Graham Allner was sacked by Cheltenham on January 13 2003, with the club sitting second bottom of Division Two after a run of five games without a win.

Graham had been appointed manager of Cheltenham Town on May 30 2002, succeeding Steve Cotterill in the post.

He had been working with The Robins as a coach for the previous three years, and had been Cotterill's assistant in the season that saw them promoted to Division Two via the play-offs.

Cheltenham chairman Paul Baker was delighted to announce Allner's appointment, which was the unanimous choice of the Board of Directors, who want to build upon the club's success of the last 5 years and felt it was important to have some continuity.

Allner has enjoyed success as a manager with Kidderminster Harriers, whom he managed for 16 years, leading them to glory in the FA Trophy and to the Conference title in 1994.

As a player, Graham plied his trade for Birmingham City, Walsall, Worcester City, Stafford Rangers and Alvehcurch before embarking on his managerial career with AP Leamington.

He took charge of Kidderminster in 1983 and turned around the fortunes of the non-league club, becoming one of the longest serving managers of the time.

He left Aggborough in 1999 and had a brief spell in charge at Worcester City before joining Steve Cotterill's coaching team at Whaddon Road.

Commenting on Graham's appointment as Robins' boss, Cheltenham chairman Paul Baker told the club's official website: "The Board is delighted that Graham has accepted the position as team manager and is looking forward to working with him for what is going to be a very challenging and exciting season ahead. Whilst the record of 3 promotions in 5 years achieved under Steve Cotterill is never likely to be repeated, we have every confidence that with the full backing of the Board and the support of the players and supporters alike, we can look forward to exciting and successful times ahead."

Graham Allner said: "I am honoured and delighted to have the opportunity of continuing the success the club has enjoyed in the last few years under Steve Cotterill. I have enjoyed working with the players in the past and I am sure that together we can meet the challenge of the Second Division"

Unfortunately for Graham and Cheltenham, they could not meet the challenge, claiming only nine wins in 33 games before the board decided to act, dismissing the manager and his assistant, Mike Davis.

Graham said shortly after his departure: "There's not a lot I've done that I would change. The biggest task was the jump in leagues and that was always going to be the hard part of the job.

"It was always going to be a big ask for this club not to struggle. Our league position might not suggest it but I firmly believe we could survive."

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