Altrincham Football Club has a proud history, which includes knocking more League sides out of the FA Cup than any other curent non-league side. (For details see below). They have also been founder members of the Cheshire County, Northern Premier and the Alliance/Conference leagues.
Nicknamed 'The Robins', Altrincham played 2003-04 season in the UniBond Northern Premier League (NPL) one tier below the Nationwide Conference. In 2004-05 they will play in the new Conference North feeder division, which has been created between the NPL and the Conference National division.
Altrincham were ever-present in the Conference until 1997 and regained Conference-status for 1999-2000. However, they were relegated once more to the UniBond in May 2000, albeit with the lowest number of defeats of any side ever demoted from the Conference and despite achieving the second-longest undefeated run of the season of 14 matches. They have since finished 7th (2001), 9th (2002), 14th (2003) and 12th (2004) in the UniBond Premier Division.
The Club is running three sides in 2004-05. As well as the first team (Conference North) and the youth team (N.W. Youth Alliance League), a reserve team (Lancashire League) has been re-formed for 2004-05 after two years' absence. Click on the buttons above, left, for details of each team.
Club Address and Contact Numbers
Altrincham Football Club, Moss Lane, Altrincham, Cheshire WA15 8AP
Telephone - 0161-928 1045
Fax - 0161-926 9934
Official web site - www.altrinchamfc.com
Altrincham FC Clubcall - 09066-555902
On 14 October 2002, Graham Heathcote (left) replaced Bernard Taylor as manager. Graham has spent most of the last 32 years at Moss Lane as, firstly, a player and then as coach and was part of the famous Altrincham giant-killing FA Cup side which was a national force in non-league football in 1970s and 1980s. He first became Alty coach under John King but resigned, with King, in early 1998. Bernard Taylor then took over and won the UniBond Challenge Cup that season before, early in 1998-99 season, he appointed Graham as his coach. The two then took the club to the UniBond Championship in 1999 but, in December, Graham resigned following the appointment of Stan Allan as Director of Football.
Altrincham were relegated from the Conference in May 2000 at which point Bernard resigned. After Mark Ward's managership (2000-01), Graham was again appointed as coach to manager Bernard Taylor, in March 2001. In June 2002 Graham's coaching contract was not renewed by the then Board and Andy May took over as Bernard's new coach for 2002-03. Financial constraints led to a big cut in the playing budget and the side suffered a poor run of results from March 2002, winning only 7 competitive matches out of 35 until Bernard and Andy were dismissed in October 2002 and Graham took over as manager. Graham has also had brief spells in management elsewhere, notably at Barrow and Witton, as well as being John King's assistant at Runcorn.
Below, is a summary of recent management and Board changes:
||John King, to 5/3/98
||Graham Heathcote, to 5/3/98
||Bernard Taylor, from 5/3/98
||Nigel Gleghorn / Brian Kilcline, 8/98 to 11/9/98
||Graham Heathcote, from 11/9/98, resigned 12/99
||Bernard Taylor, resigned 11/5/00
||Stan Allan/ Owen Brown, to 5/00
||Mark Ward, from 19/5/00 to 18/3/01
||Tony Murphy, from 19/5/00 to 18/3/01
||Gerry Berman, to 1/01; Mark Harris, from 1/01
|2000-01 & 2001-02
||Bernard Taylor, caretaker from 3/01, officially from 1/5/01
||Graham Heathcote, caretaker from 3/01, officially from 1/5/01
||Mark Harris, to resignation 5/02
||Graham Heathcote, to 30/6/02
||Board resigned 24/5/02
||Bernard Taylor, to 14/10/02
||Andy May, from 6/02 to 14/10/02
||New Board, from 6/02
||Graham Heathcote, from 14/10/02
||Dalton Steele, from 23/10/02 to 29/11/03 & from mid-May 2004
A fuller list of managers is here.
Dalton Steele is Graham Heathcote's assistant manager. Dalton was originally appointed on 23/10/02 when he moved to Moss Lane from his job as the Flixton FC manager. He resigned on 29/11/03 but returned to the job in mid-May 2004. Dalton has extensive knowledge of local football having also previously managed Winsford United, Chorley and Droylsden. He is well used to operating on the sort of tight budget that now prevails at Moss Lane.
