Altrincham Football Club News Archive
24 (cont'd) to 28 February 2005

28 February 2005


A very successful and enjoyable "Famous Five (part 2)" event was held at Moss Lane after Saturday's game. This time the "Five" comprised Gary Scott, Steve Aspinall, Chris Adams, Marcus Hallows and Dalton Steele. Above, are seen all of the panel except Gary Scott, who appeared in a photo in yesterday's news (see below). After an excellent meal, provided and served by Mike Prophet's staff from the Amblehurst Hotel from Sale, an auction of Mark Maddox memorabilia raised several hundred pounds. This was followed by a lively question and answer session in which, amongst much else, Dalton Steele explained his special affinity to Altrincham, his views on the Colin Little red card last Tuesday, and he also gave some fascinating insights into the tactics employed against Grays that afternoon. Gary Scott, too, gave a very good analysis of the difference between Alty and Grays. It was not fitness, said Gary, but rather the sharpness and first-touch of a full-time squad which gave Grays the edge against a part-time Alty side which only meets for one or two hours a week for Thursday night training between games.

All five also recounted their highlights in football, though what was revealed about Chris Adams's antics on the night of our win over Weymouth in last season's Trophy is perhaps best not repeated on a public website! The evening's profits were also swelled by Chris's regular contributions throughout the evening to the swearbox - indeed, Alty director Andrew Shaw had to lend him a fiver to pay his debts! Steve Aspinall counted his involvement in the FA Cup win over QPR by his then club, Vauxhall Motors, as his high spot whilst, for Marcus Hallows, it was joining his home club Bolton Wanderers. For Chris Adams, signing for Oldham Athletic was a top memory. Gary Scott revealed that he and Eddie Hussin had actually been in the same England schoolboys squad in their teens. The room was packed with Alty supporters as well as the club chairman Geoff Goodwin, directors Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw and their relatives and friends, including Jack Crompton, the former Man. Utd goalkeeper and trainer who has become a very welcome regular at Moss Lane. Geoff Goodwin reported that Grays officials had told him after Saturday's game that Alty's good performance in the second half had been the best football played against Grays this season.

When the next Famous Five comes along, make sure you get a ticket - and if you are lucky you may persuade Gary Scott to repeat his creditable rendition of "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown", which even impressed our own Elvis-impersonator, Marcus Hallows, resplendent in a t-shirt proclaiming, "Nobody knows I'm Elvis". We certainly have a multi-talented squad at Moss Lane and team spirit seems to be really excellent. Sadly, manager Graham Heathcote was unable to attend but compering the evening at short notice was STAR chairman Brian Flynn whose humour and mastery of Altrincham FC history ensured that the evening went extremely well.

The next social event at Moss Lane is the Easter Fayre on Sunday, 13 March, from 10am to 1pm. Please help by donating chocolate, easter eggs and bric a brac in advance to the club office. Everyone is, of course, welcome on the day itself, when cakes and refreshments will also be available.


  • Burton A. v Woking
  • Eastwood/Hereford v Hucknall T.
  • Canvey I/B. Stortford v Gravesend & N.
  • Grays A. v Exeter C.



    It will be just £5 return for adults, (£4 for concessionaries and £3 for juniors) to use the STAR supporters' coaches for the Alfreton game on Saturday. There is no extra supplement for non-members of STAR for this trip. Click here for details of the arrangements.


    In addition to the photos on this site, a full selection of Gavin Rathbone's excellent shots will be on the STAR website, whilst roving Accrington photographer Kipax has his photos of the game, here. Above is a detail from one of Gavin's great images, showing Colin Little as a model of concentration.

    The STAR buckets on Saturday raised an excellent £102.35 for the club, for which it is very appreciative.

    Lower down the page are more pictures; this site's match report is here. The opposition view is on the Grays website.


    The Pink yesterday had an article on Colin Little's sending off last Tuesday. Graham Heathcote said "Anyone who knows Colin will realise he's not the sort of player to get himself mixed up in trouble, as his disciplinary record with us proves". He added, "Colin has been nothing short of magnificent for us this season".


    Worksop Town report that "Tore Hansen is the latest signing of Ronnie Glavin... Hansen (27) was born in Flekkfjord, Norway and played in the Norwegian First Division with MK for five seasons".

    Stalybridge Celtic came back from 0-2 to draw 2-2 at home to Ossett Town in a friendly on Saturday. Danny Caldecutt played a full game and the returning Chris Denham played for an hour.

