Home of the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters' Trust

Members’ Newsletter – September 2023

…and they’re off!

Is there anything in football as enjoyable as the start of the season? New signings, new opponents, new away destinations. After picking ourselves up from the rubble of last season, we managed to hit the ground running and, as I type this, we’re only three points from the top spot. But we’ve a long way to go, so, as Coley reminds us, ‘Keep the Faith’ (and our fingers crossed…)

This season we see something unusual at Stanley, a player’s testimonial, and, like buses, we don’t see one for ages, then two come along together. Both Captain Conneely and Super Sean are being honoured this season, more details below.

I was recently contacted by Will Moorcroft, PR Manager of Salford City FC, to contribute a small piece to their match day programme for when Stanley played there on 26th August, under the title of ‘This is My Shirt’, a regular feature from the visiting fans. This is what I wrote:

It sounds like a bit of a copout but I love the current (23-24) home shirt because it has a bespoke overall pattern of bricks, representing the famous Accrington Nori bricks that were exported across the world and form the basis of many notable structures such as Blackpool Tower and the Empire State building. Hopefully a perfect metaphor for Stanley.

Billy Kee, our star striker who was instrumental in our becoming League Two champions in 2018. He was a wonderful player who epitomised the determination needed for the underdogs to triumph. He was much missed when his health forced him to retire from playing, but he will never be forgotten by the fans or management. 

Three stand out for me, home v Yeovil in 2018 when we secured promotion, home v Huddersfield in 2003 in the 1st round of the FA Cup, when we won 1-0, live on BBC; but the best was the FA Cup 2nd round replay against Bournemouth in December of that year. We’d only just entered the Conference and we were full of confidence. The full time score was 1-1 and it stayed that way in extra time, so it went to penalties. It was a freezing cold night and we converted the first four, but Bournemouth skyed their fourth, we watched it roll into the long grass behind us in the carpark before we converted our fifth. I thawed out by sometime in March 2004…

After the blow of relegation last season, there’s an unrealistic hope that we’ll bounce straight back up. Lower league equals lower gates equals lower income, so it will be a struggle to hold our own. This early in the season it would be defeatist to just hope for survival, but the fear of back-to-back drops is there. All that said, I’m fairly confident we’ll be in the top half and could well be in the play-offs.  

Shaun Whalley, our No7 is a real grafter, and Toby Savin our (still relatively) young goalie is getting better all the time. 

Looking at our comparative results so far, I’d say we’ll be happy to take home a point: 1-1

Of course, that’s all my personal opinion, so if you disagree with me, let me know, and I’ll publish your answers in a future Newsletter.

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.

The 2023 AGM was held in Coley’s on Thursday 24th August. Afterwards, there was a most enjoyable Q&A session with players. The signed shirt raffle was won by Rob Russell (if ever a man didn’t need another shirt!)

OASST AGM Minutes The Venue at StanleyThursday 24th August 2023

Attended: P Leatham (Chairman), S Davis, A Scarborough, D Cockshott, D Vernon, M Lonsdale, D Lonsdale, D Phillips, L Trotter, A Trotter, J Adcroft, M Parker, M Procter, G Ford, J Boast, L Boast, J Macintosh, S O’Shaughnessy, S O’Shaughnessy, J Freeman, P Warburton (Secretary & Treasurer), H Curry, K Maynard, D Young, T Parish, C Parish, W Shuttleworth, L Shuttleworth, K Houseman, R Houseman, W Hinksman, E Carroll, A Crook, R Russell, J Bryan, P Taylor, S Wiseman, Y Wilson, D Lorrotti, D Hooley, V Booth 

The Secretary opened the meeting at 7.30pm 

  1. Explanation of AGM in August NOT December

    No objection for annual meeting to be moved to August following the explanation given to align the AGM with the financial year end on 30th June. 
  2. Chairman’s Report 

    The Chair presented the following report on the year July 2022 to June 2023.Fortunately, the trials and tribulations on the pitch were not mirrored by our trust performance off it with a healthy surplus reported on the year, which Peter will report on and a healthy membership of over 500 spread across 17 countries worldwide.

