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Players of 1978/79

ALTRINCHAM FC PLAYERS OF 1978/79

L to R: Mickey Brooke, Mal Bailey and Jeff Johnson.

The following pen-pictures were written in 1978/79.

  • Peter Eales: Goalkeeper. Recently returned to the side after announcing his retirement after his Wembley appearance last April. A great favourite with crowds wherever he plays. A former Wigan Athletic, Bangor City and South Liverpool Ďkeeper.
  • Stanley Allan: He signed 7 years ago from Skelmersdale United, who he was with for 4 years. He is the proud holder of both an FA Amateur Cup and Challenge Trophy winner's medal. Started his career with Kirkby Town. Very dependable full-back who has missed only a handful of games.
  • Ivan Crossley: Now in his 5th season after signing from Bangor City. Ivan has had Football League experience with Coventry City.
  • Malcolm Bailey: Signed last close season from Runcorn, who he was with for 4 years, winning a Northern Premier League Championship medal. He has previously played for Northwich Victoria and Port Vale.
  • John Owens: Now in his 7th season with Altrincham after a short spell with Skelmersdale United. A former Captain of the British Universities' team and he is a great favourite with the Altrincham crowd.
  • John King: Signed last season from Northwich Victoria and immediately appointed Club Captain. A great influence on the team, formerly with Kirkby Town and Wigan Athletic, and has Football League experience with Shrewsbury Town and Everton.
  • John Davison: Re-signed last summer from Bangor City for his 2nd spell with the "Robins", who he was previously with for five years. Another former English Universities' player, who has also played with Northwich Victoria and Burnley.
  • Graham Heathcote: Re-signed from Northwich Victoria, who he was with for a short spell. He graduated through the Altrincham Youth Team. Had trials with Plymouth Argyle.
  • Jeff Johnson: Signed two seasons ago from Hyde United. He has had trials with Stockport County and played in a number of matches in their first team. Altninchamís leading goalscorer last season and "Player of the Year".
  • John Rogers: Signed at the beginning of last season from Port Vale, for a substantial fee. A former top goalscorer in the Northern Premier League with Wigan Athletic and Altrinchamís 2nd leading scorer last term. Has played in America for Portland Timbers.
  • Barry Howard: Signed in the close season for a record fee from Stockport County. Joined Stockport from Runcorn after a spell at Hyde United and Oldham Athletic as a junior.
  • Micky Brooke: Now in his 7th season with the "Robins" after a lengthy spell at Ellesmere Port Town. A very versatile player who is just as happy playing up front or in defence.

    The following is from the Altrincham FC website on 6/2/2007...

    JAMES BIRCH

    The website was contacted a few days ago by former Altrincham left-back James Birch, who was Tommy Docherty's first signing when he managed Altrincham in the 1987/88 season. James made his debut against Wycombe Wanderers at left back and subsequently played both there and in midfield. His Alty career statistics as kindly supplied by Terry Rowley were:
  • League: 17+2
  • League cup: 1
  • CSC: 3
  • FAT 1+1
  • Total: 22+3 games. James scored two goals, one each in the league and in the Cheshire Senior Cup.

    James himself writes: I was Tommy Docherty's first signing, from Stalybridge Celtic, whilst I was on trial at Everton with Steve Burr & John Askey. Tommy Docherty had just been appointed manager. Whilst at Stalybridge, I was in the process of signing for Macclesfield Town when I received the offer from Alty. I made my debut against Wycombe at home in a 4-2 win, returned to Stalybridge the following season where I had a spell in Man. City Reserves and also Leeds Utd Reserves under Howard Wilkinson in the same team as David Batty & Gary Speed. I played for Curzon Ashton, Droylsden, Leigh RMI and finished at Mossley in 2002 having spent 1