Graham Heathcote now combines his Club Secretary duties with his managerial role after his full-time contract as coach/secretary ended on 30 June 2002. He had previously served as coach/ assistant manager/ secretary under both John King and Bernard Taylor. Before that he was a key member of the playing staff, making 502 appearances for The Robins. He was honoured with a testimonial game in 2001-02 against Macclesfield Town and his playing profile is here.
Neil Brown is manager of Altrincham Reserves. He has been coach and manager at succesful local junior club, Fletcher Moss, for ten years. Neil is also a scout for Liverpool FC. His head coach is Charles Henry who, like Neil, has enjoyed great success at Fletcher Moss. Charles is also a coach for the Manchester United satellite centre and a scout for Stockport County. The Reserves'
physiotherapist is Alan Ainsley and kitman is Michael Brown.
Youth Team Management
George Heslop is the Club's Youth Team manager, as well as its Matchday Secretary (see below). With coach Neil Thomason he has guided the side to the NWYA league and cup double in 2000-01 and again in 2003-04. Above, George (right) and Neil (left) are seen with the 2004 trophies. For 2004-05 George and Neil are assisted by Tony Spilsbury, a former Altrincham reserves' manager.
George also acts as compere at club social events whilst George's wife, Jenny, runs the Club bar, shop and the weekly "Saturday Yankee" fundraiser, as well as washing the kit and assisting in the club office. In short, George and Jenny are both very popular and vital elements in the Club's on- and off-field activities.
Sean Riley joined as the club physio. in mid-October 2004, succeeding Gary Thompson who had moved on to Halifax Town at the start of the season. Sean was formerly the physio at Accrington Stanley. Sean has also been resident physio for the Blackburn Sunday League and for Gt Harwood Town and Bamber Bridge. He was also involved in the GB team for the World Student games in Beijing and holds an FA diploma in the treatment and management of sports injuries.
Chairman, Board, Directors and Commercial Manager
In late July, 2002, Geoff Goodwin was named as Chairman. (Geoff is seen, right, with director, Grahame Rowley, in Alan Johnson's photo). In the previous two years the Board had seen many changes. Mark Harris had become the Chairman following the resignation in early 2001 of Gerry Berman, a Manchester businessman, who had been in charge for several years. However, Mark, who was formerly the Deputy Chairman, himself resigned w.e.f. the end of the 2001-02 season. New Directors were appointed from February 2001 after the Club had been saved from a winding-up order threatened by an ex-Director. The remaining Board members resigned in May 2002, and the major shareholders, led by Gerry Berman, held an EGM on 17 June 2002. From this, a new Board emerged comprising Grahame Rowley, Geoff Goodwin and Andrew Shaw, who have brought much needed stability to the club's operations, with a small operating profit being made in 2002-03. However, they are still battling hard to pay off the club's debts which they inherited.
Former Chairman Gerry Berman remains the largest minority shareholder. Other major shareholders include Club President, Noel White, former manager John King and Graham Heathcote. The Club's Associate Directors include Angus Loughran, 'Statto' of TV sports punditry fame. Despite revenue from a good FA Cup run in 2001, the Club is still in a financialy difficult position with debts to pay off to the Inland Revenue and others. As a result, major economies now apply and a cut of 40% on the wage-bill was imposed for 2002-03 and retained in 2003-04. Despite numerous long-term injuries and player unavailability through work commitments, manager Graham Heathcote built a team for 2003-04 which was characterised by its team spirit and refusal to be beaten.
Matchday and Company Secretary
The Club's Matchday and Company Secretary is George Heslop, who is also the Youth team manager (see above).
Dave Mitten and Charles Heathcote, son of the manager, are the club's efficient kit men.
Club Sponsors 2004-05
Geoff Goodwin's Go Goodwins Coaches are the club's main sponsors for 2004-05. Bob Peters's company 20/20 Research are the Youth Team sponsors.
For £500+VAT up to ten guests enjoy a pre-match hot buffet and complimentary drinks, as well as selecting the Man of the Match. To sponsor the match ball costs £100+VAT; the ball is presented before the match by a player selected by the sponsor. For full details ring the Club (0161-928-1045) or contact Barry Pond at the Club on matchdays.
There are three sponsors' bond packages, each costing £1000 +VAT. For details contact the Club.
