New Years have been a bit disappointing recently; following each Annus horribilis, we have dared to hope for an improvement, only to discover that even worse was in store. With this in mind, as editor of the Newsletter, on behalf of the Trust, I wish you the best possible 2023 you can dream of, with an end to pandemic, war and poverty. Well, we can hope…
However, as we survey Stanley, it’s difficult not to be in a glass half empty kind of mood. The results, despite two longer-than-usual cup runs, are definitely not going our way. Losing to Morecambe really hurt, and finding ourselves in the bottom four was a massive dose of cold reality that none of us wanted (and we’re only just out of there thanks to Morecambe giving Burton a good hiding; it’s a miracle we just managed to avoid Derby sending us back).
Some (there will always be some) will call for a change of manager, but the idea that we could replace Coley and suddenly see the points flowing in is just fantasy. Keep the faith!
Off the field, we have the spectacle of Andy Holt feuding with an apparently unsympathetic council. We are proud to be Accrington, and it’s really not good when our home town isn’t 100% supportive of our beloved club. Andy’s contribution to the club and the community has been immense, and it’s unthinkable that it should turn sour, especially if caused by petty beaurocracy.
There is more on this subject below, and you can read the story on the BBC website, but considering what improvements we’ve seen in the relatively short time since Andy joined our club – it’s not long since we suffered the embarrassment of our floodlights bursting into flame, live on TV – and the carefully-planned long-term prospects he has mapped out, it’s incredible that he should still be pushing against resistance to the club’s success from the town that can only benefit from that success.
Here’s hoping for our players, particularly those who’ve been injured, to get back on form; and for Coley to find a few hidden gems during the transfer window. And here’s hoping for Hyndburn Council to see sense, celebrate Andy Holt for the local hero he is, and give him and Accrington Stanley the support they deserve.
Sorry to start the Newsletter in such gloomy terms, but it’s hard to put a positive spin on the current state of affairs. However, there are good things happening, and you’ll read about them all below; we are all especially proud of surpassing the £150,000 milestone in the amounts we have given back to our club and its community.
On Stanley On!
Mike Procter firstname.lastname@example.org
Boxing Day Maundy Relief Donations
On Boxing Day, the Trust asked everyone coming to the Barnsley game to give just £1 to help those less fortunate by supporting Maundy Relief. Even at a time when everyone is ‘spent up’ and wondering what 2023 will bring, the appeal raised over £440. Well done to everyone involved.
The 2022 OASST Annual General Meeting was held in Coley’s Bar on Thursday 15th December; the proceedings were live streamed on Facebook by Luke Pearson, press officer of the club. Following the business part of the meeting, there was the traditional Q&A session with John Coleman and Jimmy Bell, this year entitled ‘The King & I’, compered by Gab Sutton, sports writer and EFL pundit.
The annual prize draw (an important fundraiser) was made and the long service of Jill Macintosh was reward as she became our latest honorary lifetime member ! Full details, with videos and photos, below in this AGM Special:
Christmas Draw Winners
3rd Prize £200
1004 – Colin Laird
2nd Prize £300
3160 – Ted Feathers
1st Prize £500
1999 – Dorothy Westell
Jill’s Hard Work Rewarded
The Supporters’ Trust is delighted to welcome Jill Macintosh as our newest honorary lifetime member.
Jill has served the Supporters’ Trust in many roles over the years and currently not only helps on our Fanzone table at home games but also manages our Market Hall shop in Accrington.
She was presented with a certificate, commemorating the occasion, at the AGM in Coley’s Bar.
#HERGAMETOO Designated Game
The home match on Saturday 14th January versus Bristol Rovers has been designated as a #HerGameToo event.
Jodie Boast, ASFC #HerGameToo Ambassador said, “I’m so excited for the Her Game Too dedicated fixture against Bristol Rovers. Since we partnered with the campaign big changes have already begun.”
“It is important to continue to raise awareness of and eradicate sexism in football, as well as celebrating what we have already achieved, and this is only the beginning.”
The players will be showing their support by wearing HGT tee shirts, supplied by the Trust, for the warm up and the ASFC HGT pin badges will be on sale on the day from the tables in Coley’s and on the Fanzone.
Allez les Rouge!
Accrington is just a small mill town, nestling in the Pennines, and home support is never as big as we’d all like it to be, but we have dedicated fans outside Lancashire as well, and, this Christmas and New Year, we were delighted to welcome back the French branch of our Stanley family who feature on Twitter under the collective name of “Accrington France”.
