Words John Edwards
CHRISTMAS is renowned as a time for giving, and several familiar local names from Altrincham's list of sponsors have embodied that enduring tradition by clubbing together to subsidise an event that marks the start of the club's programme of festivities.
The annual Altrincham FC Community Sports over-50s lunch is being held at The J.Davidson Stadium today, and in keeping with the spirit of Christmas, the club have managed to make it as affordable as possible after six kind-hearted Alty backers stepped forward to help fund it.
Take a bow Marc Darcy, Slater Heelis, Benchmark Security, Trafford Leisure, Manchester Glass Ltd and Poppies and please accept the club's heartfelt thanks for agreeing to sponsor an ever-popular event to an extent that has made it accessible to so many across the local community.
With your generous support, we have been able to price tickets at just £10 each for a three-course Christmas lunch, and you will not be surprised to hear that, as a result, every last one was sold weeks in advance.
There could not be a more appropriate way to launch the Christmas festivities at Alty, with so many facets of the club's connection with the community, from walking football and yoga to the warm space initiative, all represented in a packed Community Sports Hall this lunchtime.
There is so much more to come, as well, before the end of 2023, not least the official launch of another significant milestone in the club's ongoing development at 4pm this afternoon when the first-ever Altrincham FC town centre shop opens its doors on George Street.
Retail therapy has long been an integral part of the build-up to Christmas, but so too has football, and for Alty fans, there's just one more opportunity to see the Robins in action at The J.Davidson Stadium before the 25th.
AFC Fylde are the visitors on Saturday, and there really is only one place to be on this particular matchday, with Phil Parkinson's in-form crowd-pleasers going flat out for another three points at 3pm, and a not-to-be-missed Christmas party following on in the Community Sports Hall during the evening.
Doors open at 7pm for a Dance Through The Decades extravaganza, with tickets at £16.95 offering exceptional value for money, given it not only includes a seasonal musical journey through the 70s, 80s, 90s and noughties but a classic throwback to an old culinary favourite in the form of chicken in a basket!
And that's not all. Christmas Day over and quality time shared with family and friends, what better than another football fix, in particular a Boxing Day one with the special atmosphere that always generates? Ours is a Roses battle with FC Halifax Town at The J.Davidson (3pm) before we head over the Pennines for the return fixture at The Shay on New Year's Day, also kicking off at 3pm.
It's quite a festive schedule, and we hope you will be able to join us for as much of it as possible, starting this lunchtime, if you're one of the lucky 170 to have secured a ticket, and continuing in the heart of Altrincham's pedestrianised shopping centre this afternoon, when first-team players and guests converge on our brand-new retail outlet and community hub for what will be a landmark opening ceremony.
Commenting on the Christmas over-50s lunch, Altrincham FC President and Altrincham FC Community Sports Trustee Grahame Rowley said: “Both staff and attendees really noticed the gap in our Christmas celebrations when we couldn’t host the lunch due to the Covid pandemic. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to give something back to our local community and provide them with an opportunity to meet friends for an affordable Christmas get-together. It really is the highlight of the year for us all, and this year will be another day to remember”.