Club & Ground Information
Altrincham Football Club, Moss Lane, Altrincham, Cheshire WA15 8AP
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 as well as Conference (Nationwide) North.
Nicknamed 'The Robins', Altrincham were ever-present in the National Conference (formerly Alliance) from 1979 until 1997 when they suffered their first relegation, to the then UniBond Premier League (Northern Premier). As UniBond champions in 1999 they regained their Conference national status for 1999-2000, but only for one year before being relgated again to the Northern Premier League.
They narrowly qualified for the newly formed Conference North in 2004 and went on to finish fifth before becoming the only-ever winners of a North v South play-off, in 2005, to return to the Conference National for their third spell at that level.
Despite being one of only a handful of part-time clubs, Altrincham finished a very creditable 18th in the Conference National in 2005-06, only to be deprived of any satisfaction at their achievement when they were deducted 18 points following Accrington Stanley's failure to get international clerance for James Robinson, who had joined Alty from Stanley. The deduction meant they were placed bottom of the league and relegated.
But the demise of Canvey Island and then the demotion of Scarborough gave Altrincham a late reprieve at the Conference AGM in June 2006 and they played again in the national division in 2006-07. This time, despite amassing 51 points, they finished fourth-bottom and again looked to be set for relegation. But once again financial shortcomings at another club saved them when Boston United were forcibly demoted to Conference North from League Two. In 2007-08 Altrincham finished 21st so faced relegation before, for the third successive year. Again, they were reprieved, as Halifax Town's financial mismanagement saw them slide into liquidation.
So once again Altrincham's policy of remaining part-time and playing within a fixed budget was rewarded as they continue to compete at national level, whilst remaining one of a handful of part-time clubs in the Blue Square Premier division.
In 2008-09 they finished 15th in the division and improved on this by one place in 2009-10, which were excellent performances given the club's part-time status and limited budget. But a poor start to 2010-11, saw manager Graham Heathcote agree to the ending of his contract after eight winless games in September 2010. His departure came just 24 hours after chairman Geoff Goodwin had announced his own departure. Both men had spent eight years in their positions and had overseen the club's achievement of financial stability whilst also regaining its place in the top flight of non-League football.
Indeed, Geoff Goodwin and his board, with manager Graham Heathcote, steered Altrincham FC from near financial ruin in recent years, through hard work and keeping to strict budgetary limits, to economic stability. During manager Graham Heathcote's eight-year tenure, not a single player cost a transfer fee. Historic debts have been paid off, though this has meant that the club operates on a much lower budget than virtually all of its competitors. New chairman Grahame Rowley has indicated that he adhere to by the same financial principles.
Former Alty striker Ken McKenna became the acting manager on the departure of Graham Heathcote on 14 September 2010 and was confirmed in post on 14 October 2010. Ken had become Altrincham assistant manager on 9 July 2009, succeeding Graham Barrow, after a spell scouting for Cambridge United. Ken hit 56 goals in his 100 matches in the Conference for Altrincham (1990-92) before moving into management in Wales.
His playing career began at Poulton Victoria before he joined Tranmere Rovers, where he made four Football League appearances. He joined Telford United in 1983 and fitted in a spell at Runcorn before rejoining Tranmere Rovers in 1987. Next he rejoined Telford United before arriving at Altrincham for 1990–91.
After a spell with Barrow, Ken joined Conwy United and then Bangor City before signing for TNS in 1998 becoming player manager in 2000–01. Under his control, TNS were three times runners up in the Welsh Premier League before he won three successive league titles between 2004–05 and 2006–07. After gaining European experience with TNS, he left in 2008 and briefly managed Cammell Laird.
Stuart (born 29 September 1969) became Altrincham's assistant manager on 14 October 2010, having serving in an acting capacity for four weeks before that. Ken McKenna got to know Stuart when the current Alty manager joined Gary Brabin at Cambridge United as scout. Stuart was already on the coaching staff there.
His playing career had started at Prescot Cables and Ellesmere Port before he joined Southport in 1989. From there he went to Macclesfield Town (1991) before spells with Bury, Lincoln City and Cambridge United (2003-05).
