Words by Joe Ward
Pictures by Jonathan Moore
In the first release of attending players for Jake Moult's Testimonial, Altrincham are delighted to announce the return of Shaun Densmore, Josh Hancock, Andy White, Tom Hannigan, Tony Thompson and Jake to The J.Davidson Stadium later next month.
At the end of last season, Jake and five of his team-mates listed above said their goodbyes to the club, along with fellow ex-Robin Connor Hampson, who would likely have appeared had he not emigrated to Oakleigh Cannons FC in Australia.
On Sunday, April 30th, the lads are due to attend the testimonial in varying capacities to honour one of the great servants of Alty's recent history.
Kicking off at 1pm, the event will be a great opportunity for fans to show their appreciation, one last time, to our ex-captain who left it all on the pitch in every one of his 452 appearances for the Robins.
Tickets to see Altrincham XI and Jake Moult XI battle it out can be purchased in advance here, costing just £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s.
Few will be more appreciative of marking their career with a testimonial match than Alty legend Shaun Densmore.
The 34-year-old capped off his 14-year tenure at Moss Lane last April with a testimonial of his own. And the now-retired defender, who made 400-plus appearances for the club, says he 'can't wait' to see all the lads again.
"There aren't many opportunities to have all your friends and family together and it's difficult to keep in touch with everyone you used to play with, so to have everyone there on the 30th will be brilliant," Shaun said.
Densmore played with Jake at Alty for just over a decade, both acting as rare constants through a decade of varying success.
The pair led the team by example to two promotions under Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel, only deciding to end their Alty days when the club went full-time last summer.
During a conversation about Jake as a player, Shaun said, "He was a brilliant leader. Jake would be the one to drag us through in those tight games, often doing things that went under-appreciated such as winning his headers and protecting the back line.
"He's a very cool, calm, chilled-out guy and I think you could see that out on the pitch – he never got flustered. But, at the same time, he had that grit and that fight in him which is why he made such a great captain.
“It’s fantastic for him to get his testimonial and fully deserved."
Josh joined the Robins in 2017 having already played under Phil Parkinson at his previous club, Nantwich Town.
The goal-scoring central midfielder went from strength to strength at Alty and thrived, playing alongside Jake Moult.
Despite being somewhat unknown when he joined Altrincham, Parkinson always believed in his talent, telling the Messenger back in 2020, "When we first brought him here, people questioned who he was, but by the time he has finished at Altrincham, he will be an absolute legend."
Hancock, who now plays for Curzon Ashton, has scored 11 goals in 30 appearances so far this season and will return to The J.Davidson Stadium with Alty fans holding him in the same high regard as ever.
Josh will surely have an ambition of adding to his iconic goals scored in an Alty shirt, such as the one pictured above against Portsmouth in the FA Cup back in 2019.
White was one of three of the magnificent seven to depart The J.Davidson Stadium for Warrington Town last summer, joining the Yellows on July 5th, 2022.
The dependable full-back made over 100 appearances for Alty between December 2017 and July 2022, including a short loan spell at FC United of Manchester during last season.
Andy played alongside Jake Moult for just over four and a half seasons, helping the club out of the lowest point in our recent history and will be welcomed back with open arms on Sunday, April 30th.
Tom was another of the three to join Warrington Town at the end of last season, following six years at Altrincham, where he made over 150 appearances.
The centre-back, who can be seen scoring against Spennymoor Town back in 2020, helped the Robins, alongside Jake Moult and others on this list, to two promotions back to the National League.
Now, the 34-year-old returns to The J.Davidson Stadium to pay tribute to Jake for the decade of sterling service he gave the club.
Finally, Tony Thompson will be back between the sticks for Altrincham, where he made 180 appearances before leaving for Cantilever Park along with Tom Hannigan and Andy White.
The 28-year-old cited the influence of Sean Williams - a former Alty team-mate - in his decision to join Warrington Town at the end of last season.
Tony, who was Jake Moult's vice-captain during his final seasons for the Robins, will be looking forward to reuniting with part of the team that he described as 'unbelievable' to be around.
In an interview with NonLeagueDaily back in 2021, the goalkeeper said, "We’re not here for a long time, football doesn’t last forever. It’s gonna be hard sometimes but the camaraderie at Altrincham’s been unbelievable, from day one to now.
"We know each other inside out and credit to the gaffer and Sorvs for recruiting that type of changing room. A lot of lads come in and say it’s the best they’ve ever been in, and I think that’s why we do so well.”
Don't forget to look out for further announcements of players over the coming weeks on the club's website and our social media channels. In the meantime, why not book your place at what is sure to be a memorable afternoon by buying your tickets here.