Altrincham Football Club News Archive
8 to 22 June, 2004

22 June 2004


Neil Brown will be manager of the newly revived Altrincham FC Reserves. The team's application for a place in the Lancashire League has been accepted and the Reserves will play their home games at the home of Abbey Hey FC in Gorton. Neil is well-known in local amateur football circles and has enjoyed great success in developing young players at Fletcher Moss Rangers.


At last Saturday's UniBond Northern Premier League AGM, Altrincham received two pieces of glassware for their display cabinet. Along with the other clubs leaving the NPL for Conference North, they were given a commemorative glass plate whilst they also received a glass football to mark the club's centenary. The club is very grateful to the UniBond Northern Premier League for these awards.


At least nine players have now left champions Hucknall Town in this close season; the latest is midfielder Carl Adams, who is joining Leigh RMI.

Lancaster City "can confirm that Paul Sparrow has signed for the coming 2004/05 season".

This is Bradford reports that "Carl Shutt, manager of Bradford Park Avenue, is determined to bring in new players during the close season to strengthen the squad and he has hinted that he has set his sights high as he casts the net". Shutt said, "Everything is shaping up all right at the moment, the pitch is being worked on, I have seen the new shirts for the coming season and I have made a number of calls relating to players we want to bring in as well as talking to the present staff. No names yet". However Shutt "will be working within the strict budget of the club who pride themselves on being a rarity - a solvent football club".


Frickley Athletic "have reluctantly transfer-listed last season's leading goalscorer Lee Morris at the player's own request. Morris, who scored 24 goals for the club last season, has expressed a wish to leave as he wishes to progress to play at as high a level as possible".
21 June 2004


Whilst I was away last week, Altrincham signed 26 year-old midfielder Eddie Hussin from Marine, so apologies for this late news. He was at Everton until 1997 and reached their first-team squad. His subsequent clubs include Winsford United, Northwich Vics and Chorley. Eddie has had a minor knee operation but should be fully fit for the new season.


As a tribute to Neil Dewar, whose death was reported in yesterday's news on this page, here is an article on the former Altrincham centre-half taken from the Altrincham matchday programme for the game against Ellesmere Port Town on Monday 27 September 1965, a 5.15pm kick-off and the last midweek match of that season - in an era before floodlights were installed at Moss Lane. Alty won 3-1 against "Port" to record their 12th game without defeat from the start of that season. In his manager's notes, Fred Pye wrote of the previous game, "I was impressed again with the play of Neil Dewar".

Although Neil Dewar has been living close to Altrincham since his national service days, his accent hasn’t changed a bit from the days when he was an amateur with the famous Scottish club Queen’s Park. Neil was born within throwing distance of their ground, and when he was 'called up' his family moved to Sale.

As soon as he moved south, Bury spotted his talent, and he was quickly signed up as an amateur. He moved to Moss Lane from Bury, playing with the Robins as a professional for five years or so. He then went to Stalybridge for a spell, but Freddie Pye hadn’t long taken over at Moss Lane before he was back again.

'Veteran' Neil has been married eight years and has two children... six-year-old Linda and three-year-old Martin, who is currently proving a handful to Neil and his wife Anne in their Brooklands home.

The rangy centre-half is strictly a family man, but when domestic duties and soccer don’t take up every minute of his time he likes to slip away for a game of golf. Putting is his big asset in this game, so he could soon be giving Jimmy Brown one or two tips.

Any fans who have insurance troubles might find the 31-year-old knocking on their door. He is an insurance inspector with a large northern concern.


The Stockport Express reports that "striker Andy McDonald has now signed [for Woodley Sports] following a year playing professionally in the Spanish Fourth Division". (Presumably this is the same Andy McDonald who was at Alty two seasons ago).

IC Cheshire states that a "player attracting Newcastle [Town]'s attention is Vernum Rowland". The Nantwich boss said, "We want to keep Vernum. His season was cut short by a horrific tackle which went unpunished but if we could have him back fit again, it would be like signing a brand new player. Nigel often used him as a right-back but I see him as a centre-forward who can score goals".


After ten days' holiday, here is a round-up of recent news...

It's not just Altrincham FC who are playing cricket on 4 July; IC Sefton reports that "Southport manager Liam Watson and his squad will... take on an Ainsdale XI - at cricket... against a team that includes West Indies Test match player Mahendra Nagamootoo".