In 2005 he played for Canvey Island and moved on to Chelmsford City when the Essex side were demoted. From 2006–2008 he managed Bedford Town before becoming first-team coach of Cambridge United. Financial cuts cut short his role at the Abbey, alongside manager Gary Brabin. After being a scout for Barrow during 2009-2010 season, he joined Altrincham (despite being based in Cambridge), and was appointed assistant manager.
Below, is a summary of recent management and Board changes:
|1997-98||John King, to 5/3/98||Graham Heathcote, to 5/3/98||Gerry Berman|
|1997-98||Bernard Taylor, from 5/3/98||Gerry Berman|
|1998-99||Bernard Taylor||Nigel Gleghorn / Brian Kilcline, 8/98 to 11/9/98||Gerry Berman|
|1998-99||Bernard Taylor||Graham Heathcote, from 11/9/98, resigned 12/99||Gerry Berman|
|1999-2000||Bernard Taylor, resigned 11/5/00||Stan Allan/ Owen Brown, to 5/00||Gerry Berman|
|2000-01||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|
|2001-02||Bernard Taylor||Graham Heathcote, to 30/6/02||Board resigned 24/5/02|
|2002-03||Bernard Taylor, to 14/10/02||Andy May, from 6/02 to 14/10/02||New Board, from 6/02|
|2002-03||Graham Heathcote, from 14/10/02 to 14/9/10||Dalton Steele, from 23/10/02 to 29/11/03 & from mid-May 2004 to December 2007. Graham Barrow from 5 January 2008 to 8 July 2009. Ken McKenna from 9 July 2009 to 14/9/10.||Geoff Goodwin, from July 2002 to 13/9/10|
|2010-11||Ken McKenna, Acting Manager from 14/9/10; confirmed 14/10/10||Stuart Bimson, from 14/10/10||Grahame Rowley, from 13/9/10|
A fuller list of managers is here.
Above, left to right: Grahame Rowley; Andrew Shaw; Derek Wilshaw; Paul Daine.
Grahame Rowley became Chairman on 13 September 2010 after Geoff Goodwin resigned on that date. Grahame had previously been vice-chairman, having joined the Board in 2002. Grahame is a local man and is a longstanding supporter of the club and for many years he has co-edited the matchday programme, with his brother, Terry. During 2010-11 Geoff generously continues to provide financial backing to the Club.
As of 14 Septemebr 2010, the Board comprises: Grahame Rowley (chairman), Andrew Shaw, Derek Wilshaw and Paul Daine.
The recent history of the Altrincham FC Board...
The Club has been through various upheavals in the past decade.
In late July, 2002, Geoff Goodwin, owner of the Go Goodwins coach company, became Chairman. 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 brought much needed stability to the club's operations, with a small operating profit being made in 2002-03. However, they battled hard to pay off the club's debts, which they inherited and the local council's ale of the car park at Moss Lane brought a much-needed cash injection in 2007. In summer 2006, Grahame Rowley was named as Vice-Chairman and Derek Wilshaw joined Carole Hassan and Barry Pond on an expanded Board. Derek also assumed the role of Club Secretary from Graham Heathcote. A significant step in the club's remergence at national level came when Andrew Shaw was elected to the Football Conference's national board in October 2006. At the end of May 2007, former Football League chief executive David Burns joined the Board. Sadly, David died in January 2009. Barry Pond resigned from the board at the end of 2008-09 season.
In June 2008, Carole Hassan resigned due to her other commitments, her place on the Board being taken by Paul Daine, a local businessman who owns the Premium Collections company.
Under the guidance of Geoff Goodwin the club moved from the brink of insolvency to a position of stability through a policy of financial prudence. The club refused to follow the easy path of administartion, by which the club's creditors would have been left out of pocket, and instead worked hard to return to solvency. Under his chairmanship the club consistently reported a small profit each year. Geoff resigned as Chairman in September 2010, with Grahame Rowley assuming that role. However, Go Goodwins continue to sponso the club for 2010-11.