    The Sunday Pink reports that Dave Pace of Droylsden is racing to meet the 1 April deadline for the Butcher's Arms to meet ground grading requirements for the National Conference. 80 new seats and a toilet block are amongst the improvements required by that date. Pace is tightlipped about talks with Tameside Council over groundsharing at Curzon Ashton's new stadium next season. Ashton United have denied that they have re-entered negotiations to share with Curzon.


  • Luke Bradley (Moor Green to Willenhall T.)
  • Mark Briggs (Northwich V. to Redditch U.)
  • Jamie Gleeson (Kidderminster H. to Redditch U. on loan)
  • Luke Graham (Northampton T. to Kettering T. on loan)
  • Matty Hall (Moor Green to Evesham U.)
  • Gary Hateley (Kettering T. to Shepshed D.)
  • Danny Ryan (Liversedge to Bradford PA)


    Right: Leading the slim4alty charts is club director Grahame Rowley who has lost 15% of his body mass during the dieting competition. Left: the new slim-line "Rafo", Alty's matchday announcer is also seen weighing in at Moss Lane on Saturday.

    The final weigh-in for slim4alty, which has raised several thousand pounds for STAR and the club was held at Moss Lane on Saturday night. With some contestants still to be weighed, the leader on the night was Grahame Rowley, though everyone who weighed-in had made significant losses to their weight during the seven weeks of the contest.


    Neil Murphy (now at Marine) is sidelined with a broken hand. Matt Tooth, who left Alty reserves recently, made his debut recently for Leigh RMI reserves and scored. Ben Ashmole also played. Other ex-Alty youths Rick Smith, Steve Howarth, Adam Girdlestone and Dale Newbrook were involved in the RMI reserves' previous game, whilst Leigh's first team included Lee Shillito and Ian Taylor on Saturday. The following all played this weekend, Ashley Timms (Atherton LR), Jordan Burke (Salford C.), Andy McDonald, who scored "a brilliant goal" on his debut (Cheadle Town). Also joining Cheadle Town is Richard Landon, whose kitman duties at Stockport County mean he can only play midweek games.


    Alty Reserves host Burscough Reserves at Abbey Hey this Tuesday (7.45pm) in the Lancashire League. The March fixtures have been added to the Reserves section of the website.
    27 February 2005


    Alty Youth drew 1-1 at home to Lancaster City Youth today whilst, Alty Reserves won away 1-0 at Bamber Bridge yesterday, thanks to a Tony Wealle goal. The youth team goal came from Lee Hendley. Match reports on both games will appear shortly. The Reserves are at home (at Abbey Hey) this Tuesday against Burscough (7.45pm).


    Brian Flynn, chairperson of STAR (the Alty's supporters' trust), had a very heavy schedule yesterday. Before, during, and after yesterday's game with Grays he was giving match reports and summaries to both Gtr Manchester Radio and Radio Essex. Brian said the hardest part was having to switch from upbeat reports to Essex to less effusive remarks for GMR but he denied switching his accent between Mancunian and Estuary English for the reports! But Brian's day had only just begun as, at 7pm, he officiated at the supporters' trust weigh-in for the slim4alty campaign, in which he was also a participating dieter. Then, it was on to the club's Famous Five evening at Moss Lane where Brian compered a very entertaining evening of questions and answers with five of the Alty playing/managerial staff which culminated in an excellent song from Gary Scott!

    To the amusement of team-mates Steve Aspinall, Chris Adams and Marcus Hallows, Alty defender Gary Scott gives the audience a rendition of "Bad, bad Leroy Brown" at last night's Famous Five event. Amongst the guests, to the left, are (l. to r.) Chris Adams's wife, Alty Youth manager and Matchday Secretary George Heslop and STAR Director and Nationwide Coordinator, Jo Ryan. More pictures to follow. Out of shot is Dalton Steele, the other member of the Famous Five.

    There will be more details on this website about the weigh-in and the Famous Five event, including more pictures, later.


    Gavin Rathbone captures Alty Man of the Match Rod Thornley's determination in this shot from the Grays game. Gavin's pictures can be ordered from the Robins' Shop; follow the link at the top of the page for further details.

    Match report here.

  • Alty Line-Up & Bookings
  • Alty Statistics

    Above: Colin Little (farthest away Alty player) scores Alty's second, from the spot. The ball is in the net near the right post).

