Altrincham Football Club News Archive
13 to 21 October, 2003

21 October 2003


Terry Rowley's updated UniBond attendance chart is here.


The Ashton United site reports that ex-Alty boss Gerry Quinn has signed three more Yorkshire-based players for the Tameside club. They are Graham McLachlan and Marcus Mitchell from Brackenhall F.C. and Brighton Mugadza, a 17 year-old from Sikh Temple F.C.


  • Dave Nolan (Marine to Witton A.)
  • Steve Prindiville, former assistant manager to Phil Starbuck at Hucknall Town, has now joined Shepshed Dynamo.

    Worksop Town report that the local "Highways Authority [has] rejected Worksop's ground improvement plans. This decision seriously jeopardises the chances of being accepted into the Conference league next season. Mr Howard Raymond [chairman] has already let the public know his feelings on the matter via an official statement and it would be a travesty should the club and Town lose his support".

    20 October 2003

    van BLERK GOES

    Altrincham have released left-back Jason van Blerk (right); he made just 2 starts and 1 substitute appearance after arriving slightly over four weeks ago. Goalkeeper Ben Williams has returned to Old Trafford after his loan spell. So, with Danny Hooper and Mattie Hughes having left, Jason's is the fourth departure from Moss Lane in the last week. Meanwhile, Niell Hardy and Stuart Coburn have arrived.


    When Stuart Coburn signed for us last week, he agreed with his previous club, Leigh RMI, to remain as their FA Cup cover-goalkeeper. However, despite an article published in Sunday's Pink in which Leigh boss Mark Patterson said, "I'm optimistic about the remainder of the campaign", he resigned on Saturday night and former Hucknall boss Phil Starbuck became the new (caretaker) manager at Leigh. Stuart has now arranged his release from this FA Cup arrangement with Starbuck and therefore is available for all Altrincham matches from now on. It had previously been the case that he would have to miss Saturday's game v. Burscough but he will now be available for that match. He makes his Alty (second) debut tonight (Monday) at Hyde.


    Altrincham & District FA Youth beat Stockport FA 1-0 at a very wet Woodley Sports this afternoon. The winner was a penalty from Kieran Lugsden (above). For a report, see the Youth Page.


    Altrincham go to Hyde tonight with Stuart Coburn expected to make his debut in goal but with Peter Band as well as Gary Scott doubtful starters after their injuries on Saturday. Hyde are likely to include former Alty striker Matt McNeil in their squad. Hyde play again on Wednesday in the Manchester FA Premier Challenge Cup Round 1 at home to Flixton.


    The NWCFL reports that "Mossley FC have signed experienced midfielder Steve Tobin from fellow NWCFL side Skelmersdale United. Tobin joined Skem from Kidsgrove Athletic who he helped to win the NWCFL title the season before last. He began his career as a pro with Leeds United and later played for Macclesfield Town, Altrincham, Leek Town and Hyde United". Winsford United have signed Danny Frost (right) who was at Altrincham in 2002-03 pre-season and featured on the official team photo for last season, though he never made an appearance in a competitive game.


    Frickley report that "after signing Shaun Varley from Gainsborough Trinity on Friday night, Phil Sharpe has signed Daniel Berg from Wingate & Finchley".

    Harrogate Town "have released striker Simon Parke by mutual consent, after things didn't work out for the ex-Halifax Town and Southport player at Wetherby Road. Parke made 4 appearances, scoring 1 goal, after signing from Halifax last month".


    Above: Niell Hardy (far right) wheels away after scoring- the ball is entering the net just to the left of Hucknall's no.4's shoulder.

    Report here.

    19 October 2003


    The Pink quotes Graham Heathcote on the re-signing of Niell Hardy: "I made no secret at the time that I was astonished by our decision to let Niell go because he had proved himself as a 20 goal-a-season striker. So, I'm delighted to bring him back. I'm sure he'll link up well with Rod Thornley".