Former Chairman Gerry Berman remained the largest minority shareholder until he transferred his shares to then Chairman, Geoff Goodwin, in April 2005. Other major shareholders for many years included Club President, Noel White and former manager John King as well as Graham Heathcote. However, in early 2005, White and King donated their shares to the Board. The Club's Associate Directors include Angus Loughran, 'Statto' of TV sports punditry fame.
|Derek Wilshaw (right) was appointed the Club Secretary from 24 July, 2006, replacing Graham Heathcote in that position, which he had combined with managership of the club. Prior to his appointment as Club Secretary, Derek had for many years worked on a voluntary basis in the Moss Lane offices of the Football Club.|
George Heslop is the Club's Youth Team manager, as well as its Matchday Secretary (see below). With coach Neil Thomason he guided the side to the NWYA league and cup double in 2000-01 and again in 2003-04. Neil resigned in summer 2005 and very sadly died that summer at the age of 46. From 2005-06 George has been very ably assisted by Tony Spilsbury, a former Altrincham Reserves' manager. They were joined on the coaching side by Gareth Thomas in 2007. In 2007-08 the youth team were runners-up in the league but won the Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup for the third successive season, representing the Altrincham & District FA. Pictured left are (l. to r) Gareth Thomas, George Heslop and Tony Spilsbury. Unfortunately, Tony had to cease his involvement in 2010 due to other commitments.
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.
Neil Brown was manager of Altrincham Reserves until summer 2007 when he resigned. He subsequently became manager at Leek Town and at Abbey Hey. Neil has also been coach and manager at successful local junior club, Fletcher Moss, for more than ten years and has been a scout for Liverpool FC.
Now he is the Moss Lane groundsman and he has done a superb job in making it one of the best surfaces in the Conference. Indeed, Manchester United Reserves now play at Moss Lane, with Neil's pitch being a major factor in that choice.
Established in 2007, in conjunction with Hale Barns United Junior FC, Altrincham FC Juniors aims to provide a link between the Football Club and junior football. For details see the Juniors FC page.
Pictured, right, is Juniors' co-ordinator Chris Bullock.
Sean Riley (right) succeeded Andy Hosgood as the Alty physio for 2007-08. Sean originally joined as the club physio in mid-October 2004 and was formerly the physio at Accrington Stanley and 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. Latterly Sean had been employed at Kendal Town. Off the field Sean has a reputation as an accomplished "rapper" and has also played in goal - and kept a clean sheet - for the AFC Staff XI versus the Supporters XI!
In the Moss Lane treatment room, Sean is ably assisted by Stratos Triantafillou.
The Club's Matchday and Company Secretary is George Heslop (right), who is also the Youth team manager (see above).
The Altrincham FC Welfare Officer is Paul Roberts.
For details of all aspects of sponsorship please visit the Sponsors' Page of this website or contact the club.
The official ground capacity (2006) is 6,085 which comprises:
The following prices for tickets in 2010-11 have been announced.
Season Ticket Prices
A £10 discount will apply to the above categories (only) if bought before the end of June.
Please visit the club office to obtain your ticket during normal weekday working hours or ring on 928-1045. There is an application form here.
Altrincham Football Club was 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:
For Alty's league record, click the links below:
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. See the full Alty league record, 1907- here.
See this site's FA Cup page for Alty's full record.
Tranmere Rovers were the first League victims of Alty, beaten 4-2 in 1921/22 in a FA Cup Qualifier.
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.
Altrincham beat Sale Holmfield 14-2 in the 3rd Round of the Cheshire Amateur Cup on the 5th December 1903. They also 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.
The highest away score at Moss Lane was in the 3-7 defeat by Slough Town in October 1991. Away from home, Alty have conceded seven on 27 occasions, the last being at Morecambe on 17.2.1996. The worst home defeats in the Alliance/Conference were 0-5 by Dagenham & Redbridge in 2005/06 and 2006/07.
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. After the 2000 relegation, Alty did not return to the Conference till 2005, when they lost their first two games to extend their run to 13 games without a win.
Players Moving to the League
All three domains can be searched, separately, using the appropriate Google search box below. Make sure you check the correct button beneath each search box.
I am sorry that this is a bit messy but eventually I will get everything into just one domain. However, the above method does allow you to find everything on the site which has appeared since Spring 2000.
Counter at 1/1/2002: 69,547
At 1/1/2003: 178,589
At 1/1/2004: 296,757
At 1/1/2005: 456,114
At 1/1/2006: 697,566
At 1/1/2007: 1,001,771
At 1/1/2008: 1,385,722
At 1/1/2009: 2,036,148
At 1/1/2010: 2,648,522