by Terry Rowley
Reproduced from The Robins' Review 2005/06
By Terry Rowley
Sanders, Tony - Altrincham manager, who along with Freddie Pye was probably Altrincham’s most successful. Originally at Moss Lane as Roy Rees's assistant, he was appointed as manager on 10 April 1976 and resigned in January 1984 after leading Altrincham to two Wembley finals, two Alliance championships, two Alliance cup finals. He also established their reputation in the FA Cup with high profile games against Spurs and Liverpool and by beating league sides such as York, Rochdale, Sheffield United, Scunthorpe United and Crewe Alexandra.
Schoolboy Internationals - Amongst those that have played for Altrincham are S. Boyle, George Royle, Walter Moss, George Power, Terry Beckett, Harold Bratt, Cyril Briggs, Gordon Clayton, Peter Conning, Tony Daws, Mick Farrelly, Konrad Kapler, Andy Lee, Noel McFarlane, Willie Mailey, Rob Mathews, Alan Morgan, Graham Oliver, Chris Pridam, Albert Quixall, Neil Rimmer, Trevor Ross, John Smith, Tommy Spratt, Gareth Strange, Norman Sykes and Gary Worrell.
Shilling collection - Fundraising method used by Altrincham to raise funds to pay the ground rent in 1914/15.
Smith - At least 25 players named Smith have turned out for Altrincham.
Stanton, Clifford - Cliff Stanton joined Altrincham as an 18 year-old, having played his junior football with the Greek Street Baptists in Stockport. Educated at Stockport Grammar School, he was considered a good all round sportsman. He made his Altrincham debut just 16 days after his 18th birthday at Moss Lane in the season's opening fixture against Eccles Borough and marked the occasion with a debut hat-trick in a 4-1 win. He followed this up three days later with the only goal in a 1-0 home win over Runcorn. Small for a centre-forward, Stanton made up for his lack of inches with pace, timing and finishing which served him well at Cheshire County League level. His performances for Altrincham were nothing short of sensational and he appeared to score goals for fun, which naturally led to Football League scouts watching his progress from early in the season. In a season where Altrincham finished only 9th in the league they still scored 129 goals (142 in all competitions) with Stanton scoring over a third of them! Representative honours came quickly, being picked to represent Cheshire and, naturally, he marked this debut with a hat-trick.
He finished the season scoring four goals in each of his last two games, thus seeming to ensure that his future lay away from Moss Lane at a higher level. Oldham Athletic were the team that signed him and he scored five goals in first six games for the Latics Reserves the following season. Joined Macclesfield, scoring 32 goals in season 1929/30 and was selected for Cheshire League v Welsh League in March 1930. Rejoined Oldham in May 1930 but failed to establish himself again playing five matches at outside-right. Released in April, 1931.
Steward, Alf - Former Manchester United goalkeeper who played a large part in Altrincham’s successes in the mid-1930s as player, player/manager, manager and secretary.
Stretford FC - One of Altrincham’s first opponents when playing in the Manchester League, the sides first met in 1893.
Substitutes - Substitutes in the Cheshire County League were introduced for season 1966/67 and Altrincham’s first substitute was David Jackson, away at Mossley on 22nd August 1966
Substitute appearances – The most appearances as substitute is by current forward Kieran Lugsden who up until the time of writing had come off the bench 66 times
Swales, Peter John - Born 25 December 1932, died 2 May 1996> Along with business partner Noel White, he rescued Altrincham’s semi-professional status when they took over the club in April 1961. Peter Swales was later to be invited onto the Manchester City board in 1972 as a ‘white knight’ and arbitrator between warring factions and quickly succeeded to the chairmanship in 1973, remaining chairman till ousted by a consortium led by former player Francis Lee in February 1994.
Swindells, John (Jack) - Born in Manchester and an England Youth International, Jackie joined up with Altrincham for the tail end of the 1964/65 season after a league career of 190 games and 65 goals His late introduction to the Altrincham side gave no indication of what was to come as he scored 4 goals in 10 games. In his first full season at Moss Lane he scored a phenomenal 82 goals in 63 games. In this total there were six hat-tricks, which included scoring five goals twice in a game (one of these being in the 6-0 1st Round FA Cup-tie against Scarborough) and seven in the 8-1 win over Chester Reserves. Over the rest of his Altrincham career he notched a further twelve hat-tricks. In that first full season (65-66) the 'Robins' scored 190 goals in all competitions with strike partner Pat Connolly, scoring 34 goals himself! They went on to clinch the Cheshire League Championship and were also League Cup Finalists. The following season they achieved the 'double' of League Championship and Cheshire Senior Cup. In fact, Swindells would see silverware in each of his six full seasons at Moss Lane. In 1967-68 Alty were runners-up in the League and were North-West Floodlit League runners-up. 1968-69 saw them win the North West Floodlit League and in 1969-70 Altrincham landed the Northern Premier League Cup and were also Cheshire Senior Cup finalists. In 1970-71, Jackie's last season, he went out on a high as Altrincham defeated Macclesfield to win the North West Floodlit League trophy yet again.
