Happy New Year!
As we emerge, blinking, into 2022 from beneath a pile of discarded gift wrap, turkey leftovers and empty Bailey’s bottles, we are greeted by the prospect of postponed matches and further concerns regarding the effects of Covid on the fixture list. Despite that, however, the club is (at the time of writing) in the top half of the table and Coley’s boys are still managing to bag the points even after a couple of horrendous results in the preceding weeks. Everything pretty much as normal, then, if you’re a Stanley supporter!
From all on the board of OASST to all fans, wherever in the world they may be, a happy, healthy and successful 2022. On Stanley On!
Twenty Years of building a great club
On Christmas Day, Coley celebrated twenty years since he joined Accrington Stanley; EFL, not an organisation which always endears itself to us, marked the occasion with an article which is well worth republishing here:
Feature: Two decades in the dugout
Christmas Day marks Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman’s 20-year anniversary at the Wham Stadium and there’s been plenty of festivities across his two spells at the Club!
“To manage a Club for 20 years is unheard of.”
Much can happen in the space of two decades and Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman – who celebrates his 20-year anniversary with the Club on Christmas Day – has crammed a lot into that time.
Those were the words of Accrington midfielder Sean McConville, describing Coleman – his boss of nine years and the man he looks up to not just as the boss of the Sky Bet League One side, but as family.
Across two spells representing the Club, the Liverpudlian has got to know the gaffer quite well, and despite departing for Stockport County, he was welcomed back with open arms by the manager.
by Peter Leatham
Tragic events help forge a strong bond.
We were delighted to welcome Rotherham United on Boxing Day, not because they are flying high at the top of league 1, but as a result of a tragedy that occurred when they last visiting Accrington in February 2020.
As the visitors celebrated a victory thanks to a last-minute winning goal, Andrew Wilson-Storey, a 42 year old Millers Fan suddenly collapsed as he was leaving the stadium. Despite all the best efforts of the medical staff at Stanley and also at the local hospital he sadly passed away the following morning.
The sense of grief that enveloped not only his family but his close friends, especially Mick Mills who came back to the scene a few days later to thank our football club for all they did and to lay some flowers at the spot where Andrew collapsed.
We had the pleasure of meeting Mick that day and the bonds between the two groups of supporters, forged out of such adversity, just transcends the game itself and puts the value of life into a true perspective. Not one fan goes to a game not expecting to never to return to their home and loved ones.
Andrew now has a memorial plaque on the garden at the Wham Stadium and we welcomed his parents, who now live in Spain, and close family to the ground where we met them with our Supporter’s chaplain, Debra Phillips and also the Stanley matchday medical staff who attended to Andrew.
Debra gives her perspective in her message below.
The Rotherham fans had been doing some fund raising in the meantime and presented our Trust with a magnificent £1715, which will be used, in Andrew’s memory, to purchase medical equipment.
Despite the result on the pitch, with Stanley ending the Millers 21 game unbeaten streak, the comments on the social media platforms just served to underline the strength of the bond off the pitch with both sets of fans enjoying the occasion.
There were also moving tributes to Andrew on Facebook
This one is from Mick Mills, Andrew’s friend:
Yesterday the millers played Accrington Stanley away (lost 1-0) but I had the pleasure of giving the Accrington supporters club a cheque for £1715 , this was raised by Maltby millers family and friends (special thanks to Aaron Boyd for his fund raising ).
This money has been paid into the supporters club account and is going to be used for medical equipment for Stanley’s new medical buildings they are having built .
Sometimes things are more important that a game of football and yesterday the welcome we received from accy fans was awesome.
Thanks to you all that supported this fund raising.
Andrew Wilson Storey
Once a miller always a miller.
And this was posted by Rotherham United Football Club:
We’ll never forget the compassion shown by everyone here at Accrington Stanley following the tragic passing of Millers fan, Andrew Wilson-Storey.
Here, members of his family are pictured with his plaque in the memorial garden.
