Altrincham Football Club News Archive
23 to 27 March, 2005

27 March 2005


Alty Youth put on a good performance to beat Woodley Sports 3-1 today, with two goals from Lee Hendley and one from Graham Bryant. Lee has now scored 27 goals this season. Report to follow.


Following the bad injury to Alty striker Marcus Hallows, in today's "Pink", Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin says, "I've spoken to Marcus's wife, who is understandably very upset and I've promised her we'll stand by him by paying his wages through the summer. In the circumstances, it's the least we can do. We'll also be staging fundraising events for Marcus, just as we have for our other broken leg victim Stephen Rose and we're looking into the suggestion that the cash generated by our planned supporters v staff game ... could also be given to him. Marcus can rest assured we'll look after him. We care for our players".

Meanwhile, STAR's Brian Flynn reports that Gary Warrington and his colleagues will carry out a bucket collection for Marcus Hallows at the Easter Monday game against Hinckley United. Brian writes, "Many people will be aware that Marcus's only income during his rehabilitation period will be from Altrincham FC and the Club has already pledged to pay Marcus during the close season. There will be a number of fundraising events over the next couple of months to help Marcus support his wife Emma and their young son Aaron, who has just reached his first birthday... so bring pocketfuls of dosh on Monday!!". Marcus has now been released from hospital with a titanium rod in his leg.


In The Pink, Geoff Goodwin "has heaped praise on Alty's physio Sean Riley and club doctor Richard Parish for the treatment they gave Hallows while he waited over half an hour for an ambulance... 'If it hadn't been for Sean and Richard the people at the hospital say Marcus would have lost his foot. They did an unbelievable job and we are particularly proud of them'".


Altrincham Reserves have five games left this season, all at home. The fixtures are now in the Reserves' section and include several Saturday lunchtime games at Baguley. A report on their last game, a win over Lancaster City, will be on the website later this weekend.


In today's Pink, chairman Geoff Goodwin says of last week's incident after the game at Moss Lane, "Graham [Heathcote] is very disappointed with himself. He realises what happened wasn't good for the club but the fact remains he was severely provoked. The board have refused to accept his resignation... We will not allow these events to destabilise the club. It would have been such a shame if Graham were to have gone after all that's been achieved here in the last couple of years. I've been overwhelmed by the messages of support I've received from our fans since we announced we weren't prepared to let him leave. I feel we're going in the right direction and I'm sure the fans do too. I'm not saying that's all down to me and Graham, though - it's very much a collective effort".


The NL paper has a feature on goalkeeper Ian Senior. It says, "Senior (44) admits the number of registrations he signed totals 40 and even this season he could not resist the call to help out Altrincham by playing in a GLS Cup tie". Ian is still a full-time fireman who also scouts for Wigan Athletic and coaches Lancashire FA goalkeepers but now he "has set up a business selling a whole range of sports gear to teams throughout Britain". His company, Sensports Kits, is "certainly on an even footing with my job as a fireman" said Ian, who now sells Pro Star merchandise to 18 clubs in the NW Counties League and UniBond League. "Last week he finalised a deal to supply Alty next season and he adds, 'The background to me getting most of the business is through having played at these millions of clubs! I've got plenty of contacts... I'm going to see Ashton United this week'".

Niell Hardy netted for Chorley, whilst Steve Tobin scored for Flixton yesterday, whilst Rio Nelson, an Alty Reserve this season, also played for Flixton. Ryan Hevicon turned out for Chadderton and Jamie Baguley for Woodley this week, whilst Lee Thompson netted for Skem, Leroy Chambers for Frickley and Carl Furlong played for Colwyn Bay. The NLP has a picture of Ian Craney scoring this week for Accrington. Two ex-Alty Youth players, Mark Drew, Ben Ashmole and Lee Shillito played for Leigh yesterday, whilst Peter Band and Matt Bailey played for Vics, and Dean Greygoose for Sudbury.


Move: Tony Evans (Southport to Prescot C.)
26 March 2005


I have received an e-mail from Simon Wright, editor of a West Bromwich Albion fanzine called Grorty Dick (before you ask, it is named after a traditional West Midlands dish), enquiring about Ben Robson, son of Bryan Robson, the Baggies' manager and former Manchester United and England captain. Ben has recently been playing for Altrincham Youth as a right-back. In an interview with Bryan, who still lives in the Altrincham area, he mentions his son's involvement at Altrincham. Indeed, Bryan watched one of the Alty youth games recently. For more, on this see the Youth page. Alty Youth are at home tomorrow to Woodley Sports (2.30pm at Wythenshawe Town FC).


