Altrincham Football Club News Archive
7 to 17 June 2003

17 June 2003


Alty manager Graham Heathcote has returned from holiday to finalize pre-season preparations. A further friendly may be arranged for Sunday 20 July against a local amateur side.

The NW Evening Mail reports how "A teenage burglar hid for 16 hours in an underground room in a failed bid to avoid capture by the police", after breaking into Barrow's Holker Street clubhouse "looking for alcopops. He got into the ground in the early hours before loading up an empty crisp box with bottles of booze. After setting off the club's new alarm system he took up a small hiding place. Police officers searched Barrow AFC's club bar but found nothing. The youth was eventually found around 16 hours later when police returned to the club after the alarm was set off for a second time".

Entry to Harrogate Town's pre-season friendly against a Leeds United XI will be £10.

Vauxhall Motors' defender Phil Brazier has chosen to join Northwich Vics in preference to Shrewsbury Town. Vics' former manager Jimmy Quinn had lined up Brazier before taking over as manager of the Shrews and offering Brazier a place at the Shropshire club. However, Brazier has opted to sign for Northwich.


BBC Lincolnshire reports that "Boston United... midfielder Paul Ellender has turned down an offer from the club but is still in negotiations with the Boston manager Neil Thompson".
16 June 2003


The Altrincham FC Supporters' team played in a 7-a-side tournament on Saturday in Chester. The results were:
  • Altrincham 0-4 Vauxhall
  • Altrincham 0-1 Chester
  • Vauxhall 1-1 Altrincham (Tyms)
  • Chester 2-1 Altrincham (Rosendaal)
  • FINAL - Vauxhall 1 Chester 0.

    The Alty squad comprised: Richard Rushton (gk), Tom Jacobs, Matthew Lamey, Philip Lamey, Andrew Glester, Richard Babington, Andrew Nash, Jordan Tyms and Ian Rosendaal.

    Ian Rosendaal, who kindly supplied the above information, tells me that "supporters of many other teams have already shown an interest in taking part in any future games, and all being well this will become a regular thing". It is hoped that games will not only be enjoyable but will promote a friendly spirit between North-West supporters.


    Woodley Sports, whom Alty play (away) in a friendly on 17 July, will have their new 120-seater stand opened by Brian McClair on 27 July, when he brings a Manchester United youth side to play. The stand will be named after player Chris Ringland, who was killed in an air crash in Turkey in January. The NW Counties website reports that Sports' new manager Tony Hancock (formerly at Abbey Hey) has "secured his first signing, 19 year-old, local boy, Simon Hackney from Nantwich Town. Simon has just completed his first season in the NWCFL and was a tremendous success at Nantwich. The Annual Presentation was a personal success story for Mike Norton, scooping all the main awards, including Manager's, Players' and Supporters' Player of the Year awards as well the Leading Goalscorer of the year for the third year running. Mike has amassed 97 goals in his three seasons at Woodley and he still only 23!"


    Mick Hayde (32 this week), who played for Alty in the early 1990s, is moving on from Solihull Borough as his job as a prison warder now takes him back to St Helens. Mick has previously played at Liverpool, Chester, Linfield, Worcester City, Moor Green and St Helens Town, as well as at Moss Lane.
    15 June 2003


    The Non-League Paper reports that the cuts in FA Cup prize money for 2003-04 will only affect clubs up to Round Two; in other words the Premiership and First Division sides will see no cuts at all whereas non-League and lower-League sides will lose out. Prizes for the second, third and fourth qualifying round next season will be halved as follows, (with last year's figures in brackets): £3750 (£7500), £5000 (£10000), £10000 (£20000). There are increases in the Trophy and Vase prize money but not sufficient to compensate for the above cuts.


    The Non-League Paper includes former Woking and Kingstonian manager Geoff Chapple's England Semi-Pro Side of all-time. Alty's only representative is John Davison.


    Non-League Daily confirms that Kenny Mayers has moved from Stalybridge Celtic to Hyde United, whilst Rob Woodhead has left Ewen Fields for Rossendale United. Confguide reports that Southport have lost former Crewe left-back Dean Howell to Morecambe.