A message from our Supporters’ Chaplain – Debra
First of all I hope that you have all had a peaceful and joyous Christmas and to wish you a Happy New Year for 2022.
Since I became the Supporters’ Chaplain at Accrington Stanley last July I’ve been involved in various occasions from conducting services in celebration of fans’ lives to attending the Children’s Christmas Party.
It has been a privilege to have been asked to conduct a service for the internment of ashes of a long-serving fan at Dill Hall Cemetery and also the funeral of another fan at Accrington Crematorium – both very humbling occasions. To have been able to give support and comfort to the families in their time of bereavement was very special.
On Sunday 14th November, a short service of Remembrance and the Dedication of the Memorial Garden was held, being attended by around 80 people on a cold afternoon. It was a very thought-provoking event. It was lovely to see families of those named on the plaques in the garden and for them to be able to have some quiet time to reflect on the lives of people they love. Special thanks to Fran Hartley for organising the piper who played Abide with Me beautifully at the end of the ceremony. We also had Dave Garner from HMS Eaglet in attendance who laid a wreath on behalf of comrades in the Armed Forces; Chairman Peter Leatham also laid a wreath on behalf of the Trust alongside David Garner.
Much fun was had at the Children’s Christmas party organised by Ken Jefferson and team from the Trust. It was great to see the children and adults enjoying themselves and putting aside the stresses and strains of the Pandemic. It was a great afternoon with plenty of laughs. The highlight being the first question from a child to Father Christmas – “Is Santa real?” “100% per cent real” came the very quick reply – Well done Father Christmas!
Moving on to Boxing Day and a very solemn occasion. The family of Andrew Wilson-Storey were in attendance for our match vs Rotherham. Some of you will be aware of the awful circumstances two years back when Rotherham fan Andrew, aged just 42, suddenly collapsed and died after the match. With the help and communication through social media with Mick Mills, his friend and fellow supporter at the Millers, it was arranged through our Club for them to lay wreaths and visit the memorial garden prior to the match on Boxing Day.
It was a very emotional occasion, not only for Andrew’s family but also for our medical staff who were thanked for how they tried to save Andrew’s life on that day. Since that very sad day there has been a bond made between our supporters and also the Rotherham supporters – a bond that will never be broken I feel. As a thank you for the efforts of that day they have been fundraising and presented Peter Leatham (Chairman of the Trust) with a cheque for £1,715 which will be used in Andrew’s memory for life-saving equipment for the new Changing Rooms and Medical Rooms when they have been constructed in the not too distant future. [Note: We have purchased our defibrillator and it’s just awaiting installation.]
It was heartbreaking to hear first hand of individual’s experiences from Andrew’s friends and family and also from our own Accrington Stanley medical staff. We hope that they found much comfort in our Memorial Garden. There were some lovely posts on the Rotherham F.C. Facebook page – one fan even said that having their 21 match unbeaten record ending from the result with Stanley couldn’t have happened with a nicer club. Football rivallry put aside which is awesome in times of trouble.
On a business / training side of things, I’d like to thank the Supporters’ Trust for their support in my role and by welcoming me on the Trust Board. Hopefully I will be able to give some valuable input at meetings.
Also I’ve joined the SAGE group too at Accrington Stanley. SAGE is short for Stanley Advisory Group for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. The Club wants to continue to build a diverse fanbase, confront and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status or civil partnership race, nationality, ethnicity (race), religion or belief, ability or disability, pregnancy and maternity and encourage equal opportunities in all aspects.
This has given me an insight of inclusivity which we aim to provide at Accrington Stanley. It is good to be able to get to know the Club more especially through Robert Houseman and Dave Burgess – thank you guys. It is also good to have some contact with the Community Trust and Academy at these meetings.
I have also officially done my induction training with Sports Chaplaincy UK. They are an organisation supported by the Premier League, EFA and PFA and have around 75-80 chaplaincy roles in the top 4 divisions. Chaplains provide pastoral and spiritual support to all those involved in the club, regardless of faith or belief. I am pleased and honoured to be the Supporters’ Chaplain at Stanley.