Following their run of twelve unbeaten league games, Altrincham today went down to their fourth successive league defeat and in those games they have not scored from open play. But the Robins were without Aspinall, Hilton, Hussin and Thornley from the starting line-up, as well as the broken-leg victims, Hallows and Rose. In addition, both Scott and Adams were limping from early in the first half so, once again, Alty were well under strength.

Match report here.

  • Alty Stats
  • Alty Line-Ups
  • Table


  • Ashton United 0 Southport 3
  • Barrow 2 Altrincham 0
  • Gainsborough T. 0 Harrogate T. 0
  • Hucknall T. 0 Worksop T. 0
  • Redditch U. 2 Kettering T. 3
  • Stafford R. 2 Nuneaton B. 3
  • Vauxhall M. 3 Lancaster C. 1


    BBC Ceefax, Sky Sports and even the Conference's own website had the BPA v Droylsden result wrong on Friday night- the Bloods won 2-0, not as these sources reported, lost 0-2 - and so went top of the league.
  • Bradford PA 2 Droylsden 0
  • Hinckley U. 1 Alfreton T. 0
  • Stalybridge C. 1 Runcorn FC Halton 0
  • Corrected table


    Manchester United FC has informed Altrincham FC that next season their Reserves side will not be playing at Moss Lane. Instead they will be playing at Hyde United's ground. This means a significant loss of income, about £20,000 a year, to Altrincham. United beat WBA Reserves 2-0 on Thursday at Moss Lane with second half goals from Kleberson and Rossi.


    For today's game at Barrow, manager Graham Heathcote has had some good news as, apart from the broken-leg victims Stephen Rose and Marcus Hallows, he is only certain to be without Rod Thornley (acting as masseur with England and injured) and Kirk Hilton (knee injury) for the Holker Street match. Even Eddie Hussin, who had been laid low by a bug on top of the injury which had sidelined him recently, may be available; both Eddie and Steve Aspinall (right) will have fitness tests before the game today. Rod's leg injury is not as yet diagnosed and he is to have further checks over the weekend but he will certainly miss Monday's game at home to Hinckley. The recent flu/virus victims (Coburn, Melling, Potts, Mitten) are all now fit.


    Altrincham FC's car park was occupied by "travellers" earlier this season. Now, a height restriction bar has been fitted to the car park entrance and retractable bollards are to be installed to prevent a further "occupation". Also, following an incident last week when intruders got into the ground, the installation of CCTV is being investigated.


    Danny Murphy, whose Alty career was blighted by injury, is now living in the USA, whilst Neil Ryan is coaching at South Trafford College.

    Vauxhall Motors have signed Michael Garrity who played 4 first-team games for Alty in 2000. Michael's uncle, Larry, played for Altrincham in the 1970s. Michael moved from Alty to Kendal Town (November 2000) and later to Runcorn until he was released for financial reasons last week.


    Our neighbours Trafford played superbly to beat second-placed Newcastle Town 5-0 last night. Newcastle used former Alty midfielder Nigel Gleghorn (who is also their manager) as a second-half substitute, a role also played by former Robin, David Holt for Trafford. But Vernum Rowland was missing from the Town side, presumably injured. In the Trafford side was keeper Martin Campbell, who kept goal for Alty at Droylsden on Monday, whilst one of the goals tonight came from Andy Lundy, who was signed by Alty as cover for injuries late last season. Alty manager Graham Heathcote and director Grahame Rowley were amongst those in the crowd, as was former Alty winger Jamie Baguley, now at Woodley Sports.
    25 March 2005


    Altrincham Reserves beat Lancaster City 3-2 on Wednesday in the Lancashire League. Youth team striker Lee Hendley and Rico Richards were scorers of two of the goals. I hope to have a report on this match in the near future.


    A late change to the fixtures sees Altrincham Youth at home on Easter Sunday at Wythenshawe Town FC (2.30pm) against Woodley Sports in the quarter-final of the Open Cup. The winners will be away to Formby the following Sunday in the semi-finals.