    Old boys on the mark yesterday were Rob Matthews (Mossley), Leroy Chambers (Droylsden) and Chris Timons (Gainsborough), who scored twice whilst Carl Furlong won two penalties for Droylsden. Tony Sullivan (Lancaster) and Danny Hooper (Radcliffe) also turned out yesterday in the UniBond and Dickie Landon was a sub (Radcliffe). Kevin Ellison was "guilty of the worst miss" for Stockport yesterday, says The Pink. Danny Adams was absent from Macc. Town's side. Ryan Hevicon netted for East Manchester yesterday against New Mills, for whom Alty's current Youth Team striker Kieran Lugsden scored. The NLP has a picture of Dean Greygoose playing for Sudbury as well as of Hucknall's first goal yesterday against Alty. The Pink has an article on former Alty boss Gerry Quinn and his current side, Ashton United.


    Hyde United will have a company making a video of the game against Altrincham on Monday night, which will be available for purchase. Hyde plan to video all home games using a camera in each corner of the ground.

    Mike Coulson, chairman of Gateshead, whom we meet in the FA Trophy on 1 November, has written a very informative piece on how the club is moving forward. The full text is well worth a read on the club website. Mr Coulson says that the club "are playing attractive, attacking football and the attitude of our young players is first class, and they never know when they are beaten... We are finally beginning to make progress with the club's commercial activities... by the end of this season we will have attracted more match and ball sponsors, more programme advertising and more interest from potential sponsors than ever before... Next season, I would expect virtually every game to have a match and ball sponsor, the programme will need to be increased in size to cater for the number of advertisers and it is likely that all of our teams will have a shirt sponsor... Our Community Football programme is about to begin in the next couple of weeks... We need to be embedded in the fabric of the Borough of Gateshead because this is where the players, supporters and the finance needed to run the club in the future will come from. In return the club will provide the Borough with a first class football club that actively participates in all aspects of community life... I do not want to resign my position but unless the burden of responsibility can be shared with other people with the qualities and motivation that is required to succeed at our level of football then I feel that I do not have any other option".


    Alvin McDonald, boss at Northwich, has signed goalkeper Andy Ralph from his former club Vauxhall Motors. Other moves:
  • Richard Tracey (Ossett T. to Bradford PA)
  • David Cameron (Chester C. on 3 month loan to Droylsden)
  • Shaun Varley (Gainsborough T. to Frickley A.)
  • Ian Twitchen (Wakefield & Emley to Ossett T.)
  • Brian Welch (Stalybridge C. to Rossendale U.)
  • Ian Askey (Alfreton T. to Stocksbridge PS)

    Whitby boss Harry Dunn is quoted in the local press as saying "Jamie Burt has not turned up for our two FA Cup ties so he will be transfer-listed and will not play for the club again". Spennymoor report that former Whitby player "David Goodchild has been released by the club" and Marine have released Ricky Bainbridge.


    Runcorn FC Halton state that "Chris Lightfoot has taken on the Manager's job at Runcorn FC Halton, following Liam Watson's departure to Southport FC. Neil Whalley follows Liam to Southport, so ex-Runcorn player Eddie Bishop has been appointed as Chris's assistant". The NLP refers to Alty in Exile coordinator Jacqui Forster, whose role with Supporters Direct sees her assisting Runcorn in establishing a supporters' trust.

    Ronnie Galvin has lost his job as assistant manager at Barnsley and speculation is rife that he may return to Wakefield and Emley, whose boss resigned last week.

    18 October 2003


  • Burscough 1 Blyth S. 2
  • Frickley A. 1 Ashton U. 2
  • Harrogate T. 4 Droylsden 4
  • Hucknall T. 2 Altrincham 1
  • Lancaster C. 4 Whitby T. 3
  • Southport 2 Radcliffe B. 1
  • Spennymoor U. 0 Gainsborough T. 6
  • Stalybridge C. 2 Runcorn FC Halton 2
  • Vauxhall M. 1 Barrow 1
  • Wakefield & Emley 0 Marine 4
  • Bradford PA have no game.