Unfortunately, during his last season, Swindells was dogged with injury after being a near ever present for the previous five seasons. He left Moss Lane at the end of the 1970/71 season but continued his career with Radcliffe Borough, but that is another story. He was truly one of the 'Greats' to have graced Moss Lane.
Talbot F.C. - From 1893 till 1896, the best side in the Manchester League finishing 2nd 1st and 1st in Altrincham (Broadheath)’s first three seasons in the Manchester League.
Ten Men - During the 1912/13 season Altrincham played 5 of their matches with only 10 men for most of the game, this was due to either injury or non- or late-arrivals.
Thomas- Brothers, Morgan and Alfred played for Altrincham for three seasons between 1910/11 and 1912/13. Morgan was a right-winger and Alfred a full-back.
Todd, Edward – Originally a Broadheath player who signed professional with Newton Heath (later to become Manchester United) on 11th January 1897. Played in only one match, (a benefit for F. Erentz), in March before leaving and joining the army. On his return he re-joined Altrincham. His brother Edward also played a couple of seasons for Broadheath.
Tonge F.C. - Replaced Talbot as the top team during Altrincham’s early Manchester League days winning the title in 1897, 1898, 1900 and again in 1901.
Towers, Frank - One of a select group of players to have been on the first team bench but never actually played for Altrincham. Towers, a former Blackburn Rovers youngster he arrived at Moss Lane in season 1980/81with a good reputation as a striker after playing for Morecambe, Southport and Los Angeles Aztecs. After sitting on the bench for the 1-0 away win at Bath City and the 4-3 home win at Scarborough he moved to Barrow for 8 games before having further spells at Southport, Netherfield and Morecambe.
Transfers - The first Altrincham player to incur a transfer fee was reportedly, Jack Mills who was signed from Chester for the 1947/48 season.
Tranmere Rovers - Altrincham first met Tranmere Rovers in the Lancashire Combination League Second Division in 1911. They continued to meet throughout their time in the Lancashire Combination and through the First World War. On their ascension to the Football League, Rovers' reserve side played in the Cheshire County League and met Altrincham on a regular basis until Altrincham moved to the Northern Premier League. Surprisingly Tranmere and Altrincham have met only four times in the Cheshire Senior Cup, in 1919/20 in the final (Tranmere won), 1923/24, 1952/53 and in 1969/70 (the last time the sides have met in a competitive fixture). The teams have also met once in the FA Cup in 1921 when Altrincham won 4-2 after drawing 4-4 at Moss Lane. Altrincham have also had over 50 players with Tranmere connections play for them over the years
Upsets - The FA Cup was the setting for Altrincham upsetting the form book and the biggest upset was the famous 2-1 victory over Birmingham City in 1985/86. However Altrincham have also been on the receiving end of quite a few upsets, such as a 3-1 defeat in the Cheshire Senior cup by Linotype in 1929/30, a 3-1 home defeat in the FA Cup in 1931/32 to Yorkshire Amateurs. More recently the 5-0 FA Trophy thrashing by the soon to be defunct Colne Dynamoes in 1989/90 and the 1-0 FA Cup defeat by Ashton United in 1998/99
Unbeaten- Altrincham have featured in three outstanding unbeaten runs during their history. The first being in the 1922/23 season when, between 11th November 1922 and 7th April 1923, the team went 26 games unbeaten in all competitions. The second notable run was in the 1965/66 season when the team remained unbeaten for 34 games in all competitions from the start of the season, only losing their first game of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup. This run can also be extended by one further game as they had won the last game of the 1964/65 season making it 35 consecutive games unbeaten. The last and more recent occasion was in 1990/91 when Altrincham went 28 Alliance Conference games without defeat.
Uttley, Jack- Former Chester player who turned out for Altrincham during the 1931/32 season, then moved to Mossley.
USA - Altrincham have had a number of players that have played in the USA amongst them being; Sammy Ayorinde who played for Colorado Springs Stampede, Terry Lees (San Jose Earthquakes), Robert McAlinden and Mick Walker (Los Angeles), Tony McLoughlan and Alex Stepney (Dallas Tornadoes), Micky Moore (Dallas Flames), John Rogers and Neil Ryan (Portland Timbers) and, most recently, Gary Williams who played for South Jersey Barons and Virginia Beach Mariners.
Under-23 Internationals - The following Altrincham players have gained under 23 honours:
Under 21 Internationals – The following Altrincham players have gained Under-21 honours, Brian Kilcline and Ray Wallace for England and Robert Wilson for Eire.