    We were able to welcome members to matches from Canada, New Zealand, The Netherlands, France and Sweden and hope to see many of them back in Accrington again this season. The popularity of the new kits have also been underlined with us recently shipping shirts to Australia, Greece, Mexico, US and also Bosnia.

    We continue to have regular meetings and dialogue with the football club and introduced a contact us section into our webpage to enable fans to voice any issues or concerns for us to take to meetings and all the meeting minutes and reports, both club and our board, are posted onto our site for members to access and review.

    The website and the regular members newsletter continue to evolve and we are able to use our marketplace and membership portals to transact online through either Paypal or card payments hopefully making things simpler for those who are not regular visitors on matchdays. We continue to run our matchday tables both in here and on the Fanzone and these prove a good focal point for fans to interact with us, whether its buying that days match badge or booking on a coach for the next away game or simply a chat and a membership renewal.

    The same can be said of the Shop in Accrington Market Hall, not only do we stock most of the Stanley merchandise and a selection of Wham products but also some memorabilia such as programmes from around the country. This also serves as a meeting point in the town with many just calling in for a chat with our regular band of volunteers who man the shop through the week.

    Since our last report we have run a series of events with the Jack Barrett Memorial walk adding to funds with walkers back to The Wham from both Toughsheet Stadium and Turf Moor and thanks to all who either walked and contributed and plans are already in place for this years walk, continuing our tour of NW grounds and adding Gigg Lane, Bury to Anfield, Deepdale, Crown Oil Stadium, Ewood Park. As a result of this fundraising donations were made to both Lancashire Women & Maundy Relief.

    We have also been able to assist the club in funding for both the GPS vests for the squad and also the hydrotherapy recovery pool which is housed in the new changing facility.

    A new initiative has seen Jimmy Bell talking a load of balls with our supporters, which is an informal monthly session just to have a chat and brew and hopefully help folk along the way. This is certainly getting popular and takes place on the last Thursday of every month at the Sports Hub and its free to attend.

    We continue with the annual Xmas draw, the Golf day, the memorial service on remembrance Sunday conducted by our Chaplain, Debra Phillips alongside the matchday poppy card display and although the end of season dinner did not take place we still staged the Player & Young Player of the Season awards.

    Adam & Ken did a sterling job once again in ferrying fans to away games in all 4 corners of the UK and we still maintain our record of returning with the same numbers we set off with!

    Whilst we have a board which works hard to keep the trust active and representative of our fanbase we are only as good as the people that buy into the process. We do what we do generally because it seems to be the best way but understand that it may not be to everyone’s taste.

    I can assure our membership that everything is done with the best of intentions however if you wish to see a different direction of travel with a revised strategy then please tell us, there is no such thing as a bad idea and we will always consider differing options and welcome all to get involved if you feel passionate enough about your football club.

    I would just like to finish by placing on record my personal thanks to your board who, on behalf of our members, contributed over 6500 man hours in the past 12 months, which is no mean feat in itself.Many thanks each and every one of you.
  3. Accounts 

    The Treasurer presented the accounts to the 30th June 2023, which were circulated to all attendees.

    Proposed to accept – S Davies, Seconded R HousemanVote was passed unanimously to approve the accounts.
  4. Board proposal to Disallow the need for full audit 2023 

    Proposed Lindon Boast, Seconded E. Carroll–Vote was passed unanimously to approve the requirement.
  5. Adoption of amended 2022 rules as supplied by the FSA, there has been 3 changes and approved and checked by the Trust Board

    Proposed Debra Phillips, seconded Mark Lonsdale. Vote was passed to approve the adaption of the revised rules 
  6. AoB

    Yvonne Wilson: Are the baby changing facilities going to have access to both male and females?
    Jodie Boast confirmed yes, to be displayed in disabled toilet in Coley’s as far as we are aware.  

    Yvonne Wilson: Needs someone to add bricks to the memorial garden wall.
    Peter Warburton suggested speaking to person who is maintaining the area.  

