For a good few years, it felt almost inevitable that Altrincham would be relegated from the Conference – but they kept holding on. If we had been one of the leading betting websites for most of our time in the Conference, Alty would – with good reason – be one of our nailed-on picks for the drop. After all, the Greater Manchester side were there waiting for us when we got to the Conference in 1994. And they were there when we finally broke through the glass ceiling in 2010.
But what about in-between? Hmm, not so much. Our record of just 18 meetings in 16 years (all league) goes a long way to putting that all into stark context for you there. They were semi-regular opponents during our time in non-league; one that we’ve had more good times than bad. Alty somehow won both our meetings during the 2006-7 campaign. And they are the only two times we’ve been on the wrong end of the scoreline.
The story of Altrincham FC starts in 1891 as the Rigby Memorial Club; soon joining forces with “Grapplers” to create Broadheath FC. The name change happened in 1903 and sets us firmly on our path to the present day. In 1911, they moved from the Manchester League to the Lancashire Combination – but switched again after World War One. This time, they helped found the Cheshire County League in 1919. It was a competition they’d play in for 50 years – give or take a year. It produced two titles. But it wasn’t enough. So, to the Northern Premier League they went (1968).
In 1979, Alty were one of the founder members of the Alliance Premier League – later to be the Conference, clearly. That’s why we’re mentioning it. In 1980, Altrincham were the first daddies of the Alliance Premier League. The reward, these days at least, is a place in the Football League. But, back then, the competition was as progressive as, well, it is now. Alty came within one vote of election to the League in 1980. So, winning the title again in 1981 was surely going to clinch it? No. This was the Football League, remember.
In the second vote, an even greater reward for failure in the League as the vote went very, very firmly against Alty. And that’s about it. The club has never won the title since, reaching the dizzy heights of third and no higher. In 1997, their unbroken time in the Conference was at an end. It should go some way to explain why, despite our first and last encounters being 16 years apart, they aren’t on the list of Boro’s most played teams. And we know that you were wondering. Because that’s what you folks do and why you’re here, right?
How to get to Altrincham – Travel Information – Distance: 169 miles
From Stevenage, you’ll need to make your way onto the M1 followed by the M6. Continue northbound on the M6 until you reach Junction 19; following the A556 towards the M56 and Manchester Airport. Once on the M56, exit at junction 6 for Hale Barnes.
After passing through Hale Barnes and continue on upon reaching some traffic lights – a junction with the A5144. Turn right into Westminster Road, which should be the third road on the right. At the end of Westminster Road will be Moss Lane on the left. Once in Moss Lane, the ground will appear on the right.
There’s no parking at the ground itself. Alty do, however, have a long-running agreement with Aecom on Moss Lane, which is the former Riley’s Snooker Hall. As a result, you can use this car park for free. The postcode for the car park is WA14 8FH.
Local streets usually afford a comfortable capacity for those wishing to park up close to the ground. Otherwise, another option is a large Pay and Display car park at Altrincham Leisure Centre on Thomas Street.
Services to: MANCHESTER PICCADILLY (for LEEDS)
If you’re walking to the ground from the station, leave on the side where the low level station car park is. Cut through the car park and come out onto Oakfield Road, turning right. At the bottom of Oakfield Road, take a left onto Moss Lane. By continuing down here, you’ll soon come to the ground. It’s about half a mile if you’re after the particulars.
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