    See the Youth Page for a Barnsley-based report on the Youth Cup match last Monday at Oakwell.


  • Alfreton T. 2 Worksop T. 1
  • League Table.


    On Monday, Stuart Coburn will be the fifth man to keep goal for Altrincham in our 17th game of this season. Richard Acton started the season in goal but received a serious shoulder injury at Harrogate; Dave McCarthy came in on loan from Worksop before himself being injured, which allowed teenager Ashley Timms, released by Manchester City to take over. He was succeeded by Ben Williams, loaned from Manchester United, who will keep goal today at Hucknall.

    Stuart previously played for Altrincham from 1998 to May 2002, when the lure of Conference football took him to Leigh RMI on a 2-year contract. He did have one Conference season with Alty but he played only a handful of games due to injury and his absence probably cost us survival in the Conference in May 2000. He was Altrincham's player of the year in 2001-02. In all, Stuart made 173 appearances for Altrincham and even scored one goal for the Robins - at Runcorn's Canal Street. Right is Andy Boyers's picture of Stuart at Hucknall (23/3/2002), our destination today, where Ben Williams will be in goal.

    Stuart will join Chris Adams, Dave Gardner, Niell Hardy, Mark Maddox, Paul Robertson (who has since departed again), Barry Shuttleworth and Gary Talbot as a player who has appeared for Altrincham this season after a period away from Moss Lane.


    Doug Ashton, Altrincham's chief steward called it a day recently after giving excellent service to Altrincham FC. His successor, Darren Gregory is looking for stewards both for Altrincham and Manchester United Reserve games at Moss Lane. Even if you can only manage the odd game, please contact Darren through the club on 928-1045.


    Radcliffe manager Kevin Glendon has spoken to his club's website about "the departure of Niell Hardy to Altrincham. Unfortunately a decision had to be made in relation to finances needed to bring in other players that I feel will improve the squad and I felt it was the only option open to me. The emergence of Chris Denham and the on-going form of Jody Banim meant that Niell was going to be the odd one out... In an ideal world I would have kept Niell ... but I could not increase the squad without creating funds first and releasing Niell was the only way of creating those funds... I have always been a big fan of Niell’s and his footballing talents and I am sure he knows that and I will always give him the respect a player of his calibre deserves, I hope he can go on and carve out some more memorable moments in his career, although not against us, in his time at Altrincham".

    Borough's midfielder Eamonn Elliott has also been released and is in discussions with Guiseley - he is based in Harrogate. Glendon added, "One more area to sort out in the club is the future of club captain David Bean", who has been suffering with recurrent injury. Borough hope to sign a teenage striker from a NW Counties' club shortly.

    Stalybridge Celtic have signed four new players in one day (Friday):

  • Hugh McAuley (striker) from Burscough,
  • Lee Pryers (full back) from Bamber Bridge,
  • Chris Scott (central defender) from Colne,
  • Naraghi Shahrooz (striker) from Esteghlal (Iran) - a current Iranian international for whom international clearance is being sought - his mother lives in Bolton!


    On Monday we play Hyde United in the UniBond Cup. The UniBond site reports that "Manager Steve Waywell is hoping to make a signing before [today's] game, otherwise with the exception of Gaynor, he has a full squad to pick from, which includes Nick Hill who made an impressive debut... on Tuesday".
    17 October 2003


    Altrincham FC manager Graham Heathcote has confirmed that Stuart Coburn (right) has, this afternoon, re-joined the club, which he left in 2002 to join Leigh RMI. Stuart will continue to provide FA Cup cover for Leigh RMI and will therefore be on their bench next Saturday. However, he is expected to make his Altrincham (second) debut on Monday night at Hyde United in the UniBond League Cup.


    The UniBond League reports that "Hucknall Town are forced into making a change for this Saturday’s game at home to Altrincham due to a suspension of goalkeeper Stuart Nelson. With the help of Neil Warnock at Sheffield United, Town have been able to secure the services of 18 year old Tommy Lindley, who has represented the Canadian National side at Under 21 level, he joins on work experience terms. Apart from that boss Steve Burr reports no injury worries, and is able to include new signing Chris Burke in an otherwise unchanged squad. Hucknall - from - Lindley, Asher, Barrick, Burke, Winder, Miller, Gaunt, Brown, Hunter, McCarthy, Mayman, Holmes, Bacon, Ricketts, Tevendale".

