Grahame Rowley has marked the end of an era at National League North side Altrincham by confirming he is about to step away from the board after serving on it for almost 20 years.
The news comes a decade after Rowley, who joined the board in 2002 with the club in a perilous state, accepted the challenge of succeeding Geoff Goodwin as chairman in September 2010.
He will step down once the coronavirus lockdown is eased and leave the board altogether, though he will continue to serve the club in an untitled role, helping supervise match-day operations.
Directors Bill Waterson and Lawrence Looney are taking over as joint-chairmen, and both paid tribute to the way Rowley helped turn around the club’s fortunes as part of a new board that cleared debts and restored stability.
“All Altrincham fans should remember Grahame’s role in keeping the club alive, paying off all of our debts and building the foundation for our recovery,” said Waterson. “Grahame leaves the board with the club in a significantly better state that when he joined.”
Looney added: “We are delighted that Grahame will continue at the club in this new role. His experience, deep knowledge and drive will be of immeasurable importance for us. Grahame was instrumental in bringing me to Altrincham and it’s great he will still be there to support us.”
A club statement read: “A change in chairman is always a time of uncertainty for a football club, and particularly in the current unprecedented circumstances. But by appointing two of our existing directors, we are emphasising continuity, and we will continue to build on the foundations that Grahame laid down.”
Alty’s weekend screening of last season’s play-off win over Blyth Spartans generated £2,250 in e-ticket donations, boosting the overall funds raised across all sources to more than £25,000.
Waterson said: “I cannot emphasise enough just how blown away I am by the generosity and commitment of our supporters.”