From right to left in the photograph above are Olivier Gontier, Romain Roy, Paul Lagrandmaison, Cécile Reigneaud and Donatien Davy-Chantioux. Not in the picture, because he had to leave before it was taken, but a full member of Accy FR, is Valentin Guihal (who has also bought a shirt! 😀).
The guys arrived on Boxing Day and went home on Jan 2, having been to the Stanley v Barnsley Boxing Day match and to the Morecambe and Derby away matches, as well as games at Burnley and Swansea.
Their home is near Bordeaux in Western France; their Twitter handle is @accstanleyFR so give them a follow. They’re planning a return visit later in the season.
Readers will be relieved to know that we managed to avoid any conversations about the W***d C*p!
Planes, train strikes and automobiles all adding to romance of the cup
An excerpt from a piece about the cup in The Times by Hamzah Khalique-Loonat and Kit Shepard
Wherever you look, family – biological or adopted – is at the heart of this weekend’s footballing pilgrimages. Two brothers, Eric and Paul Reumer, as well as Remco van Twiller, are part of the eight Accrington Stanley fans travelling from the Netherlands for today’s away tie against Boreham Wood. Their relationship with the Lancashire club began when Van Twiller took charge of Accrington on the video game Football Manager, and they have been attending matches since 2006. They too embrace the cup.
“In the FA Cup, you still get the real English football,” Eric says. He and his brother were aware of the competition from childhood.
“We watched it on television when we were five or six,” Paul adds, “My grandmother’s birthday was in May, so normally there was the FA Cup final and we watched Liverpool or Manchester (United), with Ian Rush or Kenny Dalglish and it was great to see.” After a flight to Manchester and a taxi to Accrington via Burnley, the Dutch contingent will make the 187-mile coach journey with their fellow Stanley supporters. They are unfazed by the train strikes and will even squeeze in a viewing of Stockport County’s tie against Walsall on Sunday.
OASST: Supporters’ Trust help the Wham Stadium become ‘interactive’
Developed by the OASST, a series of QR codes have been installed around the home areas of the ground
The more observant of you may have noticed that the Wham Stadium has now gone ‘interactive’!
Developed by the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters’ Trust (OASST), a series of QR codes have been installed around the home areas of the ground.
The codes allow supporters to use their phone to watch and enjoy footage of key moments and events of the club’s past.
You can quickly relive THAT 90+3 Billy Kee goal or Paul Mullin’s effort at Woking, coupled with Rob Elliott’s penalty save, to steer the Reds back into the Football League.
We even have David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd telling his story and love for his Stanley, and not forgetting the Clayton End in full voice.
We also have some historic footage of the famous Accrington Pals regiment as well as a narrative as to how the Battle of the Somme played out on that fateful day – these are located close to the entrance to the Memorial Garden.
The options are limitless; if you have some video of significance in Stanley’s history or other key moments you would like to see, then please email the OASST and we will see what can be done.
Hyndburn Borough Council & Andy Holt
Despite the enormous effort, both personally and financially, that chairman and owner, Andy Holt, has put into the club, he has often found himself at odds with the local community to which he is so dedicated in providing first class facilities. Issues have arisen with the Sports Hub and the training pitches, and the sorry and convoluted sagas often make for depressing reading.
The opening, in 2022, of the hospitality suite, containing Coley’s Bar and the 1968 Lounge, built behind the main stand, has provided a much-needed facility at the club, but, equally importantly, it has given something to the local community that was sadly lacking: a flexible, affordable space for functions of all kinds.
Anyone who knows Accrington has seen a small town decay and decline over the years; there is little to celebrate and there are few places to celebrate in. Andy Holt, since he took over Stanley, has been determined to boost the club, the community and the town.
He has given the people of Hyndburn something to celebrate with the club, and he has provide facilities which are used for all kinds of events, often free of charge, for the local community.
Sadly, not everyone in Accrington is an unalloyed supporter of the club, or of its Chairman.
The most recent issue has been regarding complaints about noise from Coley’s Bar when tribute bands are playing, leading to an abatement order from the council.
It’s a complicated issue, which Andy explained in detail on Twitter -unfortunately, he has deleted his account, so it’s not available to reproduce here; although you can click here to read an article in the Lancashire Telegraph which gives some of the background and also shows how the issue has escalated.