The NW Evening Mail says that "Barrow AFC manager Lee Turnbull is to give trials to three players... centre-half Jamie Murphy and striker Ryan Zico Black, both recently released by Morecambe, and out-of-contract Bradford Park Avenue central defender James Stansfield". But "Cash-strapped Barrow AFC has told prospective sponsor Colin Moore it does not want his money. The club has returned £12,000 which was handed over by Mr Moore under a deal signed in February... Mr Moore began legal proceedings against the club at Manchester County Court yesterday... Mr Moore claims his Manchester-based law firm signed a contract last February to become AFC’s shirt sponsors for the 2004/5 season".

Barrow "have given permission to Holker Old Boys FC to use their Holker Street Stadium, should the NW Counties outfit be drawn at home in the opening rounds of the F.A. Cup... Holker are having remedial work done on their pitch meaning they cannot stage any games at Rakesmoor Lane in the early part of the season". Meanwhile Barrow "Utility player, Steve Ridley, returns from holiday to the news that the F.A. have added a further 4 game suspension to the one he received for his sending off at Workington in the second leg of the President's Cup Final... The referee however also reported Ridley for swearing at him after being dismissed and for failing to leave the field immediately... Former Ashton midfielder/forward Dean Johnson has become Lee Turnbull's first capture of the summer".

Harrogate Town boss "John Reed has confirmed today that James Turley will be staying with Town next season. Earlier this summer it was thought that Turley would be leaving Town, with Barrow or Hucknall Town likely destinations. However, last season's Player of the Year and top scorer has now agreed to stay at Wetherby Road".

Hucknall Town chairman Brian Holmes says that "It’s now official. Today Ernie Moss signed his contract to be Hucknall Town's manager for next season 2004/05... Steve Burr and I held discussions yesterday and repaired our relationship, and we now have settled our differences". Hucknall Today quotes Mr Holmes on new boss Ernie Moss, "He has not won a lot as a manager... I am sure he can do very well at Hucknall with the extra resources and support that will be made available to him. We are a very progressive club". He also added that "former Nottingham Forest defender Steve Chettle (35)... has had talks with a view to possibly signing for the club".

Kettering Town "manager Kevin Wilson today secured the signature of the goalkeeper he has being chasing for the past few weeks. Steve Corry is that man. 22 years of age, and standing 6'4", Steve was faced with a decision as to whether to rejoin Brian Talbot at Oldham Athletic or join the new-look Poppies". Wilson said "Steve feels we could be on the verge of something good at Rockingham Road and has been persuaded to join us".

Lancaster City boss Phil Wilson says "I cannot name names however I can tell you that I have agreed terms with three new players... At the present time three of last year's squad are no longer at the club, Farrell Kilbane, Rick Mercer and John Robertson".

Runcorn FC Halton "have made their second big signing in a week, with Lancaster City central defender John Robertson agreeing to join up with the Linnets ahead of next season".

Stalybridge Celtic "manager Dave Miller is looking to put the finishing touches to his squad...[A] new strip [is] due to be unveiled at the Manchester United game on July 20th. Players who have so far put pen to paper for next term are: Scott Bonsall, Terry Bowker, Dean Calcutt, Danny Caldecott, Chris Denham, Craig Dootson, Phil Eastwood, Dave German, Andy Hayward, Kevin Parr, Paul Sykes, Nathan Wharton, Tony Whealing. Celtic are currently locked in talks with a striker with Football League experience... Barrie Keeling is... expected to sign upon his return. Greg Pearce ties the knot on Saturday and should confirm his return to the Fold before leaving on honeymoon... New signing Dean Calcutt will be unavailable for the first three games of the new season due to a suspension picked up while playing for Accrington. Dave Miller will also watch the first three games from the stand, having been banned".

Worksop Town "Club Captain, Linden Whitehead, has been placed on the transfer list at his own request. Whitehead, who captained the Tigers for eight successive seasons, felt that under the current regime he could not give 100% to the training aspects required as he works in Birmingham... The club have confirmed that the latest player to leave Worksop Town is defender Ryan Ludlam who follows his father, former manager Steve out of the club. Ryan who is currently enjoying his honeymoon in Barbados has signed for Droylsden". Also, "both Ryan Davis and Adam Muller have been added to the transfer list along with goalkeeper Ian Bowling and former club captain Linden Whitehead. With Darren Roberts, Ben Walker and Darren Bradshaw currently training at Belper Linden may yet join them... players who are remaining at the club are:- Simeon Bambrook, Gary Townsend, Kevin Davies, Neil Glasser and Mark Haran" - but no mention of Steve Hawes, the ex-Alty captain.