    Hucknall Today reports that Hucknall Town "were alarmed by a dip in their average home gates last term from 288 to 224, despite their best-ever season... Now they are determined to woo the footballing youth of Hucknall and turn them into long-term Town fans. Free admission will be guaranteed to everyone aged 16 or under at all Unibond matches and Town's chairman, Brian Holmes, and new commercial manager, Daniel Lewis, are to tour Hucknall schools, handing out hundreds of tickets... The club have also decided to keep admission prices for next season at £6... and they have reduced the price of season tickets to £100. Another key feature of plans to make matchdays more attractive to the Hucknall public is a new £75,000 social club, which is to be built next month to be officially opened at the start of September... The new social club could develop into a real money-spinner for Town, who learned this week that their major sponsor, Doff Portland, have again signed up for next term".

    "A second striker from Third Division Mansfield Town could be on his way to Watnall Road...for strapping beanpole Andy White (21) has spoken to Hucknall, after rejecting derisory new terms offered by The Stags. As with team-mate Danny Bacon, Hucknall are in a position to offer White more money than Mansfield... Should the two moves go ahead, it is likely to cost Town a hefty, four-figure sum in compensation, which would be due Mansfield under the Bosman ruling... Another high-profile player to have been linked with a move to Hucknall this week is central midfielder Gary Patterson, former captain of the England semi-professional side... He has been shown the door by Farnborough and he could be ready for a move to the leading non-league club in his native county. Meanwhile Hucknall chairman Holmes was confident this week that Clint Marcelle and John Burns WILL re-sign for the club".

    14 June 2003


    It is with deep regret that the Club records the death this week of Mr Eddie Beasant, who with his wife Joan, was a longstanding supporter of the Club. Eddie was also a well-known local bandleader, a leading figure in the scouting movement and a member of the Altrincham Court Leet, a civic body deriving from the medieval manorial court in the town. The flag at Moss Lane is flying at half-mast in tribute to Eddie. The Club sends its condolences to Joan and the Beasant family.


    The Stalybridge web site confirms that Celtic have signed 35 year-old Andy Payton, the former Burnley striker who has made 479 (+131) League appearances for various clubs, in which he netted 230 goals.

    Whitby Town's installation of new seats, turnstiles and pitch work has secured the approval of the UniBond inspectors and will allow the club to remain in the Premier Division next season.

    Lancaster Today says that "City bosses have announced the details of next season's kit - and there is some concession to the Dolly Blue purists. Fans will still be seeing last season's 'Argentina' pale blue and white stripes, but the shorts and socks will revert to the traditional City colours of navy blue... In previous years City had used the Reebok's Bolton Wanderers blue 'away' strip as their first choice colours, but since Bolton switched to a yellow away shirt, Reebok have had a limited choice in blue-coloured shirts. The club did investigate the cost of buying their own blue kit, but with the Reebok deal worth £15,000 in kit and training gear, they decided it would be impractical to try and purchase kit of similar quality".

    This is Nottingham reports on the war of words at Hucknall Town. Sacked manager "Phil Starbuck today hit out at the decision to end his reign as manager, insisting: 'We turned this club around... I think I deserve better treatment after everything I have done for the club... It was, simply, the most successful season in the club's history'.... But Chairman Brian Holmes countered: 'We have had more successful seasons in the past. John Ramshaw, for example, was more successful in the UniBond Division One. Our performances were better then. Given the resources we have provided in recent times, the achievements of last season were no more than I would have expected'." Starbuck responded: "With the greatest of respect to him, if things were so much better under John Ramshaw, why did the chairman let him go? For the chairman to suggest that things were better under him is scandalous... I am going to appeal, because I feel I have been dealt an injustice. I have been harshly treated", he said.

    Worksop Today reports that Worksop Town are using Chesterfield Football Club's Centre of Excellence training facilities to make preparations for their first pre-season friendly at Witton Albion. "The facilities there are out of this world," said manager Steve Ludlam who was a coach at Chesterfield before joining Tigers. "It could make a real difference to our early form", he added.


