Rocky II is launched today - look out for our Robin's smart new outfit!

Words: John Edwards
Picture: Mark Bennett
As the scourge of the big guns in the FA Cup over a number of years, Altrincham have always taken great delight in ruffling feathers out on the pitch.
Off the field, it's a little different. As might be expected of a club known affectionately as the Robins, feathers are treated with the utmost care and consideration in and around the confines of the The J.Davidson Stadium, as our very own avian member of the Alty Family will readily testify.
Rocky Robin has been glad-handing young and old at Moss Lane for the past two decades or so, out in all weathers to ensure a cheery, friendly greeting for everyone arriving at the ground for an Alty game.
The ever-present smile has never once faltered, but, behind that fun-loving facade, we sensed the march of time was beginning to leave its mark on our beloved club mascot.
A game old bird, he hasn't exactly gone to seed, but his once-pristine plumage has seen better days. To put not too fine a point on it, a makeover wouldn't go amiss, a new look to match the new era of full-time professional football at The J.Davidson.
It was time for Rocky II, and the idea of reclothing our feathered friend and creating a look that is bang up-to-date was given wings when Alty director and lifelong fan Mark Luby stepped forward and kindly agreed to sponsor the costs involved.
The transformation is now complete, and our rejuvenated Rocky will be showing off his new garb in a debut appearance before the BT Sport cameras in this evening's sell-out home game with Wrexham, as well as venturing out and about in the coming weeks and months to reinforce Alty links with the local community.
Thanks go to Mark, a fantastically successful businessman who launched EBS with himself as the sole employee in April 2000 and has since turned it into the largest supplier of Aftermarket Braking Systems for commercial vehicles in Europe.
EBS is now part of Mark's Group EAGL (EBS Aftermarket Group Limited) with a head office in Trafford Park and Group Companies in London, Dublin, Holland, Rumania, USA and China, an annual turnover close to £50million and a workforce of over 200 employees.
"I grew up in Timperley and went to secondary school at Altrincham Grammar for Boys and have always lived in this area," said Mark. "I was a big boyhood fan of Altrincham FC and saw them in two Wembley finals and also saw them play at Anfield and Old Trafford.
"I remember that, for the Old Trafford game against Everton, I was only nine years old and it was a school night. I remember begging my Dad to take me and him trying to persuade my Mum that I might never see Alty play at Old Trafford again. Dad won, and I'll never forget that experience.
"When I was given the opportunity recently to invest in the club and join the board, I didn’t hesitate, and it's wonderful to be involved in helping this great club to fulfil the ambition of getting into the Football League for the first time. We need to right the wrong of 1980, which I remember so well!"
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