Home of the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters' Trust

Members’ Newsletter – May 2023

One Last Hurrah

Indomitable Accy fans marched on Oxford for the victorious final match of the season wearing their finest costumes. A prize of a new 23/24 Macron Stanley shirt was awarded to Diane O’Mara as Big Bird, who was judged to have the best costume.

Thanks to everyone who has travelled to away games with the OASST this season. We have managed to provide travel for the majority of away matches.

Below is a gallery of all the photos submitted:

…and that’s it.

Another season over with and much to reflect on. The pride of being a Stanley supporter is tempered with disappointment this Spring. The burden of being the club with the smallest budget in the League finally proved to be insurmountable. For five years we defied gravity, but continually butting heads with giants like Ipswich, Derby and Wednesday, as well as resurgent teams like Bolton and Plymouth, proved to be too much for the Reds in the end.

The annual battle for JC and JB of producing a rabbit out of a hat to keep us above the drop line found us desperately in search of the elusive furry friend and any we did find appeared to have gone into an early hibernation!

Unfortunately after the promise and hope following the astounding win at Bolton, we exited the Division like a whisper lost in a hurricane with an insipid loss to Cambridge United at the Wham Stadium in front of 4500 fans.

Back to League Two and we’ll be firing on all cylinders, taking on all comers. July can’t come soon enough! Have a great Summer.

Meanwhile, please enjoy reading the latest edition of the OASST Newsletter, I hope you will find some items of interest. If you would like to comment on anything included here, or, even better, would like to contribute to future editions, please contact editor@onstanleyon.com

Mike Procter, editor.


Everyone at the Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust is saddened to hear of the recent passing of Ibby Hussain.

Ibby was a much loved and well respected member of our Stanley family. A familiar face around the Wham Stadium to many, he will be very sadly missed.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Ibby’s family and friends at this time.

In black and white. Holty’s verdict.

Following the disastrous result – consigning Stanley back to League Two – against Cambridge on 29th April, Andy Holt sat down and expressed his feelings, which he then proceeded to share widely, although not publicly. Since then, it has entered the public domain and so, for the benefit of members of the Supporters’ Trust, this is what he had to say.

We got what we deserved. Coley made mistakes.

He had his highest-ever budget and built a squad too deep in numbers rather than quality. Had we not had as many injuries he might well have got away with it. There was no way I’d sack him this season because:

  • I’d have owned the failure instead of him.
  • One failure in 20-odd years does not mean total failure.
  • I know he’ll learn from mistakes because he accepts them as mistakes.
  • The risk of double relegation straight out of EFL is higher if I clear the lot out.
  • If I sacked them, I’d never be able to get out of the club until another management team had proved themselves. If I take a member of staff on at Wham, no matter how good they seem at interview, the strike rate isn’t better than 50%.
  • He deserves the chance to put this right because of his 20-odd years taking Accy from the Northern leagues to League One.
  • A club the size of Accy is always going to struggle competing properly in League One in exactly the same way Burnley will in the Premiership, too many clubs have too big a budget.
  • I failed to build the crowd high enough to support a League One club. The kids are coming through but that is a very long term play.
  • I accept my full responsibility for the club’s failure this season. I made the decision to stay loyal over the longer term, I believe loyalty pays off.
  • In football, a club, manager, player, owner…they nearly always get promoted to failure, the higher you go up the more guaranteed failure is.
  • The only way to have a chance of avoiding guaranteed failure on the pitch is to gamble big money and risk failure of the entire club. I won’t do this, maybe it’s time for someone else that will.
  • It’s much easier to manage relegation of the club than it would be to manage bankruptcy of the club, which would follow a failed gamble.
  • I’ve said this many times: football club owners have to redefine what winning is. Accrington Stanley is winning: great facilities; Academy; Community Trust. And that’s in League One or League Two; we are not going to win the Premiership or the FA Cup. Ever.

I’m happy to hear the counter arguments; I made my decisions re. managers and club years ago. And I publicised them. That doesn’t mean I’m happy.

In football you’re on a bike, if you don’t keep pedalling you fall off. If you pedal too fast you crash into a wall.

Have a great day.

A Letter from ‘Darkest Peru’

Dear Editor,

I was amazed to see while working in Huanta – a small, remote town in the Peruvian Andes – a couple of weeks ago that I could have placed a bet on the Plymouth game.

Goodness knows whom in Huanta would know anything about either team and decide to place a bet on the match.

Best regards,

John Forrest

Thanks, John; long-time Stanley supporter Steve Pilkington lives in Peru, so maybe he’s running some kind of book over there! – Editor

Match Day Programmes

Long-established as part of the match day experience, and prized souvenirs of memorable games, are these glossy booklets becoming a thing of the past?