    Ex-Alty striker Mark Quayle, now at Nuneaton Borough, may not get his projected move to Chester City after one of the players for whom he was to be exchanged turned down a move to Nuneaton. However, according to the Boro' manager, "Dagenham are having a little sniff at Quayley and Lincoln are watching things".
    13 June 2003

    FA CUP

    69 Clubs have received exemption to the Second Round Qualifying of the FA Cup this season. These include Altrincham who will therefore enter the competition on 27 September 2003.


    As well as Niell Hardy, Dickie Landon (left) is another ex-Alty player who has apparently been retained by Radcliffe Borough for 2003-04, as has veteran ex-Leigh keeper David Felgate.

    Wakefield Today says that "Ryan Crossley, the Wakefield and Emley full-back, has left the club for...Bradford Park Avenue... The other player with an out of date contract is goalkeeper Paul Cuss and talks are still ongoing".

    UniBond champions, Accrington Stanley, have signed another veteran- Burnley's 35 year-old ex-Sunderland defender Gordon Armstrong.

    Hucknall Town have released the following short statement: "On Tuesday evening a disciplinary hearing was held at the ground in relation to the Manager's position. Subsequent to that, Phil Starbuck was given notice of dismissal. Phil Starbuck has the right of appeal, and until such time as that is done, or not, whichever the case, then the Club cannot comment further".

    This is Runcorn says that Runcorn FC Halton Secretary, Debbie Quaile, "could this weekend become the first woman to be elected to the Unibond League management committee...after a secret ballot at its AGM on Saturday. 'It would be a good challenge and a great honour', said Debbie, who joined the Linnets' board four years ago after more than six years with Ashton United".

    The Non-League Daily confirms that Spennymoor United midfielder and assistant manager Jason Ainsley has followed Jamie Pollock out of the Brewery Field. "I love Spennymoor, and it's a wrench to leave the club after the success of last season, but there's nothing personal in it. I don't want to break my partnership with Jamie", said Ainsley.

    Alfreton could lose up to 11 players before August. Released are captain and central defender Darren Brookes, left-back Mark Jules, striker Jamie Robshaw, midfielder John Sunderland, winger Matt Hogg and striker Craig Housley. Centre-back Steve Heath has been sold to Bridlington Town. Three more have been transfer-listed - goalkeepers Ross Turner and Stuart Ford plus winger Ryan Hindley. In addition, Ryan France is a target of Coventry City. Chairman Wayne Bradley added, "We aren’t going into the division to simply consolidate".

    12 June 2003


    As no players are reported to have left or joined Altrincham this close-season and with manager Graham Heathcote currently on holiday, there is little to report from Moss Lane at present. So, here is some more news from our UniBond rivals:

    Hucknall Town manager Phil Starbuck is reported to have been sacked by his Chairman for allegedly talking to the press about a reduction in the club's wages budget. He becomes the sixth manager of last season's Premier Division clubs to lose his job, following changes at Colwyn Bay, Gainsborough, Lancaster, Blyth and Worksop.

    The UniBond League site reports two more signings by Alfreton Town. These are the ex-captain of Ilkeston Town, midfielder Ian Robinson (24), and his Ilkeston team-mate Emeka Nwadike (24), who cost Ilkeston £5,000 from King’s Lynn. Robinson has also had a spell at Northwich Victoria. As with all other close season "signings" registration cannot take place till after this Saturday’s UniBond AGM in Blackpool. Alfreton have hinted they may sign upto another four players, making eight close season signings in all.

    Defender Andy Martin has become the fifth Blyth Spartans' player to leave and re-join former manager John Charlton, now the boss at Whitley Bay.

    The Tameside Advertiser quotes Stalybridge Celtic manager Dave as seeking a replacement for keeper Craig Dootson who has gone to Accrington Stanley. "Miller said: 'I’ve got my eye on a keeper but he's on holiday at the moment. He’s more or less agreed to sign when he comes back at the end of June'". However, though "Dootson is the only player to have left Bower Fold at the moment, he could be joined by Kenny Mayers. 'I think Hyde are interested in Kenny and I think have offered Kenny terms'".


    The Non-League Daily confirms a cut in FA Cup prize money for non-league clubs. Last year, it says, "many non-League sides funded their entire season after winning a couple of qualifying rounds that netted £7,500 each time, and that figure then doubled the further the competition progressed. The 2003/04 season, however, will see the previous year's winnings virtually halved, but it isn't all bad news for non-League clubs...[as] winnings in the FA Vase and Trophy will virtually double from last year's figures".

