Members’ Newsletter – March 2022
It’s Spring! You can tell, the rain is horizontal and trees are being blown over. At the Wham Stadium, lofty goal kicks disappear over the stand as they’re caught by wicked crosswinds and the club shop does a roaring trade in beanie hats to prevent ears dropping off with frostbite!
But there is now warmth and comfort to be had at Whambley as Andy Holt’s latest project comes to completion; the magnificent hospitality suite is at last open for business and is already wowing everyone with the brilliant facilities. When you consider the well-known story of how Andy became involved with Stanley – he was so disappointed when visiting for a match that there was no beer in the bar, because the brewery bill hadn’t been paid, that he sorted out the debts and invested in the club – it’s appropriate that he has built the new facilities. As he said when pulling the first pint, “Two and a half million quid, the most expensive pint in the world!”
The first full blown hospitality event was on Saturday 12th March, when the 1968 Lounge was sold out (see photos below) and Coley’s Bar was filled with impressed fans. To cap it all, despite some unhelpful refereeing, Stanley managed to secure all three points!
The Improvements Continue!
Now that the new bars are finished, the ground developments are continuing elsewhere with the building of the new changing rooms…who knows? Maybe if we make them warm and cosy, the refs might start to like us?
ROCK & ROLL & FOOTBALL
by Sharon Jones
My son and I spent a wonderful Boxing Day in the Clayton End terrace behind Coley and Kee cheering on Accrington Stanley to a boss win v Rotherham Utd. Nearly 5000 at the Wham! Stadium and the atmosphere was electric. These are the days!
The poem is a response to a great day’s football. Looking forward to returning down Whambley Way very soon!
Sharon Jones Football Poet & Match Going Fan
Proud sponsor of Super Billy Kee (2016-18)
Rock & Roll & Football
Two halves that make one whole
The terrace throng we sing along
God bless this mighty soul
The Game is nowt without the fans
That pulsing swaying roar
Of songs & chants the shards of wit
It’s what we’re living for
Beleaguered hearts and groaning bones
The matchday bell doth toll
But lo the whistle, game’s afoot
Football & Rock & Roll.Sharon Jones
I am based in Manchester these days, was an exiled Scouser in Rossendale for many years hence my following the Stanley for 32 years now (alongside my beloved Liverpool!).
If anyone in Accy would like to set up a football poets/writers group in support of the Stanley please let me know, or if there is one already again please let me know.
If you would like to contact Sharon, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be delighted to pass on your message.
End of Season Presentation Dinner
We are delighted to be in the new 1968 lounge for this year’s annual presentation dinner and dance on Saturday 23rd April, 7.30 for 8pm.
We will enjoy a 3 course dinner followed by the player presentations and dancing to live music and the cost is £50 per ticket.
This event forms a major part of our fundraising which in turn allows us to support our fans and building our wonderful community club in a number of varied projects.
Tickets are very limited so please book yours by completing the booking form below.
Bookings are not confirmed until full payment is made via the PayPal link.
We will then email you a confirmation receipt.
Alternatively you can book and pay in the OASST market hall shop and again bookings are not confirmed until full payment is made.
We regret we cannot just hold reservations due to the anticipated demand.
Supporters’ Trust Contributions to the Club
by Luke Pearson (ASFC)
The Official Accrington Stanley Supporters’ Trust (OASST) have very kindly funded the purchase of two state-of-the-art lighting rigs, as well as installing a defibrillator at the Wham Stadium with the money raised by last year’s Jack Barrett Memorial Walk.
As the season progresses, the lighting rigs will provide artificial light in order to aid the growth of the playing surface.
OASST chairman Peter Leatham said: “A lot of money been spent on the pitch and the least we could do was to help where we could.
“Obviously grass needs two things to grow, it needs sunlight and rain. Unfortunately in East Lancashire we get an awful lot of one and not a lot of another, so the lighting rigs were a logical purchase.”
Head groundsman Ben Kay added: “We’ve had 27 games and 18 training sessions. We expect to reach over 60 usages and we’re going to host a lot more 23s games, so investing back into the pitch is vital.