The Ground: How to Get There
By Road, Public Transport or on Foot
Full details and map here
Left to right: The Main Carole Nash Stand at Moss Lane viewed from the Golf Road End, with the smaller Blue Cannon Family Stand to its left; View from the terraces at the Hale End.
Admission Prices 2004-05
Season tickets: details here.
Turnstile Prices - Standing: Adults £8, Juniors and Concessionaries £5
Turnstile Prices - Sitting: Adults £9, Juniors and Concessionaries £6
The "Kids Go Free" scheme, run in conjunction with the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, will continue.
The excellent match-day programme is The Robins' Review, edited by Grahame and Terry Rowley. It is an all-colour publication, packed with news, statistics and photographs. It sells for £1.50 and has won the Wirral Programme Society award for the UniBond Premier three years running.
Inside the Ground
If segregation is in force (a rare event), the home supporters' terracing is at the Golf Road end (the end nearer to Altrincham town centre); normally two of the four turnstiles are open into this end on match days. Away supporters normally use the 20/20 (Hale) End of the ground, which is uncovered. As shown on the adjacent plan, the Carole Nash (Main) Stand and the Blue Cannon (Family) Stand are both on Moss Lane. The opposite side of the ground comprises terracing known as 'The Popular Side'. There is a licensed bar inside the ground which is open on match days before, during and after the match- this is known as the Noel White Suite. It is situated under the main stand at its Golf Road end. Also, at the Golf Road end, is the Robins' Shop (between the bar and Golf Road) as well as a mobile catering unit. For details of shop merchandise, click here. Another catering unit is situated at the Hale end of the ground and toilets
are to be found adjacent to this, as well as at the Golf Road end and near the
Food and drink
PLEASE USE THE CLUB BAR- IT IS OPEN FOR EVERY FIRST-TEAM GAME. Food and non-alcoholic drinks are available at two mobile canteens which are open for all first-team games..
Altrincham F.C. History
For Terry Rowley's brief history of Altrincham F.C., please click here.
Altrincham Football Club were so named in 1903, as a continuation of Broadheath FC, which was founded around 1891. (Broadheath is a southern area of Altrincham). The club has played in the
following leagues:1903-11 Manchester League
1911-19 Lancashire Combination
1919-68 Cheshire County League (founder members)
1968-79 Northern Premier League (founder members)
1979-97 Alliance Premier/Football Conference (founder members)
1997-99 Unibond Northern Premier League
1999-2000 Nationwide Conference
2000-04 Unibond Northern Premier League
2004- Nationwide Conference North (founder members)
For Alty's league record, click the links below:
For Altrincham's full historical league and cup records, click as follows
League record from 1907.
FA Cup record
FA Trophy record.
Alliance Premier League (now Conference) Champions 1979/80, 1980/81
Bob Lord Trophy Winners 1980/81
Cheshire Amateur Cup Winners 1903/04
Cheshire League Champions 1965/66, 1966/67
Cheshire League Cup Winners 1932/33, 1950/51, 1963/64
Cheshire Senior Cup Winners 1904/05, 1933/34, 1966/67, 1981/82, 1998/99
FA Cup First Round 1933/34, 1963/64, 1968/69, 1971/72, 1972/73, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1981/82, 1987/88, 1990/91, 1995/96, 1996/97
FA Cup Second Round 1967/68, 1973/74, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1984/85, 1986/87, 1988/89, 1992/93, 2001/02
FA Cup Third Round 1965/66, 1974/75, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1980/81, 1981/82, 1994/95
FA Cup Fourth Round 1985/86
FA Trophy Winners 1978, 1986
FA Trophy Finalists 1982
Manchester League Winners 1904/05, 1906/07
Northern Premier League Cup Winners 1969/70
Northern Premier League Challenge Shield Winners 1979/80
Unibond League Challenge Cup Winners 1997/98
Unibond League Challenge Shield Winners 1998/99
Unibond Premier League Champions 1998/99
10,275 for Altrincham Boys v Sunderland Boys, 28 February 1925. For a historical graph of attendances, click the Attendance Grid button above.
