TRIBUTES are being made to former Altrincham FC manager Bernard Taylor, who died this week.

One of the club’s most popular figures of recent times, Mr Taylor was hailed as a ‘larger than life character’ by club chairman Grahame Rowley.

Bernard’s distinctive managerial style won him trophies and admirers in the first of two spells in charge at the end of the 1990s.

With club legend Graham Heathcote as his assistant, he lifted the Unibond League Cup, Northern Premier League Peter Swales Shield, NPL title and Cheshire Senior Cup in a trophy haul that was rewarded with an open top bus parade through the town.

Ancoats-born Bernard, who was in his 70s and had suffered health problems in recent years, made his home in Timperley.

He became so immersed in Alty’s fortunes that his whole family ended up serving the club.

Mr Rowley said: “Bernard loved the club and everyone within it.

“So much so that not only did his son Anthony look after the Reserves, but his daughters Angie and Marie even ran a kiosk each and his wife Sheila would help out whichever one looked the busier!

“He was an excellent man-manager, a really jovial character who always had a smile on his face, and he will be missed by all of us.”

A minute’s applause in his memory will take place at the club’s Moss Lane ground before kick-off on Saturday.

Supporters travel coordinator Mark Eckersall said: ‘He had time for everyone and was like a father figure to me.

“He was hilarious, warm and welcoming, and he knew how to get the best out of the people he worked with.

“He was a true gentleman.”

A Robins fan, Matt Taylor, said: “After we won the Unibond League Cup, Bernard personally took the trophy into hospital to visit a long-time Altrincham supporter who had been unable to attend the final due to being unwell.

“It was a typically lovely gesture from one of the loveliest men you would ever meet.”