ALTRINCHAM FC has seen players and fans come and go, but Altrincham’s Thorpe family have remained loyal for more than 100 years.

At the turn of the century Jack Thorpe played for Alty, six decades later his son Jack became the club’s groundsman and today his grandson David works in the souvenir shop.

The family’s support for the club has never faltered and now, at the age of 98, former groundsman Jack is believed to be the club’s oldest fan.

Jack, who celebrates his milestone birthday today (November 4) is a familiar face at the Moss Lane ground where he worked as a groundsman for 23 years until his retirement in 1996.

The veteran fan was first inspired with a love of Alty by his dad, who played for the team in the 1909/10 season.

He then passed his love of the club to his son David, 52, and the pair are a regular sight cheering Alty on at almost every match, both home and away.

David said supporting Alty was a ‘way of life’ for both him and his dad.

Grahame Rowley, chairman of Altrincham FC, said Jack and David typified the type of supporters Altrincham get as once they become fans they stay loyal for life.

“Jack Thorpe has been known around the ground for many years and everybody has a story or a memory about him.

“It’s great that he still supports the club in his later years,” Grahame said.

David and Jack are also regular visitors to their local pub, the Tatton Arms on Tipping Street, where their family also has a long history.

Jack, who has been drinking in the pub for 82 years, since he was15, remembers his dad, who was a footballer and a firefighter, putting out the blaze that gutted the original pub in the 1920s.

The Tatton Arms are hosting a special birthday party for Jack tonight to celebrate his history with the pub.