    Peter Warburton mentioned about the subsidised away travel which took place last season and the board will consider something similar this season if the opportunity presents itself. 

    The Meeting closed at 8pm, with the next AGM in August 2024.  

Away Travel

by Adam Scarborough

Please remember, people must be OASST members to travel so they need to renew if they have not already done so.

Thank you to all who travelled to Salford with us, it was great to welcome a number of new faces who were travelling with us for the first time. We’ll be announcing details for the October fixtures soon.

Next away trip:

Saturday 23 September

Tranmere Rovers

12:00 departure

£20 / £15 under 12s

Please visit the Away Travel page on our website to read more.

Talking A Load Of Balls

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 28th September
  • Thursday 26th October
  • Thursday 30th November

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

July 2023

August 2023

All winners can be seen by visiting the Club 1968 page

by Jodie Boast

Home to Newport: A fantastic start to the season for ASFC! Great to see some new and old faces today!!! Everyone was buzzing for and after the match. Let’s hope we can keep this up, it’s nice this winning feeling! 

Home to Harrogate: What a fantastic win for the Stanley today!!!! Fantastic football from start to finish. What a feeling! Thankyou to everyone who got a photo with us at the game!!! 

Click to see the Newport Gallery

2023/24 Shirts for Overseas Fans

George proudly wearing his new shirt and a Stanley cap, thanks to OASST.

It’s not always straightforward to buy Stanley shirts if you live abroad, so, as a service to the many who live outside the UK, OASST is able to post shirts across the world.

One person who used the service is George Jodry (pictured above), in Washington state, USA.

After George sent us the photo, we asked him what his connection was with Accrington, and this is what he had to say:

“You asked what my connection is with Accrington, and I must say that there is nothing I can think of except for the football team.

My first exposure to English football is, of course, through such teams as Arsenal, Man U, Spurs, et al, but of course everyone knows who they are.

Then one day, I was searching through the TV trying to find something to watch, and I came across a football game just about to start (or maybe it had just started)… 2009-10 FA Cup, Fourth Round, Accrington Stanley v Fulham at the Crown Ground.

Fulham went on to win the tie 3-1, but watching the team from League Two fighting against a team from the Premier League (and for much of the match holding their own against them), this cemented my beliefs in the team.

It was a deeper search into the history of the team where I learned about the milk advert where Accrington Stanley was mentioned (Boy 1: “Accrington Stanley? Who are they?” Boy 2: “Exactly!”). But ever since that first game I watched on the television, I’ve been in the Stanley camp.

I often would stop in at the website for the team, looking to see what new kinds of things were in the shop, and trying to find ways to get some of the things sent to me so that I could show my support for the team. It always seemed like it was a hurdle that was too high to clear, and then I bumped into a post on facebook from the OASST, and I saw that there WAS a way to get the shirt!

Peter Leatham was most helpful in getting me all the details needed for me to get the shirt and cap. Ordering was extremely simple and straight-forward, and it got here a lot faster than I was expecting (big bonus for that!). The shirt is absolutely beautiful (and very comfortable!), and I tell you, it REALLY stands out in a crowd! I almost wish I could get the time off from work in order to go to a match for the Seattle Sounders FC, so I could be the spot of Red in a sea of Rave Green (their primary colour).

I’m very happy to have been given the opportunity to wear the colours of the team that has captivated me for so many years now, and I am proud to be a member of the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust. My hope is to one day actually be able to attend a match in Accrington, but until then, I stand to represent the team here on the West Coast of the United States. On Stanley On!”

Stanley fan Jonas Bagdatopoulos lives in Athens, Greece (below in his new shirt we sent him)

Jonas Bagdatopoulos from Athens

Overseas supporter Dragan Grabovac lives in Bosnia.

Dragon says, “Everyone playing Football Manager has that one team with which he fell in love without having any common ground with it and in my case it’s Accrington. So that’s my story, if you want something to publish about it feel free and thanks again for the jersey ❤️”

Championship Manager 2003/04

“The story with Accrington and me is simple. Usually, every person that plays a football manager game has that one team that he used to play with and to whom he gained sympathy. The game was Championship Manager 03/04 (see above). I liked the colours and since then I always play as Accrington, on manager games and even on Fifa.