    26 February 2005


    FA Trophy 5

  • ALTRINCHAM 2 Grays Athletic 4
  • Burton A. 1 Morecambe 0
  • Cambridge C. 0 Hucknall T. 1
  • Canvey Island 2 Bishop’s Stortford 2
  • Eastwood T. 1 Hereford U. 1
  • Gravesend & Northfleet 3 Slough T. 2
  • Stamford 0 Exeter C. 1
  • Woking 1 Carlisle U. 0

    Nationwide North

  • Alfreton T. 0 Droylsden 1
  • Barrow 2 Stafford R. 2
  • Hinckley U. 4 Bradford PA 0
  • Redditch U. 1 Nuneaton B. 5
  • Southport 0 Lancaster C. 0
  • Vauxhall Motors 0 Kettering T. 2
  • Worksop T. 3 Ashton U. 1
  • League Table


    The FA confirms what Alty fans feared: "Colin Campbell Little: (above right) suspended from all football until the Club have completed 3 first team matches for a sending off in a match played on 22/02/2005. Start date: 08/03/2005". So Colin will miss Stafford (H), Moor Green (H) or the FA Trophy 6th Round, and the CSC Final. The same source also states that the end date of Jonathon Mitten's 5-game ban, incurred whilst at Ashton, is 26 February (today).


    Woodley Sports have signed "experienced former Hyde United and Altrincham goalkeeper Richard Acton (right) as cover for the absent Jon Scargill... Signed by Altrincham in early September 2002, he remained the first-choice keeper until he badly injured his shoulder at Harrogate Town in August 2003". After a spell at TNS in Wales, Richard originally signed for Woodley in August 2004 before joining Bangor City but he then returned to Alty in early February.


    Ashton United boss "Paul Futcher has made his first signings... These include the capture of Jamie Hughes, a prolific goalscorer from Lancaster City, Martyn Lancaster a centre-half from Southport, and Steve Futcher a central midfielder from Welsh Premier League Newtown, along with some local Academy players to supplement the team".

    Kettering Town have signed Luke Graham, a young centre-back, on loan from Northampton Town.

    NL Daily says that "Gainsborough Trinity's push for the play-offs has been boosted by the news that striking duo Gareth Grant and Lee Ellington have been taken off the transfer list. Grant was first to be listed in October, but a proposed move to league rivals Harrogate Town collapsed. Ellington was then put up for sale in December. But Trinity have now said both players will be staying at the Northolme until the end of the season".

    NL Daily also reports that "Redditch United have strengthened their squad with the signing of defender or midfielder Mark Briggs... [who] was recently released by Shrewsbury Town."

    Harrogate Town "have signed experienced striker Lee Nogan on loan from York City for the rest of the season. Nogan, who has attracted transfer fees of over £700,000 during his career, is a veteran of over 500 league games. The 35-year old ex-Welsh international ended his 4-year relationship with York City, where he was player-coach, by mutual consent last week".

    Hucknall Town's "Dean Barrick has added another new signing to his squad in left-sided midfielder Azizjon Khoshimov, who hails from Uzbekistan... and came over to Britain in order to play for Cardiff City... Gary Mills, then manager of Notts County, invited him to join the Magpies... On leaving County he joined Grantham Town and then Belper Town... before being snapped up by Worksop manager Ronnie Glavin". And Hucknall Today says that Town's "heroic managers Dean Barrick and Roy Hunter this week agreed to continue at the helm next season while the club heard that they have won the Football Foundation grant they need to bring their Watnall Road ground up to the standards of the top division of the Nationwide Conference". Hucknall have received "a grant of £57,000 from the Football Foundation... 60% of what the club needs to spend to upgrade the ground to increase its capacity to 3,000... Now Town hope the Conference will put back their deadline for improvements, which is currently April, so that if Town win through the play- offs, they would be able to go up this time round".

    Lancaster Today says that "Jamie Speare will have made a decision about his future by the end of this week. Speare spoke with Southport manager Liam Watson on Wednesday about a possible move to Haig Avenue. But he was delaying deciding whether to move until after he had spoken again to City boss Phil Wilson at training [on] Thursday... But Speare did confirm that he would be playing for Lancaster at Southport tomorrow, Saturday... If he decides he wants to go, City can take Port to a Conference tribunal before releasing his registration. That might involve Southport having to pay a fee".