In the season just ended, the cost of producing the match day programme at Stanley was £24,000, and that’s without the time and effort that everyone puts into producing the content. Income from sales of the programme has been just £15,000.

Obviously, putting the price of the programme up by over 60% to cover costs would reduce sales even more, so it’s not a serious option. Therefore, the future of the programme itself has to be considered. Should it be an online publication only?

The club and the Supporters’ Trust would like to know what you think.

Click the button to tell us

Programme survey

Player of the season 2022/23

Following the recent supporters’ vote, your 2022/3 Player of the season is Tommy Leigh, with the Young Player award going to Dan Martin.

We presented both players with their trophies at the game on Saturday 29th April.

Harvey Rodgers and Mitch Clark pushed Tommy all the way, whilst Toby Savin and Jack Nolan went close in the Young Player category.

Stands of Heroes

Our Trust Chairman recently received the following email
click to read more…

We are football fans from Ukraine and we represent the charitable foundation «Stand of Heroes».

From the very beginning of the war in 2014, football fans in Ukraine were the ones who stood up to defend their country. This was also the case from the first day of the full-scale war that russia declared on us on February 24, 2022. Unfortunately, many of our friends have already died in this war. We now know about approximately 170 members of fan groups who have died.

Almost all of them left behind families (spouses, children, elderly parents). That is why we set ourselves the goal of supporting their families in the first, most difficult months after the death of their father and breadwinner. As fans continue to die in the war every week, we continue to seek ways to attract financial assistance that we could direct to support their families.

The main direction of our foundation’s activities is financial and legal assistance to the families of football fans who died in the war. The founders of the foundation are also fans of Ukrainian football clubs.

In our country, a bloody and cruel war has been going on for over 9 years now. Every day, the people of Ukraine repel the attacks of the russian army. You probably often see this in the news.

In Ukraine, we have introduced the concept of the “Big Football Family,” within which we successfully unite football players, coaches, clubs, and many other people who are related to football around the issue of our initiative. Currently, we are looking for foreign fan movements that care about the problems of Ukraine and could become our partners and promote the «Stand of Heroes» foundation in their countries. We would be grateful if you could help us with this, as well as any other support you may be able to provide.

If your fan group wants to help the families of Ukrainian football fans who died in the war, you can do so using the details on our website. We can guarantee that these funds will not be used for weapons or other military goods, but only to help the children and elderly parents of our brothers.

To learn more about the activities of the fund and read the life stories of Ukrainian fans who died in the war, you can visit their website or social media pages. (click here)
To view a gallery of slides, pease click here

To make a donation to Stands of Heroes, through OASST, please use the form below


A FREE session, with Jimmy Bell, open to all – just come along for a chat, hopefully to assist with everyone’s mental health.

Last Thursday of every month:

  • Thursday 25th May
  • Thursday 29th June
  • Thursday 27th July 
  • Thursday 31st August
  • Thursday 28th September
  • Thursday 26th October
  • Thursday 30th November

Chaplain News and thoughts of the 2022/23 season 

Well another season has been and gone.

If anybody had said to me last August that we would be relegated to League 2 this season I wouldn’t have believed them but then of course I tend to be more of a glass half full person than a glass half empty one!

We have definitely had our ups and downs this season but let’s look at the positives. We’ve had some great matches at the Wham Stadium albeit on the receiving end. One of the stand-out matches for me was of course the Leeds match in the FA Cup and in front of the BBC with all their presence which goes with it. The atmosphere was second to none and the lads did themselves proud. However the good run in the FA Cup and the Papa John’s Trophy may have had an detrimental effect on our performances in the league. As many people have said that the list of players injured didn’t help the 3 J’s in managing and the organisation of the team every week.

Some of us have been eagerly following the U’23s and who were successful in winning The Central League, a football league for reserve teams and was formed in 1911. Well done lads and there is excitement through the club which envisages that some of these young men will force their way into the first team (at the time of writing this is being done now). Well done lads – you are the Accrington Stanley future.

Next season, I personally will miss the Clubs who bring a lot of fans which helps put money into our Club and even our town. However, looking at most teams we will be facing it won’t mean as many long journeys for our fans and therefore keeping the cost down for them. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to attend many away matches this season but managed to go to Oxford for the last match of this campaign. The finish to this season was already looking bleak after our final home match against Cambridge, but the atmosphere with our “little” but “loud” fans was unbelievable and we were gifted with an away win. Some of these fans go to every away match, sometimes travelling for 11 hours in total for 1 match which is very commendable. It is obvious that those travelling by coach, whether it be by the Official Supporters’ coach or by the Ultras coach, have formed friendships and which comes with benefits for both mental and physical wellbeing. We laugh together and sometimes we cry together but it is apparent that we are there for one another whichever emotions we may be feeling. Personal thanks to Ken and Adam who organise the Official Supporters’ coach travel which must be difficult at times.