University Representatives- The following Altrincham players have represented the British Universities; Shaun Constable, Oliver Goodier, John Owens, John Davison, Barry Whitbread,
Vaughn, John - A joiner by trade, based in Ashton on Mersey, he spent much of his career alternating between Sale Holmfield and Altrincham, playing for Altrincham in 1898/99, 1904/05 and 1906/07. He was also an amateur at Manchester City and after leaving Altrincham the last time he joined Rossendale United. He won two Manchester League winners medals and a Cheshire Senior Cup winner's medal during his time with Altrincham
Vose, George - George was born in St Helens and worked there as a glass-blower, playing his football for Peasley Cross Athletic before joining Manchester United in September 1932. He went on to play 211 first team games prior to the Second World War. He was reaching his peak as war was declared when he was possibly on the brink of International honours, as he had been selected for an England trial match in 1939. He continued to play for United during the War and also guested for Chester, Derby County, Manchester City and Stockport County. On demob he re-signed for United, but his best years were behind him and, after a brief stint at Stalybridge Celtic, he played for Altrincham in their first season of post war football (1946/47) but, half way through the season, he moved closer to home and joined Runcorn. He died in Wigan in June 1981
War time - Altrincham had a contrasting time in the two World Wars. During the First World War they played right throughout. The 1914/15 season was a normal season but, as the War progressed, public opinion turned against organised football. Football was still played and Altrincham continued in the now regionalised Lancashire Combination League throughout 1915/16 and the first half of 1916/17 season when, due to travel restrictions and limited opposition, Altrincham withdrew from The Lancashire Combination and took over the fixtures of Mersey Athletic in the Manchester Amateur League which, with the exception of the Canadians at Buxton, was centred on an eight mile radius of Manchester. They played the whole of the 1917/18 season and the first half of the 1918/19 season in this league, eventually withdrawing when then the Lancashire Combination was re-established and set up a limited competition when peace was declared. The following season Altrincham withdrew from the Lancashire Combination and joined the newly formed Cheshire County League in which they were instrumental in its foundation. Things were much different in the Second World War, after just three games of the 1939/40 season, all football was suspended but, a month later, football on a limited basis was permitted. Altrincham agreed to join the regional wartime competitions instigated by the Cheshire County League in 1939 and 1940 but the immediate pre-war years had been lean times for Altrincham and financially wartime football rarely met the costs. So, at the end of the 1940 competition, the club shut down, not resuming competitive football until the 1946/47 season.
Website - Altrincham have been blessed with two dedicated and self sacrificing ‘webmasters’ who have kept the world at large informed of the action down at Moss lane. First there was Alan Johnson who subsequently passed the baton to current incumbent, John Laidlar. Both have succeeded not only keeping everyone fully up to date on the goings on at Moss Lane but also projected the club in the best possible light to the world at large.
White, Noel - Along with business partner Peter Swales, stepped in and saved Altrincham’s semi-professional status. White had been an amateur at Chester and went on to become Chairman at Liverpool FC where he was a director [until he resigned in 2006]. He is also Altrincham’s President and current Chairman of the FA’s International Committee.
Win, largest- 14-2 against Sale Holmfield in the 3rd Round of the Cheshire Amateur Cup on the 5th December 1903
Winning run - Altrincham recorded 14 straight wins during their first season in the Lancashire Combination 2nd Division between 28th October 1911 and 27th January 1912.
Worst end to a season – has to be 1960/61 when Altrincham finished the season with 13 straight defeats.
Worst start to a season - Altrincham lost the first 6 games of the 1893/94 season and the first 5 games of the 1929/30 season.
Xmas Day - The last time Altrincham played a fixture on this day was Christmas 1961, a 1-1 draw away to Winsford United.
Young, Richard (Dick) - Born in Felling and started with Unsworth Juniors before joining Newcastle United in July 1957 but failed to make the grade and moved to South Shields. He was then signed by Grimsby Town in March 1962 and scored 14 goals in 32 appearances. Moving south he joined Stockport County in May 1965 before dropping into the non-league after just one season, first with Bangor City and then later Macclesfield Town. He joined Altrincham for the 1971/72 season and played 39 games and scored 8 goals for the Robins. Unfortunately, Dick died of cancer in 1989.
Youth Internationals - We can find at least 24 players that have turned out for Altrincham and gained England youth honours, they include; Andy Ainscow, Jamie Almond, Jason Beckford, Stan Billington, Chris Butler, Len Cantello, Graham Carr, Gordon Clayton, John Connaughton, Tony Daws, Wayne Entwhistle, Dean Greygoose, Andy Kilner, Steve Morgan, Neil Murphy, Neil Rimmer, Norman Rucker, David Shawcross, Tommy Spratt, Steve Torpey, Frank Twist, Kyle Wilson and Nicky Wood. There are also 4 others who have youth honours for other countries, they are; Mario Daniel (Trinidad), Neil Dewer (Scotland), Alan Morgan (Wales) and Paul Williams (Northern Ireland)
Zion - A Manchester Federation team who Broadheath played in the First Round of the Manchester Junior Cup during the 1897/98 season. Broadheath won 9-0.
Zamrutel, Soner - Well-travelled player who turned out for Altrincham for a few games in the 1995/96 season before moving on yet again.