In this occasional series on the Friends of Altrincham FC, we speak to firms or individuals who provide invaluable financial backing for the club in the form of sponsorship or advertising. Here, the spotlight falls on Ian Gordon from Myerson Solicitors.
Listen to Ian Gordon explaining his Altrincham affiliation, and it’s a bit like tuning in to an episode of The Generation Game.
It all started with granddad William, who lived on Sinderland Road and, naturally enough, considered Moss Lane the ideal venue for spending Saturday afternoon leisure time.
Ian, himself, was raised in Golborne, midway between Wigan and Warrington, but dad Allan’s allegiances had already taken root, and trips back home to Sinderland Road, more often than not, were timed to coincide with Alty home games.
Before long, the familiar path through Altrincham town centre and along Moss Lane was being trod by three generations of Gordons, as Ian joined his dad and granddad on their pilgrimage to the main stand at the home of the Robins.
And it doesn’t end there. When Ian had a family of his own, he was delighted son Dan showed an immediate interest in football but slightly concerned he idolised David Beckham and might have been leaning towards Manchester United as the team to support.
A couple of trips to familiar territory put paid to that, and Dan was soon nailing his colours to the Moss Lane mast and making it four generations of Alty supporters in the Gordon ranks. As Bruce Forsyth used to say: Didn't he do well!
‘My dad grew up on Sinderland Road, so granddad William made sure he was raised as an Alty fan,’ said Ian, legal director with Myerson Solicitors, one of Alty’s much-valued backers. ‘He did a good job, because dad really took it on, and even as a young boy, I could tell they were both really big Alty fans.
‘I was probably eight or nine when they started taking me, back in the early to mid ‘70s. It was Northern Premier League days, playing against the likes of Wigan Athletic. I seem to remember it was wooden bench seating in the main stand, but I loved it.
‘Going to Goodison Park for the Everton Cup-tie is a particularly vivid memory, as is the replay. They were great times, and I was hooked from then on.
‘We lost granddad, unfortunately, but dad and I are both season-ticket holders and stand together on the Pop Side, and, of course, Dan comes along as well, when he’s around. He's 23 now and lives away from home, but Alty are his team, and he never misses when he’s here.
‘It was touch-and-go when Beckham was his idol and he seemed to be gravitating towards United, but he was happy enough to accompany me to Moss Lane a couple of times, and that did the trick. He’s a proper Alty fan now.’
Ian has seen a few prolific Alty goalscorers in his time, but it’s a player nearer the other end of the pitch who seems to have made the most lasting impression on him.
‘I voted for Shaun Densmore as player-of-the-year when the awards were held online a few weeks ago,’ he said. ‘I have to admit I was pretty much writing him off a couple of seasons ago after that injury he had.
‘I just thought that’s going to be it, unfortunately, after so long out, so to come back the way he has is nothing short of remarkable. To roll back the years like that and play to such a consistently high standard made him an obvious choice to me.
‘It wasn’t for sentimental reasons I voted for him. I thought he would have been a deserved winner, but at least he was the manager’s choice, which was great to see.
‘Looking back over the years, you had to admire the goalscoring prowess of Colin Little and Damian Reeves, and I was a big fan of Nicky Clee, but I think Dens has been a special player for the club in so many ways.’
A graduate of Bristol University, where he earned a degree in law, Ian has worked in the legal profession in the Manchester area, including a firm with an office near Altrincham’s Cresta Court Hotel, for years, but he only joined Myerson Solicitors six months ago.
‘I was pleased to discover the firm already had links with Alty,’ he said. ‘We had our own advertising board over by the family stand, and one of the partners, Scott Sands, lives just down the road from the ground and helps out with coaching one of the junior teams.
‘It just seemed natural to me to raise my hand and say I would like to make contact with the club and see if there was a way we could further our links with them. The future is looking bright under Phil Parkinson, who has done brilliantly to turn our fortunes round so quickly and spectacularly, so I hope we can continue to support the club.
‘At Myerson, we do offer a wide range of legal services, and I’m glad to say we have been able to continue operating during lockdown. We were primed for it and were able to operate effectively from home, with zoom or microsoft meetings, pretty much from day one.
‘My particular area is commercial property, dealing with shopping centres, supermarkets, office buildings and redevelopment projects. It’s great to see something new being created and to feel you’re a part of it, as you see things coming to fruition.
‘All that’s missing really is the football and meeting my dad outside the chippy opposite the ground on match days. That’s our ritual, and I hope it will be starting up again before too long.’
Visit Myerson's website to learn more about the outstanding services they offer.