It is with much regret that we record the death of Alan Withers, one of the last surviving members of the Notts squad which achieved promotion from the fourth tier of the Football League in 1959-60, a success in which he played a significant role. In his time at Meadow Lane he experienced both the highs and lows of the game. Having been signed from Lincoln City in January, 1959 he first played in a side that suffered a second relegation in successive seasons after finishing 23rd in Division Three in 1958-59.
The following season was an altogether brighter affair in which Withers, flying down the left wing and laying on scoring opportunities for the likes of Bob Forrest, Stan Newsham and, later, Tony Hateley, became a familiar and popular figure. Having made his debut in a 4-4 home draw with Halifax Town on 3 January, 1959 Withers’ final Notts appearance was exactly four years later, in January 1963 against another Yorkshire team, Barnsley, who won 3-1 at Oakwell. In total Withers made 121 League appearances, scoring 22 goals for the Magpies.
Though a native of Nottingham - Alan was born in Bulwell on 20 October, 1930 - he had first come to prominence while playing in the same Blackpool side as Stanley Matthews on the opposite flank. He never tired of recalling that in his first Football League outing he scored a hat-trick for Blackpool against Huddersfield Town, in November 1950.
He continued to live in Nottingham after his retirement from the game. His death reduces to two - Gerry Carver and John Sheridan - those still with us who played in the 59-60 promotion team.
Our sincere condolences are extended to Alan’s family and many friends in their loss.