“The pitch was recently stitched which gives us the playability, but it doesnt’t keep the grass coverage and obviously having the articificial light in certain places will help us with that.”
Following October’s Jack Barrett Memorial Walk, the money raised was split between the Hyndburn Baby Bank and a defibrillator unit.
Peter said: “The first few minutes if somebody does unfortunately collapse are absolutely important, so the more defibrillators we can have around the place the better.
“Obviously on a matchday the mediical staff do have them, but this will hopefully help out on non-matchdays because we’ll have a lot more people around the facility with the new lounges opening.
“We’d be delighted if it never get used but if it does, it’s there to serve a purpose. I’d like to thank all our supporters on the Jack Barrett Walk last October because that helped raise funds for this.”
We would like to say a huge thank you to the OASST for the purchase of the lighting rigs and the defibrillator.
Away travel, organised by OASST is thriving again. Thanks to sterling work by Adam Scarborough, coaches have, so far, gone to every away game of the season, and there is a special mention for Ray Taylor, Allan Fenwick and Frances Fenwick who have been on all of them.
However, to allay problems, the OASST Board has found it necessary to issue the following notice:
Unfortunately the law states that alcohol is not allowed on any coach or train that is being used to principally take supporters to a game.
This obviously includes our supporters’ coaches but presumably not trains as they are not running primarily to get fans to games.
We are trying to cater for all our supporters, both young and old, we cannot risk our volunteer travel organisers being fined and our coach operator is well within their rights to uphold this ban.
The ban also extends to any illegal substances.
We are sorry if some supporters feel that they are unable to travel with us, we fully support those who wish to have a “good day out”, but we feel we have to act within the law on this matter.
This is a perennial challenge to all supporters groups and you will find that the vast majority police their coaches accordingly.
If the numbers drop then we will scale back our coach operation and still run it at an appropriate level for the demand, this will probably mean that seats may be limited and once we are full then we are full, with little or no flexibility.
If you would like to be a member of Club 1968, with a monthly chance to win a grand, please email email@example.com
Matthew Clocks Off From The Shop
The Trust is very sorry to say ‘Goodbye’ to Matthew Tattersal, who has had to finish his role as one of our Accrington Market shop volunteers.
Matthew has been a valued member of our team for around two years but now has increased responsibility at the Sports Hub, which means he cannot fulfil both roles.
Matthew also kindly donated a magnificent £130 to our Trust funds in December which were the tips he received prior to Christmas from his local clients in his various roles.
The Trust were delighted to present Matthew with a framed Stanley picture as a small token of our appreciation.
The OASST Board took the decision to buy £500 of supplies for the Ukraine ‘Fill The Bus’ Appeal being run by the ASCT. Your Trust board were unanimously in favour of supporting the initiative and offering what little support we can to the people of Ukraine in such tragic circumstances.
Our thoughts and prayers are with them all as we hope for a swift resolution to the current crisis, and join the universal condemnation of the actions of the Russian forces.
Pictured are OASST Chairman Peter Leatham (left) and Secretary Peter Warburton with some of the supplies they bought on Saturday morning.
Our Newest Trust Member
There was a surprise in store on Saturday 12th March at the Wham Stadium for an Australian visitor. Michael Cullen, formerly of Huncoat, was visiting Accrington from Melbourne in Australia for his parents’ Golden Wedding Anniversary, when he was interviewed on the pitch by our own Josh Adcroft.
Michael and his brother Anthony played for Huncoat United Junior F.C. – which his Dad helped to found – until he was too old to sign on. At Bradford University he played for the University, and he also coached the ladies’ football team. He has also played for Peel Park F.C. on the old Accrington Stanley ground Peel Park.
Michael and his wife Susan and daughter Freya emigrated to Australia seven years ago. Living now in Melbourne he has played football for his local team.
He wears his Accrington Stanley shirt with pride when he goes to any Australian football matches, and has been to the ASFC shop to buy more club kit on his visit.
He was here on a short visit as a surprise for his parents Barbara and John, on their Golden Wedding Anniversary and was very pleased that Stanley were playing at home so he could watch the match live.
Michael met a number of his old playing friends on the Clayton End with his dad John, Uncle Vincent and brother Anthony.