Alfreton Town report that "Goalkeeper Lee Butler and central defender Grant Brown... have agreed to commit themselves to a second year at North Street".

This is Bolton says that Leigh RMI boss Phil Starbuck "beat off the challenge of rivals Stevenage Borough and Northwich Victoria to sign Barry Miller, his second centre-half capture from Hucknall Town. The RMI boss snapped up Hucknall skipper Craig Gaunt two weeks ago".

IC Coventry says that "A serious spine problem has ruled out central defender Craig Norman for six months, forcing Roger Ashby, manager of Nuneaton Borough, to look elsewhere for a replacement for the retired Terry Angus. The 28-year-old Norman was due to sign a twelve-month contract for the Manor Park club after quitting Kettering Town last month... Ashby said: "He has seen a specialist and they have found that he has one leg shorter than the other".

NL Daily states that "Worcester City's talented young left back Shabir Khan has signed a contract... The local 18-year-old has just completed the two-year football development course the club runs in partnership with Worcester College of Technology... City chairman Dave Boddy said: "We are delighted that Shabir has signed a contract, with James Smith and Lewis Skyers also agreeing terms".

NL Daily also says that "Rod Brown, manager of Redditch United, has been busy strengthening his squad, but the fall-out from his Dr Martens League Western Division championship-winning side has started to gather force. Striker Mark Shepherd switched to Solihull Borough and highly-rated winger Alex Cowley made a surprise move to Halesowen Town and now Brown has also lost former Rotherham and Halesowen right-winger Matty Hall and defender Quentin Townsend... Brown’s plans received another unexpected disruption when midfielder Richard Field was the subject of a stabbing incident in Birmingham city centre".


  • Ian Arnold (Barrow to Workington)
  • Matty Hall (Redditch U. to Moor Green)
  • Martin Myers (Redditch U. to Willenhall T.)
  • Quentin Townsend (Redditch U. to Cinderford T.)
  • Adam Willis (Kidderminster to Hinckley U.)

    Some more ticket prices:

  • Droylsden £8 - to sit £9; season tickets £130 adult
  • Harrogate "match day admission charges: Adults - £10.
  • Hinckley United - Adults £7.00... transfer to the seating will cost £1.00 [more]."
  • Redditch United "£7.00 for adults".
    20 June 2004


    The condolences of all at Altrincham FC go to the family of former Robins' defender Neil Dewar (right), who collapsed and died last week at a bowls match. Neil was a regular member of the Altrincham side in the mid to latter-1960s. Current supporters may have met Neil when, with Jackie Swindells, he attended the launch event of STAR at the Cresta Court.


    Danny Johnson, manager of our neighbours Trafford FC has set up "Football4all" which specialises in football coaching through soccer schools, in-school and after-school coaching and by organising tournaments, football tours and fundraising evenings. It will also be selling football equipment to schools as well as to local junior and senior clubs. Its mission statement is "To provide people of all ages, abilities, race and gender the chance to play and progress in the world's leading sport. Football4all vows to support all football organisations in their attempts to provide professional coaching and generate valuable funding. With this Football4all will further develop grassroots, women's and disabilities football throughout the Greater Manchester area".

    Any new customers obtained via this website will earn a fee for Altrincham FC so please mention this if you sign up for any of their many initiatives. Details of Football4all are on their website. A link has also been placed on this site's links page.


    STAR the Altrincham supporters' trust has moved its website here.


    Altrincham captain Ian Craney (right) has signed for Conference National side Accrington Stanley for a fee of £15,000, plus a further £2,500 after 20 appearances and a fifty per-cent sell-on clause. All at the club wish Ian well in his future career.

    Ian made his first-team Alty debut against Emley on 9 September, 2000 and that season he attracted a number of scouts from League clubs, which included Manchester City. Ian was elected Player of the Season for both 2002-03 and 2003-04. In 2003-04 he also ended the season as leading scorer and team captain. He played two games for Tranmere Rovers Reserves in May 2004 before signing for Accrington Stanley. Ian made 197 starts and 17 substitute appearances for Alty, scoring 40 goals.