    "Barrow AFC skipper Mark Salmon looks certain to be thrown straight back into the team for the game against Stafford Rangers... after a month working in Egypt". Meanwhile, manager Lee Turnbull "revealed that Neil Campbell may be set for a loan move, with the likely destination being Workington Town". Turnbull said, "Cammy has had a disappointing campaign. Injury, lack of form and personal problems have never given the lad a chance... The Bluebirds manager also revealed he will bring young reserve team ace Dave Swarbrick into the squad tomorrow. The livewire striker/midfielder re-signed for the club earlier this month after leaving Barrow for local side Holker Old Boys last season".

    25 February 2005


    Mark Stimson, manager of Grays Athletic, was interviewed on GMR tonight shortly after arriving in Greater Manchester, where his team are staying overnight. He talked about how he had brought in a number of youngsters who had been released by London league sides and had got them back on track at Grays. He also referred to several players in his side with experience of northern football including Brennan (Stockport), Nutter (Blackburn), Powell (North Ferriby) and Battersby, who has league experience in the region.

    Meanwhile in tonight's MEN, Alty's Graham Heathcote said that "I'd be very disappointed if we can't at least give them a game". The paper says that Chris Adams had a recurrence of his groin problem on Tuesday night, when he only completed 45 minutes. Also, Colin Potts (right) asked to be taken off in the second half of that game because he was unwell. "But Robins' boss Graham Heathcote is optimistic both will be okay" for tomorrow.

    This evening's light rain has now stopped and it looks promising for tomorrow's game - though light rain is forecast for the morning.


    After yesterday's rain, which forced the postponement of Manchester United's reserve game at Moss Lane, Friday has brought a dry morning but a little light rain this afternoon in South Manchester. The club is optimistic that tomorrow's Trophy match will go ahead tomorrow but asks that, if there is any overnight rain, would volunteers please contact the club c.9 o'clock on Saturday morning to see if help is required in forking the pitch? Thank you very much.


    As a number of local public noticeboards have now been removed (in Hale, Hale Barns and central Altrincham), the club would be interested to hear from supporters about any other public noticeboards in the locality on which Altrincham fixture details could be published. Please ring the club on 928-1045 if you can help. Currently, the noticeboards at Well Green, outside the Cheshire Cheese in Sinderland and on Park Road are the only ones on which Altrincham FC matches are advertised.


    Alty welcome Nationwide South leaders, Grays Athletic from Essex, to Moss Lane tomorrow for a 5th Round FA Trophy match. In today's NL Paper, Alty boss Graham Heathcote says, "We will pay the utmost respect to Grays but it's about what we do. We are a good, solid side and I'm happy with the squad I've got. If we play like we have been doing then I can't see why we won't win".


    Right, Val Owen in possession against Runcorn last Tuesday. Picture courtesy of Gavin Rathbone.


    Alty travel to Alfreton a week tomorrow. Before that they host Droylsden this Saturday, "Three days later sees a trip to league leaders Southport, the following Saturday another promotion/play-off chasing club, Altrincham are at the Impact Arena. The following Tuesday the Reds host another top five club in Kettering Town before the long trek to take on Barrow a fortnight on the Saturday" reports NL Daily. Manager David Lloyd’s "squad is full of characters and his options are growing stronger again with Carl Bradshaw and Ian Robinson already back from injury and John Knapper probably back for this Saturday... That leaves just Mark Blount... [with] a shin injury, and ex-Sheffield United star Mitch Ward as the only two players" still sidelined. But Michael Simpkins has returned to Burton Albion after a loan. The Reds have "put in seven days’ notice of approach for another Nationwide North player and are very busy tracking other targets".

    NL Daily also reports that "Kettering Town have renewed their interest in former Wolves striker Mark Danks [of]... Forest Green Rovers... Kettering manager Kevin Wilson tried to sign Danks before last Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by old rivals Altrincham, but a deal for the striker... could not be agreed... although Wilson insists that the move is not dead... Meanwhile, Frenchman Osvaldo Lopes is continuing to train with the Poppies... Lopes has previously played for Plymouth Argyle and Torquay United".

    "Redditch and Kidderminster have agreed a deal in principal for attacking midfielder Jamie Gleeson, but the player is yet to agree to the terms. If he does, Brown said he could see him in the starting eleven [against]... Nuneaton Borough on Saturday". Manager Rod Brown added "Games in hand mean nothing at this stage of the season. When you're looking at playing two or even three games a week to catch up you're stretching your squad to its limits. That's when the panic starts to creep in".