    Alty hope to have everyone available, including newly re-signed striker Niell Hardy.


    The following pages have been updated:
  • UniBond Premier Attendances, thanks to Terry Rowley.
  • Through the Years, thanks to Howard Watts.
  • Youth team league table.


    The official site at Southport says that the club has "very early this morning, released the appointment of the new manager who we are pleased to announce will be ex Runcorn manager Liam Watson. 33 year old Liam, who was a once £60,000 signing by Preston from Warrington, has Unibond managerial experience with Runcorn FC Halton and this hands on, track suit style manager will be on the Port bench for this Saturday's game against Radcliffe. The club look on the appointment as being one for the future with Liam looking to take SFC forward both into the Conference and beyond. Chairman Charlie Clapham describes the move as "A brave appointment - we have opted for youth and exuberance plus Unibond experience. We could have gone down the high profile, ex-player route with plenty of applications from that sector, but the Board believes that Liam, and his assistant [ex-Alty] Neil Whalley, will give the Club stability and success over the long term which we all recognise is something we need".


    The UniBond League reports that Ian Banks has resigned as boss of bottom-placed Wakefield & Emley. The Board has "appointed joint managers in Ray Dennis and Paul David who had been assisting Ian. Ian had only been manager at Wakefield & Emley for 3 months following the departure of Ronnie Glavin into the professional ranks at Barnsley. Ian expressed regret in throwing the towel after only 18 games but felt the strain on himself, his family and the run of bad results was too much to bear. He said by resigning at this stage it gave someone more than a fighting chance to pull things round and move up the table".

    12 of the UniBond's 45 managers have now moved on since the start of the season 62 days ago! In the Premier, Burscough, Vauxhall and Runcorn are currently without permanently appointed managers.


    Marine have issued a press release: "The earlier than expected exit from the F.A. Cup at the second qualifying stage at home against Dunston FB has prompted immediate changes to the playing staff. The changes were identified at a meeting on Monday evening led by the Chairman Paul Leary with manager Roly Howard and his assistants... The need for changes has been reinforced due to the financial pressures resulting from the loss of £15,000 of F.A. prize monies compared with the previous year and the fact that playing costs have increased from the end of last season. Chairman Paul Leary said 'Immediate changes will be made for the long term benefit of Marine including the greater use of reserve players in the first team squad... With a fresh look to the future and a younger squad our endeavours will hopefully produce better results at a cost that we can afford'". It remains unclear which players have been released.


    The Tameside Advertiser reports that Droylsden's Dave Pace "is looking to reinforce his squad. With former Chester City striker David Cameron signed on loan from Halifax Town and more arrivals anticipated later this week, there will be one or two departures".


    Mark Molyneaux, former manager of our neighbours Trafford, has been sacked as boss of Chorley. Last May, he took Chorley to the UniBond promotion play-offs which they lost in a penalty shoot out at Radcliffe Borough.
    16 October 2003


    Niell Hardy has today re-joined Altrincham, after recently leaving Radcliffe Borough. No fee is involved. Niell was, of course, a successful striker with Altrincham in the Conference before moving in 1999 on a free transfer to Morecambe. He was Alty's leading scorer in their Conference relegation season of 1996/97. Another "free" took him to Radcliffe Borough in July 2000. He then went to Bury in April 2001 and via Radcliffe, on to Stockport County in June 2001. He was released from Edgeley Park in May 2002 and rejoined Radcliffe, who themselves have now released him.

    Niell will be in the squad for Saturday's game at Hucknall Town and will fill the gap at the club for a striker created by the departure of Mattie Hughes (see below). Niell will be 30 on 29 December and Terry Rowley's statistical data also indicate that he made 133+28 appearances and scored 59 goals whilst previously at Moss Lane.