    The Metro News has a piece on Marcus Hallows's injury and reports that his parents had arrived at Wythenshawe Hospital from Bolton, after being notified of the injury, before the ambulance had even got to Moss Lane. The report also reveals that Marcus's professional career at Bolton Wanderers was curtailed by a previous bad injury - a fractured skull, so he has not had much luck in his footballing career.


    Today's NL Paper says that after last Saturday's post-match incident at Moss Lane, "The Conference have investigated... and decided no action is necessary".


    Don't forget that Saturday's match at Barrow is a 1pm kick-off. Alty remain affected by injuries and illness. Obviously Marcus Hallows will be out and, though recovering well, our other broken-leg victim Stephen Rose, is still not match fit. Rod Thornley, who was thought possibly to have broken his leg at Droylsden on Monday, has probably not done so but will nevertheless have a scan today and will miss both Easter games, as will the injured Kirk Hilton. Steve Aspinall is a doubt after turning his ankle at Droylsden. Those who have missed games or parts of games recently with the flu virus include Stuart Coburn, George Melling, Colin Potts and Josh Mitten. Whilst all of the above should be available for selection at Barrow, captain Eddie Hussin has now contracted the virus and his planned return from injury is therefore delayed. Mark Maddox should be available again and, knowing the determination of Chris Adams, he can be probably be expected to play on through his niggling injury. With Gary Scott and Val Owen also less than 100%, Kieran Lugsden, Colin Little and Gary Talbot are amongst the few fully-fit first-teamers!

    Alty Youth Team manager George Heslop has also gone down with the bug, so we wish him well, too.


    On Monday afternoon from 1.30pm, before the Hinckley United match at Moss Lane, Alty photographer Gavin Rathbone will be taking shots of anyone who would like to be pictured with the Cheshire Senior Cup trophy - for just £5, with the club benefitting from the profits. So, get a memento of a memorable night and help the club at the same time!


    SAM has a report on Alty's CSC Final win, whilst the paper itself has a front-page lead on the post-match incident at Moss Lane last Saturday. It also reveals that last week someone attempted to start a fire in the ground. Speaking of Marcus Hallows, Graham Heathcote said, "We've got a lad with a broken leg in hospital, which puts everything into perspective. The club will support Marcus 100%. This football club has been built on support and trust. The players know that the club will support them as best we can, as we have with Stephen Rose", who also broke his leg this season. STAR, the supporters' trust, has also pledged its support for Marcus.

    Alty manager Graham Heathcote will be talking on Brian Flynn's ClubCall on 09066 555902 from 1pm on Saturday giving his "reflections on the events of last weekend".


    This season, Altrincham have twice had good reason to be grateful to our neighbours, Trafford FC of the NW Counties 1st Division. Twice Trafford have kindly supplied goalkeepers to cover for Stuart Coburn's absence from the side. Firstly, it was Dave Cummins, and last Monday, Martin Campbell replaced Stuart at Droylsden. With Alty not in action today, a way both of watching some good football at a friendly club and repaying the debt to Trafford would be to come along to Shawe View at 7.45pm tonight (Good Friday) to see Trafford take on Newcastle Town. Other reasons to come along are that Newcastle are managed by former Alty midfielder Nigel Gleghorn and that our former player, Vernum Rowland is now on Town's books. Nigel won his second Manager of the Month award this season for an unbeaten run in January. Trafford play at Shawe View, Pennybridge Lane, Flixton.


    Former Alty left-back Danny Adams has moved from Stockport County to Huddersfield Town.


    According to the Southport Forum, after successfully achieving Conference ground grading last Friday, Dave Pace said: "The inspectors couldnít believe the amount of work that had been done. With the ground negotiations [for the new Tameside Stadium] still ongoing, I had been told not to do anything but I decided to do something anyway because I couldnít afford to take the risk. Iím not saying that dealís dead but at least the Butcherís has got the necessary ground grading. The inspectors also said we had two years to get it ready to Football League standard, but I told them we had to get it done in a year because we were getting promoted this time next year!" Speaking of Ashton's win at Moss Lane, Pace said, "To get a result against Altrincham like they did was fantastic ≠ Paul (Futcher) has obviously improved the squad because you donít come away from there with a win without doing something right".