    Meanwhile, Mark Maddox has become the eighth of last season's squad to have re-signed for Altrincham for 2004-05 and the other squad members are expected to do so in the near future. The others who have already re-signed are Stuart Coburn, Steve Aspinall, Gary Talbot, Peter Band, Barry Shuttleworth, Marcus Hallows and Niell Hardy.


    As in last pre-season, Altrincham players will again be involved in a friendly cricket match against Urmston Cricket Club this summer. It will be on 4 July; more details later.
    10 June 2004


    The normal daily updates to this site will be suspended after today till 20 June when normal service should resume. In the meantime, you may find something to interest you in the site archive!


    The Charleston Battery site confirms that Ian Craney played the first 45 minutes as "The United States USL Representative XI tied 0-0 with the England National Game XI at Blackbaud Stadium in front of a crowd of 1,893. The USA outshot England by 16-7 but could not find a way to break England's defenses. The match was the return leg of the two-match series; England won the first game 2-1 on March 2003 in a game played in England".


    STAR is planning to hold its AGM on Friday September 10th. The event will include the STAR Grand Prize Draw. Raffle tickets will go out with the STAR Newsletter this week.


    This is Worcs reports that "speculation linking Stan Collymore with a shock return to football at St George's Lane has been laughed off by Worcester City chairman Dave Boddy".

    IC Southport confirms that "As expected, veteran striker Lee Ashcroft left Haig Avenue at the weekend. Despite his experience, manager Liam Watson did not see the former Preston star as a suitable squad member and has gladly allowed the contracted winger/striker to join...Kendal Town... The 32-year-old was out of Watson's plans once he let it be known he wanted to join Northwich. The proposed transfer turned into a fiasco and left Ashcroft high and dry".

    This is Worcs says "There have been more ins and outs at the Valley Stadium than the Hokey Cokey this week. In a shock move wing wizard Alex Cowley has left the club to play at Halesowen Town and long-serving defender Quentin Townsend has joined up with Cinderford Town. Reds' boss Rod Brown said: 'I've brought in Simon Hollis, Luke Prince and Rob Taylor who can all play on the wing so at the end of the day I think Alex got a bit nervous'... Brown is also still on the trail of Telford defender Matt Clarke".


    The Northwich Chronicle reports that "Steve Burr is to be named as Vics' new manager after walking out on Hucknall Town yesterday. Burr, 44, was effectively sacked after his request to hold talks with Vics was refused by the UniBond League champions". Burr "met Hucknall chairman Brian Holmes... to discuss pre-season plans. Holmes said: 'Steve then requested a private meeting with me at which he asked for permission to have talks with Northwich Victoria as he had been offered the manager's position there. I said that was totally unacceptable to Hucknall Town and showed a lack of commitment to the club. I told him that if he chose to leave the ground, we would have to look for a new manager. He got in his car and left'".
    9 June 2004


    Lancaster City is the latest Conf. North club to raise its prices. An adult season ticket will cost £152 and "Matchday prices in the Nationwide Conference North will be: Adult £8, Concessions £5". Also, "Lancaster City FC will be 100 years old in the year 2005. The club intends to hold a number of events to recoginze the 100 year history. We would like to hear from past players who have played a minimum of 30 games for Lancaster City... If we can receive enough information we may be able to produce a book - 100 Year History of Lancaster City FC".

    Hucknall Today confirms that "Hucknall Town's future at Watnall Road has been secured after keynote talks with the ground's owners. The talks yielded a verbal agreement to the £3 million business plan put forward for the site by Town chairman Brian Holmes. That is that most of the site will be bought by the club, through Holmes, while the rest, the side that adjoins Hucknall bypass, will be sold off by the owners, Welbeck Estates, for development... In the past, Welbeck Estates have only allowed Town to lease the ground and they have been loath to let them develop it too much in the knowledge that, when they got planning permission for development of the site, they would have to provide the club a like-for-like ground elsewhere as compensation. The owners have become more amenable after repeatedly failing to win planning permission from Ashfield District Council, who insist that a suitable site for an alternative ground in the Hucknall area is found first. Exhaustive attempts to find that site have hit a brick wall, bringing Welbeck to the negotiation table".

