ALTRINCHAM FC have made a habit of wearing one-off shirts to raise money and awareness for various charities. The Evo-Stik Premier club are doing the same again this season, and this time the initiative has been planned to coincide with Non-League Day.
Due to the international break, there are not only no games for City and United but the whole Premier League and the Championship. Even Oldham’s League One match with Bury was put back – to Tuesday, October 24.
Greater Manchester football fans are therefore being urged to go out and support their local non-league club, of which there are plenty, with . Altrincham are one of the longest-established clubs in non-league and one of the most highly-respected. Although the Robins have endured a lean couple of years on the field, suffering back-to-back relegations, their work off the field has won many admirers.
The club carried out a Strategic Review earlier this year, concluding that they wanted to build greater links with the community and attract a more diverse fanbase. They appointed two people to form an Inclusion and Diversity team, as well as two Supporters Liaison Officers.
Several meetings have recently taken place with the Football Supporters’ Federation, Kick It Out and Level Playing Field, a charity for disabled football supporters, and Altrincham was 1 of just 4 clubs selected nationally to be promoted and funded by Fans for Diversity, a campaign jointly launched by Kick it Out and the FSF.
That association begins with Alty wearing a Fans for Diversity shirt for this Saturday’s home match against Rushall Olympic in the Evo-Stik Premier. The game is a chance for the club to showcase the work they have been doing to improve the matchday experience at the J.Davidson Stadium and to cater for audiences outside their ‘core demographic’, so there is much more going on besides the football, including live music, face painting, Subbuteo demonstrations and a Primary School art competition. Several former players will be there and anyone who attended Tuesday night’s 5-1 win over Nantwich Town will receive a complimentary drink.
Manager Phil Parkinson arrived from Nantwich at the end of last season and brought in several players from his old club and Salford City, such as Tom Peers, Ben Harrison, Lewis Short, Josh Hancock, John Johnston, Jordan Hulme and James Poole. And despite getting off to a slow start this term, that midweek win lifted the Robins up to 4th in the table after 13 games, with Hancock and Hulme both scoring to take their tallies for the season to 8 and 7, respectively.
Against 2nd-bottom Rushall, the admission price for season-ticket holders at Premier League and EFL clubs is just £5 and the Alty shirts are to be auctioned after the game, with all funds raised going to Prostate Cancer UK. To bid for a shirt, call Ian Senior on 07960 137232.
Stalybridge Celtic came down with Alty last season but have been struggling to regroup. Bridge are 4th-bottom as they prepare to host Matlock Town on Saturday.
Other local games on Non-League Day include National League leaders Macclesfield Town welcoming Ebbsfleet United to the Moss Rose, while Curzon Ashton can do Salford City a favour in the National League North. The Nash have handed out 5,000 free tickets for their home match with Harrogate Town, who are joint-top with a Salford side which entertains 4th-bottom Leamington.
Ramsbottom United are 5th in the Evo-Stik North but turn their attentions to the FA Trophy as they host Colwyn Bay in the Preliminary Round. Mid-table Mossley have a home tie against 2nd-bottom Skelmersdale.
Finally, it’s Non-League Dog Day at West Didsbury & Chorlton as they welcome Squires Gate in the North West Counties Premier while First Division sides Cheadle Town and Stockport Town are both at home and would welcome your support.