With Whitchurch Alport sitting at the top of the First Division table, there’s increasing interest in the club from people in the town, and the home game against Abbey Hulton United on Monday attracted an astounding 507 fans to Yockings Park.
On and off the pitch, Alport have quickly gained a reputation for being a club that tends to do things the right way. And at the Abbey Hulton game they rewarded one of their own, as Press Officer, Martin Wild, explained.
“We usually take decent numbers to away fixtures and you tend to see the same old faces,” he said.
“On Saturday at AFC Blackpool, we had about 50 fans with us and someone told me that Aaron Millington had travelled on his own and had spent £81 on rail tickets just to see the lads play. That’s incredible dedication from one of our supporters and we wanted to reward that.
“I was chatting about this to Ryan Jardine (Chairman), Johnny Allman (Vice Chairman) and Luke Goddard (Manager) on Sunday as we were at the ground for a few hours preparing for the next day’s home game.
“We thought it would be a really nice gesture to present Aaron with an Alport season ticket which we sell for £80, so it was effectively reimbursing his initial outlay. We announced it at half-time in front of a packed crowd and he got a really nice ovation from everybody, once we’d embarrassed him out on the pitch with Ryan.”
Aaron, 20, is a regular at Alport’s home and away matches despite being a Stoke City season ticket holder. And when the Potters play away, or home games fall on a Sunday or a Monday, Aaron follows the Reds up hill and down dale.
“I was really nervous when somebody said to make my way to the gate by the pitch at half time”, said Aaron.
“Then Martin made a tannoy announcement and I couldn’t believe what the club had done for me. I was really shocked but obviously delighted.
“I was having a few drinks on Friday night and decided I didn’t want to miss the match. So I went from Whitchurch train station to Manchester Piccadilly, then waited 25 minutes for my connection to Blackpool North and met up with a few Alport fans when I got there.
“I did manage to get a lift back home which was great, as I managed to celebrate our 4-1 win with a few pints in town later on. Whitchurch is a great club run by great people, and it’s become a big part of the social calendar for so many people. Everybody loves going there.”