    Bradford PA's manager Carl Shutt says "We do still have a lot to do but, whatever happens, we will stick at it and keep trying until the fat lady sings" according to NL Daily.

    NL Daily also reports that Witton Albion have signed Anton Lally "a 24-year-old tough-tackling midfielder who has joined from troubled Runcorn FC Halton. He has previously played with Vauxhall Motors, Colwyn Bay, Kendal Town and Marine".

    "Alfreton Town are aiming to finish the current season with a flourish. On Monday they meet Stalybridge with "a contrast of fortunes between the two clubs. The Reds piled on points at the start of the season with a fantastic start to the campaign and then tailing off somewhat... Big-spending Stalybridge... have done it the other way around with a poor first half of the season leading to an upturn in fortunes recently". Alfreton aim to install more seats in the summer and to "give the stadium the contingency to house and segregate up to 1200 visiting supporters in the future.. and next season the club will bring the Impact Arena up to a 4000 capacity"

    Hucknall's last league game of the season at home to Alty will be their 14th game in five weeks- a backlog caused by progress in the FA Cup and FA Trophy.

    Harrogate Town report that manager "Neil Aspin... was relatively happy with the way things have progressed since his return to Wetherby Road in January". He said, "Eight games further on we are still in the top five and we have had some difficult games ... It is just a case of getting the balance right between good defending and still creating chances". Aspin is also "hoping to bolster his squad before the transfer deadline" on 31 March".

    On IC Cheshire "Runcorn boss Steve Soley has dismissed talk of Good Friday's game at Stalybridge being a Nationwide North relegation battle... Soley insists Runcorn will soon overtake teams above them while predicting Stalybridge, unbeaten in 10, won't go down either... He said: 'Stalybridge are probably playing some of the best stuff in the league.. The teams above us aren't winning and are all getting dragged in'... Even mid-table Worksop Town may join the relegation battle - they will be ducted 10 points if creditors accept a proposal for a voluntary arrangement. Soley has, meanwhile, released goalkeeper Tony McMillan and fellow contract players Mike Garrity [ex-Alty] and Tom Field. Replacing the midfieldmen are Kendal Town's Mike Jack, 21, who has had a full season of Football League experience with Carlisle, and Widnes teenager Craig Heenighan, a former Blackpool School of Excellence player. Soley yesterday signed striker Philip Brake from Runcorn Sunday League side Bridge Timber". Press officer Martin Fallon confirms that "Despite newspaper reports to the contrary, Runcorn FC Halton would like to confirm that we will be playing our remaining four Nationwide Conference North home games at Valerie Park, home of Unibond Premier League outfit Prescot Cables. The first of these game is on Easter Monday when we entertain Stafford Rangers, kick off 3.00pm". Their other games at Prescot are on 9, 16 and 30 April against Ashton, Hucknall and Lancaster City.

    Confirmation of Worksop's plight comes from Worksop Today which says that The Tigers "could be just two weeks away from ending their financial nightmare... By entering into a Company Voluntary Arrangement, Worksop Town Football Club Ltd would be bought out by a new company and creditors could receive just 28% of money owed to them. But.. they could be docked a maximum of 10 points by the Conference North... potentially throwing them into a relegation fight. The club's future will be decided on Friday, 8 April when creditors are expected to announce whether to accept the proposal or not".

    Vauxhall Motors have had "an alarming run of form that has seen them fail to score in six of their last eight matches" says IC Cheshire. Chairman Alan Bartlam said: 'I'm calling on all our fans, both old and new, to come down and give the lads their support because we need them. I'd like to reiterate again that all children accompanied by an adult get into all of our home games for free and I'd love to see plenty of youngsters creating a good atmosphere at Rivacre Park over the Easter holidays and beyond. My support for the manager Owen Brown remains absolute... I am disappointed about the clash with the England game this Saturday at 3pm, though. Call it pig-headedness but why should the whole of football have to move their games just for one match?'". Hear, hear!

    24 March 2005


    Above is Gavin Rathbone's action picture of Kirk Hilton, against Ashton United, as Gary Talbot looks on.


  • Alty Legend - Herbert Blackshaw by Terry Rowley
  • Thorugh the Years, by Howard Watts.
  • Attendances data, from Terry Rowley.

