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Players of 1996-97


The following profiles are from the Northwich Victoria v Altrincham programme of 1/2/1997.

Last season, The Robins produced a strong finish to their 17th Conference campaign. Despite an uncertain start, Alty's form in the second part of the season was bettered by just five other teams - helping them to the security of a twelfth place finish. Paul France took the Player of the Year award while Stuart Terry was voted Players' Player of the Year.

Meet the Manager:

One of non-league football's most charismatic figures, JOHN KING wrote a new chapter in his association with Altrincham when he became the outright owner of the club in June 1995 -the only serving Conference manager to combine his duties with those of a director. Having enjoyed a successful non-league playing career with Kirkby Town, Wigan Athletic, Altrincham and, course, the Vics, John's playing days were cut short after suffering injury in the 1982 FA Trophy final. He began his managerial career at South Liverpool before moving to Altrincham in 1984. In 1986 he managed Alty to FA Trophy success - becoming the first man to captain and manage the club to success in the competition. Spells at Runcorn, Barrow and as assistant manager at Bury followed before he returned to Moss Lane in February 1994 to answer an SOS call from the Robins.

On the Park:

  • GEORGE SHEPHERD: Manchester-born George joined Robins in August 1996 after seven years with Macclesfield Town, where he won Vauxhall Conference and Drinkwise Cup winners' medals. Beginning his career with Manchester City, George enjoyed spells with Bolton Wanderers and Hyde United before a 6,000 fee took him to the Silkmen.
  • STUART TERRY: Stuart earned his first England semi-pro cap last season, just fifteen months after stepping into Conference football together with Bangor City team-mate Steve Cross, and only three years leaving West Cheshire side Heswall for Bangor. Whilst at Bangor, Stuart played in the side which won the North Wales Challenge Cup; now he has his sights firmly set on loftier goals.
  • IAN HORRIGAN: lan signed for Altrincham in February 1996, making his debut 24 hours later against Welling United. lan had a brief spell with Morecambe before arriving at Moss Lane, and his former clubs include Barrow, Knowsley United, Conwy United and Prescot.
  • MATT DICKINS: Signed for Altrincham in August 1996 from Stockport County, where he made 17 Football League appearances. Beginning his career at Lincoln, Matt joined Kenny Dalglish's Blackburn Rovers for 50,000, although his first team opportunities at Ewood Park were limited. He later played for Blackpool and Rochdale before joining Stockport in 1994.
  • RICKY HARRIS: Ricky signed for the second time in August 1992 for 3,000 from Hyde United, four years after his first debut for the Robins. Began his career with Ashton United before spells at Moss Lane, Hyde, Runcorn and Hyde again. Equally at home in midfield and attack, Ricky was the club's leading scorer in the 1993/4 season, and despite missing most of 1994/5 with a knee injury, is amongst the most accomplished players in the Conference.
  • DARREN HEESOM: Darren is the club's only remaining playing link with the Tommy Docherty era, having been signed by the Doc in October 1987 from Burnley, where he made 38 Football League appearances. After two years, Darren left Moss Lane for Macclesfield, and subsequently Witton where he was part of the squad which reached the 1992 Trophy final. Following a brief spell at Hyde United, Darren joined Barrow but was among John King's first signings on his return to the club in February 1994.
  • DANNY McGOONA: Twentyone year old Danny signed for Robins from Connah's Quay Nomads in December 1996, making his debut 24 hours later at Southport. The winger began his career with Colwyn Bay and owns a sportswear shop and scored his first goal for The Robins' in their recent 3-3 FA Trophy tie at Gresley.
  • MARK MADDOX: Merseysider Mark was spotted in Liverpool Sunday football, and signed for the Robins in August 1996 after impressing in pre-season fixtures. A rugged defender, whose no nonsense style has quickly endeared him to Alty fans.
  • MICK CARMODY: A model of consistency since joining the Robins in June 1992 from Emley, Mick played league football for Tranmere Rovers and his home town club Huddersfield Town and, whilst at Emley, played in the 1988 FA Vase Final. Appointed Altrincham club skipper on New Year's Day 1994, Mick was the 1993/4 Players' & Supporters' choice as Player of the Year.
  • NEIL DOHERTY: Former Liverpool apprentice. He joined Robins in January 1996 from Runcorn. Neil is a converted full-back who joined the Linnets from Bamber Bridge durin ghte 1994/95 season and, in coming to Moss Lane, rejoins his former Runcorn assistant manager Billy Rodaway, now on the coaching staff at Altrincham.
  • PAUL FRANCE: Paul splits his working week between Moss Lane and the McAlpine Stadium, where he works as Huddersfield Town's Football in the Community Officer. A cool and commanding presence in the centre of the Moss Lane defence, Paul played league football with Huddersfield, Bristol City and Burnley, arriving at Altrincham in August 1992. Paul won the supporters' Player of The Year award in his first season at the club.
  • NIELL HARDY: Currently enjoying a new lease of life at Moss Lane, Niell needs little introduction to Drill Field regulars having spent over two years with the Vics in between 1993 and 1995. During this spell, Timperley based Niell made 91 appearances in a Greens shirt scoring 15 goals. Originally a YTS trainee at Bolton, Neill had brief spells at Tranmere and Crewe before joining Vics in March 1993.
  • PAUL CAIN: A member of the Liverpool Youth Team which won the 1995/6 FA Youth Cup, Paul joined Altrincham in the summer of 1996, making his debut against Rushden & Diamonds on the opening day of the 1996/7 campaign.
  • STEVE CARROLL: The former Old ham and Chesterfield junior joined Altrincham in the summer of 1996 and progressed through the club's reserve side to become a part of the first team squad early in 1996/7 season.

    Additional information:

  • TONY DAWS: A striker signed from Scarborough in January 1997 after making more than 200 appearances in the League for Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Lincoln City.
  • MARK LIMBERT: Midfielder and former Everton junior who signed from Colwyn Bay in February 1996. His former clubs include Connah's Quay and Chester City.

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