    Bury-born Niell originally joined Alty from Northwich Victoria in August 1995, having been two years with the Vics. He was previously a junior at Bolton Wanderers, followed by time at Tranmere and Crewe.


    Manager Graham Heathcote has expressed both his and chairman Geoff Goodwin's pride in last Monday's Youth team performance at Barnsley; see the Youth Page for more on this.


  • Whitby T. 2 Warrington T. 1

    The revised FA Cup draw for all of the remaining UniBond Premier clubs is:

  • Ashton U. v Grantham T.
  • Blyth S. v Chester C.
  • Runcorn FC Halton v Bradford PA
  • Dunston Federation Brewery v Lancaster C.
  • Ossett A. v Stalybridge C.
  • Farsley C. v Gainsborough T.
  • Bromsgrove R v Whitby T.


    The UniBond site says that "Alfreton Town have reacted to their recent dip in form and significantly boosted their firepower by signing experienced striker Mark Sale from Tamworth on Tuesday. The Reds swooped to land 6ft 5ins target man Sale (31) on an 18-month contract in the face of competition from Hucknall Town where he has been on loan and figured strongly in their recent run of good form... Alfreton Town’s hopes of a place in next season’s brand new Alliance North division should become clearer after a visit by Conference officials next Wednesday to check on the stadium facilities at North Street. Meanwhile, the club have greatly improved their safety aspects with a dozen of the club’s stewards recently gaining NVQ level 2 status in stewarding at South East Derbyshire College".

    The Ashton Forum reports that Gerry Quinn has signed yet another Yorkshire player, "Paul Pike, an 18 year old right-side midfielder from a team called Bay Athletic. Paul has been playing for the Huddersfield Town reserve team and has been offered a contract by Town. However, they were offering him less than he earns from his job, so he turned them down and signed for us instead". Pike's debut on Tuesday for Ashton was prevented by a power failure: "The fault was traced to an underground cable supplying electric power to certain sections of Hurst Cross including, unfortunately, the stadium".

    Spennymoor's website confirms that "The Conference ground grading committee... has given Spennymoor United the green light for admittance to The Conference North... Some improvements do need to be carried out mainly to terracing and addressing the grassed areas, where the old grandstand stood".


    IC Cheshire says that Northwich Vics' boss "Alvin McDonald has told every Conference and UniBond League club that he has players available for transfer... but he has had no takers". McDonald said, "I have circulated clubs that we have players available. If someone leaves, even on loan, I can bring someone in... By not naming them I have given myself a little scope. Only certain players are available. We have no money, so I am after swap deals".

    Ex-Alty left-back Danny Adams scored a rare goal for Macc. Town on Tuesday in the LDV Trophy.


    The Barnsley Chronicle reports: "Despite including former England [and Worksop] star Chris Waddle in their line-up, Brunsmeer Athletic were still unable to prevent Hoyland Town Jaguars from maintaining their 100 per cent Meadowhall [Sheffield] Sunday League record. Although he no longer has the fitness, Waddle showed that he still has a cultured left foot and his ability to pass the ball was a pleasure to watch".
    15 October 2003


    Altrincham FC have confirmed that both Danny Hooper (see below) and Mattie Hughes (right) have now left the club. Mattie, it will be recalled, was unable to devote sufficient time to football given his work commitments. Hughes joined Alty last Spring but played just seven games for Altrincham and scored three goals.


    Altrincham manager, Graham Heathcote, has announced that no new signings have yet occurred at Moss Lane but there are ongoing discussions taking place at the moment. Should any player(s) be signed, the details will appear here as soon as possible.


    Altrincham's match on Saturday is now against the top of the table team, after Hucknall defeated Worksop 3-1 last night. Hucknall's new social club was opened last night so Altrincham fans will be among its first customers. On the field, James Tevendale has returned to Hucknall after a loan to Leek Town.