    This is Staffs reports that "Stafford Rangers directors have ordered emergency cost-cutting measures to stop the football club going into financial meltdown. The Marston Road outfit revealed they were losing £2,500 a week, and warned the situation could not continue if the club was to survive. Player-boss Phil Robinson has been told he must lose his non-contract players and three backroom staff in a bid to reduce the deficit... In addition, Rangers' 16 contracted players have been asked 'to defer certain bonus payments until the club's cash flow problems are resolved'. Rangers chairman, Cliff Went, said: 'We can only assume (the players) are not terribly happy about it. No-one likes having restrictions put on their wages... We have asked [manager] Phil [Robinson] to do the best he can. We cannot afford to pay the non-contract players'... According to financial director Mike Hughes, the reasons for the club's cash problems are a drop in attendances at Marston Road - which are down 200 per game - and the loss of lucrative local derbies, especially the one with neighbours Hednesford... From July to December, Rangers lost £25,000, the equivalent of £1,000 a week, said Hughes. That included prize and gate money from their FA Cup run ending in a first-round defeat by Chester City". Also, "In the wake of Wednesday's bombshell, supporters have been handing over sums of money to Robinson on the strict understanding it is used to support the team on the field... 'It's made us more determined than ever to ensure we get into those promotion play-offs', said the Rangers boss. 'The spirit in the dressing room is excellent... We've given ourselves a target of paying players and staff between now and the end of the season. Maybe everything won't get paid and we could do with more assistance'".

    Worksop Today reports that "two of Worksop's most influential players this season have been targeted by other clubs this week. Defender Antony Jackson, 24, is the second Tigers' player to attract attention from Harrogate Town after Mark Haran left for Wetherby Road in September. And Blake Norton's reputation as a fast-improving winger has spread into League One territory, where Doncaster Rovers have expressed an interest in the 21-year-old".

    The NW Evening Mail reports that Barrow "defender Scott Maxfield says a feeling of unfinished business is keeping him at Holker Street... Last month saw Barrow’s rivals Stalybridge Celtic become the latest club to be turned down by the former Doncaster Rovers ace". Maxfield said, "I’ve been to the second round of the FA Cup with Barrow, I’ve finished second, third and fourth in the league, but I’d like to go up with Barrow, to win promotion".

    24 February 2005 continued


    Tonight's game between Manchester United Reserves and Manchester City Reserves at Moss Lane has been postponed due to the heavy rain in the last 24 hours.


    On Sunday, 13 March, 2005, there is an Easter Fayre in the Sponsors' Lounge. Stalls include chocolate tombola, bric-a-brac, name the rabbit and a guess the cake-weight competition. Cakes and refreshments will be on sale too. Donations of chocolates or Easter eggs would be much appreciated in advance of the event; please bring these to the club office.


    The team line-ups and other information for the Altrincham Reserves' matches at Lancaster and Southport are now in the Reserves' section, courtesy of Neil Brown. Further details will be added in due course.


    Right: Gavin Rathbone's picture shows Colin Little (no.9) celebrating one of his goals on Tuesday with Rod Thornley before Runcorn's Jones got him sent off by "simulating" injury.

    Jones, a former York City defender, allegedly has "form" for this kind of thing, having prompted the sending off of Chester's Daryl Clare in November 2002 when playing for Southport. Following this, Clare's ban was rescinded on video evidence. Sadly Tuesday night's game at Altrincham was not videod. Chester City's Earlydoors website reported on the above game and the "dismissal of Daryl Clare, who had been shown a red card after a flare up with Southport defender Barry Jones. After several crude tackles from Jones on Clare, the striker turned to face the defender, who then started to roll the ground in agony for no apparent reason. The referee had been conned and off went City's star striker, much to the disapproval of the travelling City army". Coincidentally, Runcorn's current manager Steve Soley, then a player for Southport, played in the same game and was also sent off, ten minutes earlier!

    The official Runcorn website refers to Tuesday's 3-3 draw at Moss Lane as a "hum-dinger of a typical no-love-lost confrontation between Runcorn and their long time rivals Altrincham... Altrincham scorer Colin Little was sent off following an altercation with Barry Jones, amidst suggestions that Jones had feigned injury and had played for the sending off".

    The STAR bucket collection on Tuesday raised £65.35, with thanks as ever due to the loyal band of collectors.