This season we have made new fans welcome and we have said goodbyes. Some fans have moved away from Hyndburn but still have Stanley at heart and some fans have sadly passed away.

Special mention to Ibby who suddenly died at the start of May. Ibby had worked at Stanley for many years and was often seen at match days working as a safety steward. He would go out of his way to help fans (home or away). His funeral was held at Accrington Cemetery a couple of days after his sudden death, led by the local Imam. Mourners from different cultures came together to show what Ibby meant to them. We will miss Ibby immensely at the Wham Stadium and our thoughts are with his family, friends and work colleagues here at Stanley.

We also think about all those players and families who will be moving on from Accrington Stanley. For those who were on loan and may find it difficult to go back to their clubs and for those whose contracts won’t be renewed. We hope that wherever they end up that they settle in quickly in time for the 2023/24 season which will be quickly upon them.

And finally to all fellow fans – hope you all have a good couple of months off from football before we start again with pre-season friendlies and the new 2023/24 season. As always I finish by saying – Let’s look after one another and each other. 

Keep the faith – On Stanley On.


Owd Reds Player Honoured by The Grecians

Arthur Chadwick

A special event took place on Friday 24 March when Exeter manager Gary Caldwell laid flowers on the restored grave of Exeter City’s first and long serving professional manager, Arthur Chadwick.

The timing of the event was chosen to coincide with the visit of Accrington Stanley to St James Park the following day. Arthur was born in Church in 1875 and played for Accrington Stanley FC (1891) from 1906 to 1908. This week also marks the anniversary of his death in 1936 while attending an Exeter City match at St James Park.

Arthur pictured with the Accrington team

Arthur Chadwick, a centre half, had an outstanding playing career including being in Southern League title winning teams at both Southampton and Portsmouth. He appeared in the 1900 Cup Final for the Saints and won two caps for England.

Arthur pictured with the Exeter team

Chadwick joined Exeter as Player/Manager in 1908 when City turned professional. Soon after, they were elected into the Southern League. Chadwick used his Northern contacts to build an entirely new team. He made an impact in another way too; under his leadership Exeter changed from green to red and white shirts in 1910.

Although he didn’t travel to South America in 1914 he would have overseen team selection. His mark was on the team who became Brazil’s first ever opponents at the end of the tour.

After the First World War Arthur masterminded the playing side as Exeter joined the Football League in 1920. He finally stood down in 1922 before going on to have spells as Manager of Reading and Southampton.

He returned to Exeter and collapsed and died at St James Park on 21 March 1936 while attending the match between Exeter and Clapton Orient.

Arthur was buried in Higher Cemetery, Heavitree and sadly by the new century the grave had fallen into disrepair. During the lockdown years the Exeter City Football Club Museum Trust, set up by the Exeter City Supporters’ Trust, raised funds to enable the grave to be restored.

Arthur’s resting place

Thanks to donations from three supporter groups – Grecian Goal, Cans4City and the Senior Reds – plus a donation from Southampton Football Club the Museum was able to engage Fine Memorials of Heavitree Road to carry out the refurbishment.

“We are delighted to mark the successful refurbishment of Arthur Chadwick’s grave and how fitting to do so with the visit of Accrington Stanley where Arthur’s footballing roots lay. And how appropriate that our current Manager should pay tribute to our very first professional manager” said Paul Farley Chair of the ECFC Museum Trust.

Stanley supporter Alan Parkinson kindly agreed to represent Accrington Stanley at the restoration event. Alan lives relatively close by in Yeovil and his father, Councillor Bill Parkinson, was instrumental in the resurrection of Accrington Stanley in 1968.

Most of this article was taken from the Exeter City website

For further information please contact museum@ecfc.co.uk

Club 1968

Started in late 2020, building on the runaway success of the lockdown on-line 50/50 draw, Club 1968 has been a remarkable accomplishment of fund-raising for the club, and prizes for people you know. To date, there has been over £40,000 given back in prizes, with a similar amount raised for the club.

To make it even easier for fans to join in, Club 1968 has set up a new method of signing up, to read more about Club 1968, and to be in with a chance every month of winning £1000, please visit the Club 1968 page by following this link.

Recent Winners:

March 2023

April 2023

All winners can be seen by visiting the Club 1968 page

Concerns, Ideas, Comments & Questions

The Supporters’ Trust is you, the fans’, voice and body to get things done with our football club.

We welcome your thoughts and ideas as well as any concerns (off the pitch) you may have regarding the running and day to day operations within Accrington Stanley.