Altrincham won 10-0 away at Earlestown in the FA Cup 1Q in 1963-64. Their record league win was 9-2 at home to Merthyr Tydfil in the Conference in February, 1991. Alty's 7-4 win over Nuneaton Borough on 11 November 1985 also matched this aggregate, which remains a Conference record - albeit equalled by Burton Albion 4 Telford U. 7 in 2003. Another Conference record is Altrincham's 23 games without defeat in 1990-91. Alty's best UniBond League score was 7-1 v Emley in 1997/98.
Sixteen FA Cup victories against Football League clubs have been recorded by Altrincham. See this site's FA Cup page for Alty's full record. The club's most famous FA Cup results include:
1986: Birmingham City 1 Altrincham 2 (FAC3R)
This is still the most recent defeat of any First (Premier) Division team at their own ground by a non-League club in the FA Cup. David Seaman was City's keeper.
Other League teams beaten in the FA Cup:
Tranmere Rovers were the first League victims of Alty, beaten 4-2 in 1921/22 in a FA Cup Qualifier. Many other League teams have been defeated in the FA Cup Proper including: Hartlepool (1973), Scunthorpe (1974 and 1980), Crewe Alexandra (1979), Rotherham United (1979), Sheffield United (1981), York City (1981), Rochdale (1982), Blackpool (1984 and 1985), Lincoln City (1988), Chester (1992) and Wigan Athletic (1994). Honourable F.A. Cup draws were also achieved in the following matches;
1975: Everton 1 Altrincham 1 (3rd Round) - the replay was lost 0-2 at Old Trafford.
1979: Tottenham Hotspur 1 Altrincham 1 (3rd Round) - the replay, at Maine Road, Manchester,was lost 0-3 on 16 January. The Spurs side in these matches included Osvaldo Ardiles and Peter Taylor.
Honourable F.A. Cup defeats include:
1981: Liverpool 4 Altrincham 1 (FAC3R). Current Altrincham manager, Graham Heathcote, scored the Altrincham goal from the penalty spot.
Altrincham were founders of the Alliance Premier League (now the Nationwide Conference) in 1979/80 and were its winners in the first two seasons of the competition, at a time when automatic promotion to the Football League was not in place. They failed to gain election to the League by one vote in 1980- see here. In 1997 the Club suffered its first ever relegation and for two seasons were in the Unibond Premier League (Northern Premier League). These years are chronicled in detail in Grahame and Terry Rowley's Altrincham Football Club: the Unibond Years, published in 1999. The turbulent mid-1990s are covered in Mark Harris's informative Altrincham FC: Kingdom come, published in 1995. Both books are still currently available at Sportspages bookshop in Barton Arcade, Manchester. See the full Alty league record, 1907- here.
All were away:
2-13 v Chester, 30.11.1929
5-10 v Ashton National, 23.3.1929
1-9 v Crewe, 5.2.1921 and v Whitchurch 15.12.1928
0-8 v Rhyl, 13.9.1947, v Runcorn 24.3.1928 and v Crewe A. 29.9.1926.
The biggest defeat at Moss Lane was 3-7 to Slough Town in October 1991. Away from home Alty have conceded seven on 27 occasions, the last being at Morecambe on 17.2.1996.
Runs without a win in recent times include 15 (1996-97) and 11 (1999-2000) in the Conference, and 12 consecutive defeats at the end of 1960-61 in the Cheshire County League
Biggest Fee Paid
£15,000 to Blackpool for Keith Russell (1998).
Biggest Fee Received
£50,000 for Kevin Ellison, sold to Leicester City (Feb. 2001).
Players Moving to the League
Click here for a list of Alty players who subsequently moved on to League football.
The Supporters' Trust: S.T.A.R. (Support The Altrincham Robins)
S.T.A.R. was established in 2002 as a supporters' trust. Its forerunner, S.A.F.E. (Save Altrincham's Football Existence) was the Altrincham supporters' association, founded in 1995 in the financial crisis engendered by chairman John Maunders's departure. S.A.F.E. helped to engineer the club's survival but disbanded in August 2003 to make way for S.T.A.R.. There is also an Alty in Exile group for those outside the Manchester or Cheshire area. For more on S.A.F.E. and Alty in Exile, please click here. For S.T.A.R.'s website, click here.
Supporters' coaches run to all away league and cup matches. Details are on the Away Travel page of this site and are also published in the SAM newspaper.
Counter at 1/1/2002: 69,547
At 1/1/2003: 178,589
At 1/1/2004: 296,757
Compiled by John Laidlar