Norwegian fan on how Football Manager led to his love affair with Altrincham FC 

A Norwegian football fan who took non-league Altrincham FC to Champions League glory on Football Manager has been telling Quays News how he’s now a die-hard supporter of the Greater Manchester club.  

“Whenever I tell someone who I support they say “who?” 

This is often the response when Odd Sindre Tonning tells people he supports Altrincham, who currently sit 9th in the fifth tier of English football. 

The looks become even more quizzical when he tells them his obsession was forged from the management simulation game Football Manager.  

Tonning’s connection with Altrincham has opened up an entire new community of friendship over 1250 miles away from his Oslo home. But where did it all start?  

It was back in 2010 when the 25 year-old bookstore worker wanted a new challenge on FM and plumped for a team down on its luck.  

“I went to the lowest tier possible and chose alphabetically. I liked the name, and the badge looked quite cool. I thought that could be a good place to start.” 

After the Norwegian took Alty further up the football league, his affection morphed from the digital world into the real world.  

“I started to follow them outside of Football Manager and kept up with their results on Twitter. I just fell more and more in love with the club.”  

Tonning listened to games on the radio and set up the Twitter page ‘Altrincham FC Norway’ to attract attention and “show Altrincham had a supporter from elsewhere.” 

Then in 2015, Altrincham’s FA Cup giant-killing victory over Barnsley was shown on Norwegian TV which proved to be the catalyst for Tonning’s fully-fledged love affair with the club.  

“I got my whole family in the living room, and we were all watching Altrincham play in the FA Cup. We won 1-0, it was amazing.” 

His infatuation for the Robins even factored into his decision to choose a semester abroad to study journalism at the University of Salford, where he followed the club home and away for six months. It wasn’t the most successful period for the club however.  

“After two consecutive relegations, we were down in the seventh tier and there was a lot of turmoil.” 

Tonning particularly enjoys the tight-knit community and family vibe which surrounds the club:    

“What you don’t get in the top tier is that feeling of togetherness and inclusion that you get in the lower leagues. I’ve made some friends for life – we all bond over one thing.” 

Now Tonning’s dream is for Alty to get into the playoffs this year. The club currently sit ninth, just two points away from the play-off places. Should Wembley beckon, Tonning will make the trip over for the semi-finals and final.  

“Going to Wembley to watch Altrincham would mean so much.”  

From video game to beautiful game, how fitting it would be for Tonning’s Alty journey to reach the home of football!  

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