    Pictured, right, is Mark Maddox in the only FA Cup tie played at Moss Lane last season, against Kendal Town.

    FA Cup qualifying round dates are:

  • 1st Round - 13/9/03
  • 2nd Round - 27/9/03
  • 3rd Round - 11/10/03
  • 4th Round - 25/10/03
  • 1st Round Proper - 8/11/03.


    IC Cheshire says that "At the Conference AGM, Vics were officially re-elected, as they had to be, for stepping outside the rule that precludes clubs from groundsharing for longer than one season. Had detailed planning permission not been given two weeks ago, they would have been expelled". All Conference sides have received £15,000 as a share of the promotion play-off revenue.
    11 June 2003


    Alan Johnson's Home page of a photographic record of the Altrincham Football Club has changed its address. This is now to be found at


    The Non-League Daily reports that TNS Llansantffraid, the Welsh Premier side successfully managed by ex-Alty striker Ken McKenna, are to merge with our former Cheshire League rivals, Oswestry Town. "The amalgamation allows the strengths of both clubs to be combined with a view to building a modern super-stadium in Oswestry and developing a first class professional set-up between the two locations", says the report. The combined team will play at Llansantffraid for two years whilst the Oswestry acquires a new stadium for the new club, who will play as TNS. Though located in England, Oswestry are eligible to play in Europe as a Welsh side so the merger maintains TNS's route to European competition. The TNS Chairman said "It will now be full steam ahead to develop a ground for the merged club within the town of Oswestry".


    This is Lancashire says that Radcliffe Borough "have offered some of their players LESS money than they were on last season, despite promotion to the UniBond Premier Division". Talking before he eventually re-signed for Boro', ex-Alty striker Niell Hardy said, "It's a pity because I was looking forward to playing for the Boro again next season in the Premier Division, particularly with the new dressing room facility to look forward to as well, but when you are offered less than you were on the previous season there was nothing else I could do but say no. Last season I was in a good position because I had come from a First Division club and I had plenty of offers. It's not quite the same now, but I have had approaches from Altrincham and one or two other clubs". Manager Kevin Glendon confirmed: "We got nothing for going up and we are on the same budget for next season as we were for last".


    "Former Leigh RMI striker Marcus Hallows is returning to Hilton Park after a short, prolific period ... at Stalybridge Celtic", according to the Leigh RMI website.
    10 June 2003


    IC Cheshire confirms that ex-Alty player/manager Mark Ward is one of 20 applicants for the managership of Northwich Victoria. His competitors include Burscough's boss, Shaun Teale. Also believed to be in the running are Vauxhall Motors' manager Alvin McDonald and former Manchester City and Tranmere Rovers goalkeeper Eric Nixon, who appeared in the pre-season of 2002-03 for Altrincham against Rovers. Acting-manager, the Vics' centre-half Steve Davis, is also a contender. "An appointment is expected within the next 10 days".


    Altrincham reached the FA Cup 3rd Round for the first time in 1965/66. Details of the players who achieved this feat and of the 3rd round tie, away at Wolverhampton Wanderers, are now on the Past Players' page.


    Telford defender Grant Brown (33) has joined Alfreton, according to Confguide. He played 35 games for telford last season after joining from Lincoln City.

    According to the Gateshead official site, the relegated club has signed Washington defender James Curtis and keeper Terry Burke, formerly at Blyth Spartans and Whitby Town. Burke's most recent club is Whitley Bay. Otherwise, "all players with the club at the end of last season have been invited back for pre-season training".

    The NW Evening Mail confirms that Barrow's management duo, Lee Turnbull and Lee Warren "want to hold on to everyone who finished last season with the club. And the good news is that all the players wish to remain in an effort to better last year's runners-up finish". However, The Bluebirds failed to land "Darren Connell, who turned down a switch to Holker Street in favour of a move to Accrington Stanley".

    IC Newcastle" confirms that a fourth Blyth player has joined former Spartans' boss John Charlton at Whitley Bay. He is striker David McMahon.