We welcome suggestions as to how we make things better, either as a fan experience, or in growing our overall fanbase.

We will then take these on board and respond accordingly.

We meet at least once a quarter with our club and discuss a wide range of topics but are always happy to add to our agenda.

It’s your trust and club!

Have your say

Andy Holt and David Burgess fans’ forum in Coley’s summary

By Luke Pearson, ASFC

The Chairman and Managing Director met with supporters in Coley’s on Monday 13th March

Accrington Stanley Chairman, Andy Holt, and Managing Director, David Burgess, met with supporters, hosted by the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters’ Trust (OASST), in Coley’s on Monday 13th March.

The main considerations from the meeting were based on the anxieties of supporters around the number of Bolton Wanderers fans in home areas of the Wham Stadium and their behaviour at the recent Papa Johns Trophy semi-final tie.

An explanation of the stringent process the ticket office went through when selling tickets for the game, and despite not knowingly selling tickets to away fans, it was acknowledged that there were pockets of Bolton fans in the home parts of the stadium.

Historically, there hadn’t been major issues around small numbers of away fans in home areas, but the importance of the game and the highly-charged atmosphere caused some ructions and aggravations for Stanley supporters.

It was also brought to the club’s attention that a number of away fans had purchased tickets from home fans in town centre pubs prior to the game. This was still being investigated by all parties.

Supporters were advised that all CCTV, video and Sky TV footage of the incidents that took place via a minority of Bolton fans were now in the hands of the authorities, including Lancashire Police, Greater Manchester Police, and Bolton Wanderers.

It was explained that the overall stadium management of the game was undertaken by the police through their command procedures and that the Stanley Ground Safety Officer was their support mechanism and the decisions around the pitch invasion, and moving of the away fans from home areas of the ground was not solely undertaken by the club.

It was agreed that on the whole, the stewarding of the game was good, especially dealing with the Bolton fans when the pitch invasion took place. Concerns around the Bolton players coming back out on the pitch was a decision taken by stewards provided by Bolton Wanderers whilst the home stewards were engaged in forming the crowd barrier across the pitch at the end of the game. It was agreed all around that lessons can be learned from the experience moving forward.

The meeting attendees were informed that the club would review their ticket allocations when the two clubs meet in future at the Wham Stadium, including hospitality allowances to the away fans. It was made clear that well-behaving away fans from any club would be rewarded with access to Coley’s and hospitality, while those who caused issues would receive the basic requirements allowed and where needed, reduced ticket allocations.

Concerns were also raised regarding away fan behaviour in the hospitality seating areas and plans to address this were under consideration with one option being locating away hospitality visitors in the Eric Whalley Stand for the game period.

Supporters aired some minor concerns about other issues they encountered from time to time on matchdays. A discussion took pl

ace around ensuring the club didn’t lose any of its community identity, whilst making sure that the basic football regulations were met. A collective agreement followed where everyone agreed that it was important to drive the club forward both on the pitch, on the terraces and through the available income streams.

In conclusion, the OASST Chairman, Peter Leatham, commented that suggestions to help grow the fanbase or any fan concerns about the club could always be fed to the OASST and would be discussed with the club at the regular review meetings held between the Trust and the club. All review meeting minutes were posted on the Trust website for supporters to review.

The meeting concluded with the Chairman and Managing Director thanking the supporters for their continued support of the club, their understanding of the financial needs of a club the stature of Accrington Stanley and their excellent ongoing support.

Annual Golf Day

The trust will once again be staging the annual football club golf day on Tuesday 4th July at Accrington Golf Club.

This popular event sees teams of three joined by a member of the playing or management staff to make up their four ball, all for just £299 per team.

We are indebted to our joint main sponsors CSM and brsk as well as our prize sponsors Hindle Jepson & Jennings and Haworths Financial Services.

Further details can be obtained from Peter Warburton at Finance@onstanleyon.com but it’s first come first served and is nearly sold out!

** STOP PRESS – We now only have room for 3 more teams, so act now if you fancy gracing the fairways with your favourite Stanley player ! **

Website update

Your Accrington Stanley Supporters’ Trust website has been undergoing a facelift recently, with the aim of making it as usable as possible for smartphone users – the way most people look at websites these days. We hope you find it helpful and informative as well as being easy to use. As ever, your feedback on any aspects of the Newsletter, the website or the Supporters’ Trust will be more than welcome. Contact chair@onstanleyon.com or editor@onstanleyon.com


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

Maundy Relief Counselling Service 01254 233 457 counselling@maundyrelief.org.uk

Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline-Refuge 0808 2000 247 (24hrs)

To contact Debra, the Supporters’ Chaplain,
please email chaplain@onstanleyon.com