    Stalybridge Celtic state that "Dean Calcutt is unlikely to feature" in pre-season due to a hernia operation.


    The Shropshire Star says that newly formed AFC Telford United, assigned to the UniBond First, aim "to continue to play at the New Buck's Head when the campaign gets started in August... Club officials must now make a formal application to the UniBond League to be accepted at the AGM on Saturday week, although it is understood that will be little more than a rubber-stamping exercise".
    8 June 2004


    Reports on the Conference North Forum say that Hucknall Town boss Steve Burr has been appointed as the new manager of Northwich Victoria.

    The Shropshire Star confirms that AFC Telford United have been put into the UniBond First and that Ossett Town have therefore moved up to the Premier Division.


    Altrincham's assistant manager Dalton Steele has today finalised a transfer deal which was set up before manager Graham Heathcote went on holiday. It brings striker Peter Wright to Moss Lane. Wright holds an FA Trophy cup winner's medal, earned whilst at Burscough, but most recently he has been at Northwich Victoria, where his contract expired in June 2004. He was born on 15 August 1982 so is still only 21. He is 5ft 8ins tall and weighs 10st 10lb.

    Peter started out as a trainee with Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers before arriving at Third Division Halifax Town in summer 2001. He had played in 14 Football League games for Halifax by then. Peter then joined Burscough, in August 2002, after Halifax released virtually all their squad when they dropped out of Division Three. Peter got both goals as the Linnets beat Yeovil on the way to the 2003 FA Trophy Final, in which he played. He then moved to Southport on 9 August 2003 for a reported £3,000 before moving on to Northwich Victoria on 7 November 2003, where he scored 4 goals in 22 games for the bottom of the table side.

    Dalton has also confirmed that Steve Aspinall (right) has signed on again for Altrincham for next season, with other players also due to do so shortly.


    The BBC reports that, "The Conference is to restore its League Cup competition next season... Formerly known as the Bob Lord Trophy, it last took place in 2000/01. 'Most of the new 44 teams wanted a cup competition and we have found a slot to put it into', confirmed Conference chief executive John Moules... The top-flight Conference clubs will join the competition, which was approved at the league's AGM this weekend, in the later rounds".

    NL Daily says that "Rod Brown, manager of Redditch United, is expected to complete a deal to bring highly-rated defender Matt Clarke to the Valley Stadium this week... Brown said: 'We will be running on an 18-man squad next season because my budget won't allow me to go any further'. Two of that squad will be goalkeepers... Brown has already spoken to experienced former Coventry, Shrewsbury and Huddersfield [and Altrincham!] 'keeper Tim Clarke with a view to becoming his goalkeeping coach. One-time Aston Villa midfielder Luke Prince is another to have already signed for Redditch after a two-year spell with Team Bath... [He] also featured for Forest Green Rovers in the Conference and was on the bench when they lost in the FA Trophy Final to Canvey Island".

    "Roger Ashby, manager of Nuneaton Borough, has snapped up former Leicester City player Stuart Wilson from his previous side Grantham Town. The 26-year-old wideman played 19 games in the Premiership for Leicester under Martin O'Neill, but since his release has had brief spells with Anstey Nomads and Shepshed Dynamo before joining the Gingerbreads in September 2001... Wilson becomes Ashby's second summer signing after young defender Rob Oddy arrived from Coventry City, while Kettering Town's long-serving Craig Norman will be the third if he can confirm his fitness following a holiday injury".

    "Youngster Glynn Blackhurst is eagerly looking forward to pre-season with Stafford Rangers... The 19-year-old midfielder finished the last campaign on a high and will be aiming to justify the faith of manager Phil Robinson in putting him on contract... Meanwhile, Rangers are not unhappy at being 'transferred' from the Dr Martens Premier League to Conference North in the restructuring of the non-League Pyramid. Secretary Mike Hughes said: 'From a travelling cost point of view we are much better off. Last season we clocked around 5,500 miles, next season it will be more like 2,800'", he told This is Staffs.


    Former Trafford and Chorley boss "Mark Molyneaux has resigned as player-manager of Salford City after less than a season in charge of the club", reports the Salford Advertiser. He "felt financial restrictions were preventing the club from moving forward".