    9 June 2003


    STAR, the Altrincham supporters' trust has plenty of events lined up over the coming months, including an Open Meeting (28 June), a presence at the Altrincham Festival (5 July), a Pub Crawl (24 August) and the STAR AGM (31 October). For full details of how to support these events, see the STAR website.


    The Altrincham players of 1982/83 are the latest addition to the Past Players section of this website.
    8 June 2003


    Bangor City have transfer-listed prolific ex-Alty striker Marc Lloyd-Williams for financial reasons. Also in Wales, ex-Alty fringe-player Eric Seekie has been named Player of the Year in the Welsh Alliance League.


    The NLP reports that the Conference has finally abandoned plans for a 24-team Conference for 2003-04. They have now accepted that the Conference and the two new feeder-divisions (to the Northern one of which Alty aspire for 2004-05) will be 22-club divisions.


    Former Blyth boss John Charlton has signed three of his former club's players to his new Northern League team, Whitley Bay. They are the Blyth captain Carl Pepper, plus Gordon Pepper and Phil Brumwell. "These players haven't been enjoying their football and they want to join me, so I must have been doing something right by the players when I was at Blyth", said Charlton. "I've had UniBond players ringing me to play in the Northern League. I have 45 people who want to come", he told the Non-League Paper.

    The Southport Visiter reports that "Steve Soley hopes to put his Southport injury nightmare behind him after going under the surgeon's knife this week... Soley made just 18 full Conference appearances in an injury-interrupted season that began disastrously in the final pre-season friendly at Altrincham when the former Portsmouth midfield schemer limped out of the action following a shuddering first-half tackle". [It was actually a firm but fair and unpenalised tackle by Stephen Rose.]

    Wakefield Today says that "Wakefield and Emley FC Chief Executive Ric Knowles has left the club to join Unibond Premier League rivals, Gainsborough Trinity...But, as far as Pewits' boss Ronnie Glavin is concerned, Knowles will be the only departure from Belle Vue, as he dismissed press speculation suggesting several of his star players are set to leave". Emley have signed two new strikers, Adam Ackroyd and Ian Twitchin.

    The Lancaster City site quotes manager Phil Wilson as saying that "there would be new faces arriving before the start of the season. He said: 'I have spoken to most of the players who were with the club last season and I have spoken to a number of others I want to bring in. But you find at this time of the year they are playing their cards close to their chests, seeing what's available before commiting themselves. That suits me, it gives me time to see more of them and certainly there are a number of players who are out-of-contract who I would be very interested in keeping'".

    Mike Marsh, who helped Accrington win the UniBond title in 2003, has joined Nuneaton Borough as assistant manager. Nuneaton were relegated from the Conference in 2003.


    Altrincham's runner-up position in the National Non-League Quiz is reported in the NLP. See this site's news for 20 May for more details.
    7 June 2003


    It is reported on the Radcliffe site that Altrincham are to play Stalybridge Celtic either at Easter or over Christmas. Whilst Altrincham did request fixtures with Stalybridge on 2003-04 bank holiday dates, the Club advised me some time ago that any confirmation of the League's agreement (or otherwise) to these requests will not be received until after the League AGM on 14 June. The full UniBond League fixtures are due out on 28 June, with the FA Cup draws on 30 June.

    Radcliffe also report that ex-Alty forward Niell Hardy "has decided against a move to Altrincham. Niell was offered a deal by the Cheshire club but has decided to stay at Radcliffe. Niell will once again partner prolific scorer Jody Banim in what should be a dynamic and successful Premier partnership".


    Gary Warrington is hoping to produce another edition of the Moss Lane Mouth fanzine by the 19 July, when Alty play a Manchester United XI in a friendly. Gary would be pleased to receive any articles on Alty-related topics. You can mail him here.


    The Harrogate Town unofficial site says that manager John Reed has "signed a 12 month contract with the club. Reed tells the Harrogate Advertiser that he has never signed a contract in his 26 year football management career, but had no option but to accept the offer made by Bill Fotherby: "The chairman offered it to me and I was honoured to get it... He is very demanding and ambitious but we've been very successful... "I now want to get Harrogate Town into the Conference and I think we can do it next season - our aim is to win the UniBond Premier. It will be a very tall order but we have the talent and ability to give it a really good go".