    Alty lie seventh from top of the attendances chart, after Southport, Kettering Town, Worcester City, Barrow, Nuneaton Borough and Hinckley United whose total is skewed by free attendance at their old ground and the lure of a new stadium. At the bottom end, four clubs average fewer than 300 spectators per game Moor Green, Ashton United, Runcorn FC Halton and, lowest of all Vauxhall Motors (avge. 220).


    Man Utd Reserves play WBA Res. at Moss Lane tonight (7pm); entry £3 for adults.


    On Tuesday, Jez Illingworth scored for Guiseley. Matt Bailey scored the only goal for Northwich Vics in the semi-final of the Mid-Cheshire Senior Cup.


    The NW Evening Mail reports that Barrow "boss Lee Turnbull is now expected to put pen to paper on his new contract this weekend... Turnbull is keeping his fingers crossed midfielder Danny Forde will be back from injury for this weekend's Easter double-header. But Graham Anthony (foot) definitely misses the games at home to Altrincham on Saturday and away to Worksop on Monday. Striker Neil Tarrant is also giving Turnbull cause for concern".


    IC Cheshire has a belated report on the CSC Final which says that "In the second half Altrincham stepped up their play. They went close on a couple of occasions before Mark Carrington conceded a penalty with 15 minutes to go, for a late tackle. Aspinall slotted it home. As Alex surged forward in search of an equaliser, Kieran Lugsden hit them on the break with strong running and he kept his head to seal the win".


    As for Runcorn, This is Cheshire claims that "despite the club's announcement on Friday that they would be relocating to Prescot Cables' ground until the end of the season, it has emerged that Conference officials haven't given permission. 'I'm not sure who made the decision but in retrospect it wasn't appropriate to announce it until ratification from the Conference', admitted Dr David Robertson, the club's chairman. 'We have been in discussions with Warrington Town and Prescot Cables... I don't want to speak for them [The Conference] or make them feel under pressure but we do need an alternative location and Valerie Park [Prescot] stands head and shoulders above the rest'... Dr Robertson could not confirm when he expected to hear back from Conference officials".
    23 March 2005


    The article on Marcus Hallows in today's Manchester Evening News (see below) is now available through this link.


    On Monday night Rod Thornley was injured at Droylsden and there are fears that he may have a fractured tibia. An initial x-ray did not confirm this but it may be necessary to carry out a scan on Friday to be sure. Rod is currently with the England international squad as masseur as they prepare for their game at the weekend, so he is unavailable for Alty's trip to Barrow in any case.


    The MEN has a front page story today about the injury to Marcus Hallows and the delay in the appearance of an ambulance at Moss Lane. Alty boss Graham Heathcote wishes to emphasize that he told the MEN that he was very happy with the ambulance service over the years at Moss Lane and that his quote to that effect was omitted from the newspaper's story.


    Alty director Grahame Rowley has provided an update on Marcus Hallows (right) following his second operation, during which the wound caused by his compound double fracture was closed up. The leg will not be plastered but rather placed in a cradle. Thankfully, Marcus is no longer in need of painkillers and, indeed, will be up on crutches tomorrow with a view to being released from hospital on Friday. They certainly don't let you stay long in hospitals these days! Marcus has asked that his thanks be conveyed to all those supporters, players and club officials who have sent him good wishes since he suffered his nasty injury.


    For those wishing to play in the end of season Altrincham Supporters v Club Staff game, "the minimum donation to the football club for playing has been reduced from £30 per player to £20 per player" reports the Alty Fans' Forum.


    Huddersfield Town are "weighing up a possible move for... Danny Adams" reports Ceefax, whilst Stockport County sources say that the former Alty left-back has already been training with the Yorkshire club.


    Our next opponents, Barrow report that "Back-up goalkeeper, Jamie Waite, has left Barrow to train with Stevenage Borough... Jamie has been on the bench for numerous games since joining in January but made just one start". The NW Evening Mail says that "Barrow AFC chairman Brian Keen [has] received the full backing of supporters to carry on in his role at the helm of the club. Keen was elected onto the board by an overwhelming majority at the annual meeting... Around 200 supporters attended the meeting and heard Keen give out a rallying call for help, following a season which has seen gates and membership levels drop... 'There are no quick fixes'", he said.