    The UniBond League reports that "Kendal Town have signed their former striker Andy Whittaker on a month's loan from Southport. Whittaker first came to prominence with Kendal in the early '90s after impressing with Bamber Bridge... Kendal sold him to Ashton United for a substantial fee with other moves to Barrow, Southport and and a return to Bamber Bridge following. A proven goalscorer, Whittaker was then signed by Lancaster City before his current second spell at Southport".

    Other moves:

  • James Millingham (Leigh RMI to Droylsden)
  • Nicholas Hill (Leigh RMI to Hyde U.)
  • Dean Thurston (Macclesfield T. to Marine)
  • Che White (Hounslow T. to Whitby T.)
  • Mark Ward (not Alty's Mark Ward) (from Belper T. to Worksop T. on loan)
  • Darren Roberts (Worksop T. to Belper T. on loan).
  • Hugh McAuley (Burscough) released.
    14 October 2003


  • Ashton U. v Burscough -postponed, floodlights failed.
  • Blyth S. 1 Wakefield & Emley 0
  • Hucknall T. 3 Worksop T. 1
  • Radcliffe B. 3 Marine 1
  • Spennymoor U. 2 Barrow 4


  • Lancaster C. 1 Chorley 0
  • Runcorn FC Halton 2 Nuneaton B. 2 - Runcorn won 5-4 on pens.
  • Vauxhall M. 1 Bradford PA 3


    Radcliffe Borough's site reports that former Altrincham striker "Niell Hardy has now been released by the club. Hardy who played his final game for The Boro against Buxton on Saturday is in talks with Altrincham & Stalybridge. Manager Kevin Glendon said "It is unfortunate it has come to this stage with Niell, but it all boils down to having to juggle the wage bill and I need finances to attract a central defender to the club, also I feel Niell would benefit from joining another club at this stage of his career. No one has been more of an admirer of Niell's talents than myself and I am sure the partnership we have had over the past 3-4 years has been fruitful for both sides and I would like to wish Niell the best of luck in the future".

    Arriving at Stainton Park is "new signing Danny Hooper (right), a midfielder from Altrincham, [who] is set to make his debut alongside Ian Bishop against Marine providing there are no last minute hitches". Danny made 3+1 appearances for Altrincham after arriving from Stalybridge last month. Boro' have now abandoned hopes of signing ex-Burscough and Aston Villa man Shaun Teale.


    Altrincham Youth gave a good account of themselves at Oakwell tonight ) in the FA Youth Cup but went down to a 4-0 defeat. Report here.
    13 October 2003


  • Droylsden 2 Stalybridge C. 0


    With no game last Saturday and Tuesday's match postponed all is relatively quiet for Altrincham's first team at the moment. But a trip to the Bolton Football Programme Fair yesterday threw up again this reminder of more turbulent times for the club, from the programme of 7 October, 1995 (Alty v Bath City):

    "There was high drama on the way to Stevenage last Saturday as Robins' chairman Gerry Berman narrowly escaped injury or worse - when a a person or persons unknown shot at the team coach on the A1. A 2.2 calibre bullet shattered the outer window of the coach but failed to penetrate the inner sheet of double galzed glass alongside which the chairman was sitting. Coach Les Atwood pursued the fleeing gunman up an embankment and across some field but to no avail".

    Seemingly some "travellers" were taking pot shots at vehicles rather than aiming at anyone in particular and, needless to say, there has never been anything remotely approaching a repeat of this episode on Altrincham's travels.


    Alty travel to Hucknall next Saturday where a million-pound player could be in the opposition. The NWCFL site says that "Hucknall's Jon McCarthy made Congleton Town history last Tuesday when he became the most expensive player to play at Booth Street. The Northern Ireland international moved from Port Vale to Birmingham in 1997 for a then club record fee of £1.5 million, and became the first player worth over £1m at some stage in his career to play at Booth Street."

    Worksop report that "Following negotiations with Roy McFarland, Steve Ludlam today signed 21 year old midfielder Steve Waugh on loan from Chesterfield. He will be in the squad for Tuesday's game at Hucknall Town".