At the time of writing, Andy has met with the leader of the council, Miles Parkinson, who has expressed his ‘100%’ support of Andy.
Local MP, Sara Britcliffe, has commented:
“I am aware of the issue regarding Coley’s Club at Accrington Stanley.
Whilst I have no involvement in the decision as a Member of Parliament, as it is down to the local authority, I know how much our club means to the town and will work with those involved to help try and resolve the issue.
I am in discussions with both Andy Holt and the council.”
BBC Radio Lancashire’s Graham Liver interviewed Andy and Hyndburn Borough Council’s leader Miles Parkinson about the return of Andy’s civic award. You can hear it by clicking here (Posted by Scott Dawson Advertising on SoundCloud)
We await developments, and earnestly hope that Andy Holt is not discouraged in his magnificent work with Accrington Stanley.
+ + + + + STOP PRESS + + + + +
HBC have released the following statement on 9th January 2023:
150 up and we aren’t done yet!
The Accrington Stanley Supporters’ Trust are delighted to announce that our “giving back” to the football club, and our local community, has now exceeded the magnificent total of £150,000 in recent years.
This covers many projects funded at the club, both on and off the pitch, some extremely visible such as the screen and others well hidden from view. We have also been able to support some wonderful local groups and will continue to do so in times of great need.
Trust Chairman Peter Leatham said:
“Our fundraising activities over the years have taken many and varied guises and help fund many projects at the Wham Stadium, as well as enabling us to donate to and support some wonderful local charities.
All of this has been made possible by the tremendous support of our fans and members, both locally and worldwide, and without their support we would be nothing.
I must also thank the tireless work of our volunteers, both Trust Board members and others who give freely of their time to support our initiatives.
However, our work doesn’t stop now, we have some more new and exciting projects to develop in the coming months and look forward to the ongoing support of our fan base as we continue our work with our wonderful football club and our community.”
Supporters’ Trust gift cold recovery pool to the Reds
The OASST have funded the purchase of an Avantopool Kinos cold recovery pool
The Official Accrington Stanley Supporters’ Trust (OASST) have very kindly funded the purchase of an Avantopool Kinos cold recovery pool.
Located in the club’s new changing room facilities, the pool delivers high-quality cold recovery and has a wide temperature range of +4 degrees Celcius to +38 degrees Celcius.
Sports Therapist Matthew Donnelly said: “Everyone knows now that recovery is key in professional sport and having the Avantopool will give us another tool for our recovery process.
“The Avantopool helps to reduce muscle soreness and pain, which is really important for our fixture load and is also something we use regularly with the long-term injured players.
“I would like to say thank you to the Supporters’ Trust for investing in this for the players along with the GPS system.
“These investments can be a game changer for the team’s performance and attracting players as well as staff to the club.”
OASST chairman Peter Leatham added: “We all know that the days of a bucket of ice cold water and the proverbial ‘magic’ sponge are long gone and that the treatment and care of players is now paramount to all football clubs.
“So when we were asked to fund the purchase of a new hydrotherapy bath to be sited in the new changing room block, then it seemed appropriate to support the funds already invested into the new facility.
“We all want to see our best players available, fit, and on the pitch and if the bath helps in the process then all the better.”
We would like to say a huge thank you to the OASST for the purchase of the Avantopool Kinos cold recovery pool.
Fine Art Prints For Sale
It’s now too late for Christmas, but this selection of fine art prints are designed to appeal to Stanley fans and lovers of old Accrington and would make an excellent gift at any time of the year. All three prints are taken from original paintings by Accrington-born artist and Stanley supporter, Mike Procter.
All proceeds from the sale of these prints go directly to the Trust.
Useful numbers of some organizations:
Lancashiremind Local Mental Health Support 0800 953 0110
Samaritans Call 116 123 24hrs
Papyrus (Suicide prevention for under 35s) Hopeline UK 0800 068 4141 Mon-Fri 10am-10pm Sat-Sun 12 noon-12 midnight
Childline 0800 1111
Carers helpline (run by people with experience in care for people with MH issues) 0333 103 9747
Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline-Refuge 0808 2000 247 (24hrs)
To contact Debra, the Supporters’ Chaplain,
please email email@example.com
If you wish to comment on this Newsletter, contribute to the next edition (out in March) or make suggestions, requests or otherwise be involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Procter, editor