Words John Edwards
Last Saturday afternoon was one to remember for Altrincham fans at The J.Davidson Stadium, with the Robins hitting the heights to beat Southend United 2-0 and legendary former manager Tony Sanders looking on from the sidelines as special guest of the club.
Tony could hardly have picked a better day for a nostalgic trip back down Moss Lane, as Alty produced one of their most complete performances of the season to reinforce their hold on fifth place in the Vanarama National League.
If the Robins were in good form, so too was Tony, as he shared a platform with current manager Phil Parkinson, chief executive John Williams and press and media officer Brian Flynn in the Mornflake Sponsors' Lounge before kick-off.
Needless to say, there was plenty to talk about, given his unrivalled achievements as boss 40-plus years ago, but the main event was still to come... a full-length AltyTV interview with the great man that was filmed for the benefit of ALL Robins fans.
With Mark Bennett behind the camera and Brian posing the questions, Tony opened up on the golden years of the late-70s and early-80s, how he gelled the likes of John King, John Rogers and Barry Howard into an unstoppable force that swept all before them, and much more besides in a riveting conversation that will enthral Alty fans of all ages.
It lasts the best part of an hour, a good 50 minutes, and it's an AltyTV Premiere no Robins supporter will want to miss, so make a note of the details. The Premiere, the first showing of this in-depth insight into a bona fide Alty legend, starts at 7pm tomorrow, Sunday November 19th. Make sure you tune in!
No-one was more appreciative of Tony's presence last Saturday than Alty boss Phil, who continues to make such a success of steering the Robins back towards the heights our special guest achieved.
"It was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to meet Altrincham’s greatest manager for the first time," he said. "I felt a real presence and class when I was briefly in his company. He was so humble, and for all of his outstanding achievements here, he made the time to come and introduce himself and shake my hand.
"You only have to look back a what he achieved in winning the FA Trophy, two National League titles and a League Cup, as well as reaching the FA Cup third round so many times, to see why he is so revered by everyone at this club.
"I’ve tried to forge my own little place in Alty’s history book, but, let be honest, I’m not getting anywhere near this great man's achievements.
"To have him at the Southend game gave me a real lift, and I hope he can get down to a few more, as it was fantastic for everyone at the club who idolises him to have the opportunity to reminisce and talk about the great days that put this club on the map.
"Quite simply, he's a true Altrincham legend."