As we still find ourselves with various restrictions still in place and at the time of writing having our Wigan match postponed because of Covid amongst some of our players, my hope for 2022 is that at our great football club we strive to keep being the family club we are always proud of being a part of.
You may have noticed in the toilets in our Fanzone area inside the ground some posters with my contact details on. Also listed on the posters are some helpline numbers which some fans may find useful in these very trying times of the pandemic. Please do take advantage of these telephone numbers and please don’t feel you are alone, there is always some help out there. Let’s look out for one another in 2022.
Finally, I am always available to talk to on match days/nights – 2pm/7pm usually in the Memorial Garden or walking around the fanzone/marquee/ground (just look out for me with my rainbow coloured shoulder bag – quickly becoming part of my matchday uniform). Please stop and say hello – you can even buy me a pint or a pie (only joking! but ok if you insist).
On Stanley On and keep the faith!
Blessings from Debra
Club 1968 Draws
For the winners of the December and January Club 1968 Draws, please click on the following links:
If you would like to be a member of Club 1968, with a monthly chance to win a grand, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Annual Christmas Draw was made on 16th December, to see the lucky winners, please click on the link here: Christmas Draw Winners
AGM & Two Amigos
The OASST AGM was held on 16th December, followed by an entertaining Q&A with John and Jimmy, the ‘Two Amigos’, to watch a video of the evening, please click on the link here: 2021 AGM
The annual reports were delivered by both the Treasurer and Chairman.
The rules required two board members to retire and stand for re-election; Peter Leatham and Jill MacIntosh resigned, with Jill deciding not to re-stand. We offer our grateful thanks and best wishes to Jill, who has been a stalwart of many years service and will continue to help with her shop manager role and also on matchdays. (We also hope to have a second matchday table in the new supporters bar replicating that on the Fanzone and open both pre and post match).
In accordance with our election procedures, the following were elected to the board for the next 12 months:
• Peter J Leatham – Chairman.
• Ken Jefferson – Vice Chairman.
• Peter Warburton – Secretary.
• Josh Adcroft – Treasurer.
• Debra Phillips – Supporters’ Chaplain.
• Andrew Buckel, Darren Woodhead, Jason Graham, Jeff Cleary, Joanne Butterworth, Megan Parker and Mike Procter – Board Members.
The full board, together with their roles and contact details, can be seen by following the link here: 2021-22 OASST Board
It has been brought to our attention that some members who pay their membership subscription via automatic renewals on PayPal have not received a membership badge or card.
Upon investigation a problem has been found in that automatic renewal notifications from PayPal to us have not been getting through, members affected by this problem have been identified and all membership badges and cards will be issued forthwith.
The overall problem has now been resolved and should not affect any future automatic renewals.
To join, please follow this link: Membership
Accrington Stanley Foundation Sierra Leone
Here’s a report from Sierra Leone in mid-December – what is it about penalties this season?!
“We lost by penalty today at the Baron Football Promoters league and we were the runners up this season. We took the best defender certificate, the player of the and tournament and also the best coach award.
We’ve come for the first time in the competition and make it to the final, that’s a plus for us and we will continue to fight every other season to set a pace for the coming generation and legacy to remember.The
ASFC-SL want to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the management in Sierra Leone and more to the ASFC in the UK, We wouldn’t have gone this far without the support of good people whom had to come and put up resources to upkeep our day to day process. We give thanks and we hope that you will continue to promote talent in our lovely game (soccer).
Come the 23rd for our second round fixtures at the Kroobay league. We want your massive support as we intend to set the pace at that competition too.Thank you all once more, God bless.
On Stanley On”
The New Whambley Developments
Andy Holt continues to share photos of the exciting developments in the new building at the ground. Here is a selection of them
That’s all until next time; if you have something you would like us to cover, or if you have any comments about this Newsletter, please contact email@example.com