauxhall M.
  • Hinckley U. v Burton A.
  • Stafford R. v Gateshead
  • Morecambe v Hucknall T.
  • Worksop T. v Alfreton T.
  • Lancaster C. v Scarborough


    Runcorn FC Halton want to take [Gresley Rovers'] ex-Derby County left-sided player Karl Brown". The Gresley boss "seemed resigned to losing Brown to Runcorn but has not yet given up hope. 'I spoke with Karl about Runcorn after Tuesday night’s game at Rocester. He stands to more than double his money but he's not overly interested in that. The main fact is that it's Nationwide North football and it's obviously much nearer his home base of Liverpool'".

    IC Cheshire quotes new Runcorn boss Alvin McDonald: "I hope it's the last job I ever have in football and that I am at Runcorn for a long time... I want to try to build something that is going to go on for seasons rather than being a one-season or half-season wonder. I have been out of football for 10 months and it's felt like 10 years to be honest". McDonald added, about Nationwide North, "I think it's stronger overall [than the UniBond]. There is no easy team on paper. There's not a great deal between the sides. There's no one team at the moment where I have gone home and thought they're a bit special and they are going to win the league... I like consistency and that goes with selection of the team - you don't try to change something that's not broken. There is ability in the squad but I would like to get them fitter... First and foremost, we need to find consistency - you can't be beating Altrincham one week and then losing two or three. I have always worked, since the points system came in for three points for a win, to try to get 10 from 15 in blocks of five games. If you do that, you are not going to be too far away from winning a league". But "McDonald is battling the biggest injury crisis of his managerial career... Striker Furlong, who has yet to play for his new club, is the furthest from recovery - possibly another three weeks".

    This is Worcs says that "Redditch United look set to be deducted points coupled with a fine by the Nationwide Conference for fielding an ineligible player against Hinckley United on September 18. The man in question - Scott Voice - was in the last week of a month's loan at Solihull Borough when he was recalled to join the Reds as Solihull were without a fixture. But Conference rules state that a loan player must complete the minimum 28-day loan before returning. Voice came on for Norman Sylla in the last 15 minutes as the Reds battered Hinckley 3-0 at the Valley Stadium, but he also played a part in Redditch's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Hucknall Town". Manager Rod Brown said "It was an administrative error ... there's no use complaining about it now".

    Barrow's Holker Street Newsletter says that "On the matter of Redditch United being deducted points for fielding an unregistered player, I have heard back from the Football Conference on when the deadline for appealing the decision, and been advised it is Friday 29 October... Comments on the official Redditch United website that two other Conference clubs are also being investigated are incorrect".


    "Mike Connett's £1million rescue of Nationwide Conference National club Northwich Victoria will be concluded on Thursday... After Thursday's meetings at a Manchester Airport hotel, Vics will have a greater guarantee for the future than at any time since a series of financial crises began in the late 1980s... The deal will give creditors a little over 30p in the pound payment... The alternative of liquidation would only pay them 7%... Connett has pledged to complete the building of the Victoria Stadium as soon as possible, a job that will cost him about £700,000. He is paying £225,000 for the club, a further £20,000 to cover current losses and £75,000 to pay football debts in full... According to the administration document, £1.7m was spent on the Victoria Stadium before money ran out, as well as the £500,000 purchase cost of the land. Vics were about £550,000 in debt. Connett has set up two companies, one to run the club and the other to manage the property. The football club would lease the ground from the sister company. It is understood his fundraising plans include a marina, an all-weather pitch and maximum use of the Victoria Stadium's social facilities. The stadium should be completed by early spring" reports IC Cheshire.