“I played also some competitive games as Accrington which is of course in Bosnia unknown. It was always a dream of mine to get an Accrington Jersey and I tried several times to get in contact with the club directly but without success. Later on, I found the supporters group and I was assisted really fast to get the pretty Jersey (especially the brick design and story behind made it so much more of a wish for me). I hope to be a lucky charm for the club and to see the club going up again :)”

Dragan Grabovac, in Bosnia

Chris Andrew, Outside Cobb’s Coffee, Ballarat, Victoria. Australia

Even further afield is Chris Andrew, who lives in Victoria, Australia. He’s pictured above with his new away shirt, once again, courtesy of OASST’s overseas shirt supply division! Accrington Stanley became his second team due to his friendship with (OASST Chair) Peter Leatham who is a former work colleague at Hepworth Building Products. He says his first team is Oxford United but he now follows both – controversial!

David Bayardo from Mexico City

Another proud Stanley fan, and member of OASST, is David Bayardo from Mexico City, pictured above with his ‘Nori’ shirt and OASST card.

The Facebook post that George mentioned contained the link below, so if you’re overseas and would like to have us send you a shirt, click on the link to be taken to our Marketplace.

Buy 2023/24 Stanley shirts

Accrington Stanley are delighted to announce that Sean McConville and Seamus Conneely will both be granted testimonials as a reward for their outstanding service to the club.

From accringtonstanley.co.uk by Luke Pearson

McConville, who played 89 times between 2008 and 2011, is currently in his twelfth campaign as a Red; and Conneely in his tenth, having arrived at the Wham from Sligo Rovers midway through the 2014/15 season.

The Irishman was handed the captaincy the following summer, with McConville then returning to East Lancashire in June 2015 after spells at Stockport County, Barrow, Stalybridge Celtic, and Chester.

McConville and Conneely, who have made a combined total of 759 appearances, were instrumental as the Reds clinched the Sky Bet League Two title and reached the third tier for the first time in the club’s history.

The duo have continued to be mainstays in Stanley’s starting XI over the previous five years in League One, with the midfielders helping the club to 11th and 12th-place finishes in 2020/21 and 2021/22 respectively.

Sean said: “I’m just grateful for the opportunity. I’m grateful for the manager and all of his staff, we wouldn’t be sitting here having a testimonial year if it wasn’t for them.

“Lastly, I’m grateful for the fans, who’ve supported me and a lot of teams along our journey. Hopefully we get a chance to have a good couple of nights and a game or two to enjoy it.”

Seamus added: “It’s a time for me to reflect on the ten seasons I’ve had here.

“I probably take it for granted when I come in; but the ground, the training facilities, the dressing rooms, the pitch, the new offices, just everything about the club has changed so much.

“At the same time, while trying to reflect, I’m still conscious that I’ve got a job to do. We’re trying to have a successful season this year because last season is still hurting, I don’t think that pain will ever go away.”

Further information relating to the events of both testimonials will be confirmed in due course.

The testimonials are subject to EFL ratification.

To read more about the Testimonials, follow the links below:

Sean has announced an exciting evening in October:

Seamus Conneely Testimonial Sports Dinner

Pyro & Pitch Invasions

Many people are of the opinion that the odd flare or smoke bomb adds to the atmosphere at a match; and who hasn’t seen a crowd of enthusiastic youngsters – as well as some who are old enough to know better – run on to the pitch at the end of a particularly significant match?

The fact is, however, that the footballing authorities, and the law, take a dim view of such activities, and supporters are well-advised to familiarise themselves with the implications of being involved.

An interesting and informative article was recently published by the FSA (Football Supporters’ Association). Rather than copy and paste the article from the FSA Website (theFSA.org.uk), we’ve provided a link below to the entire article:

Are pyro and pitch invasions legal?

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

Supporters’ Chaplain

by Deb Phillips

At the time of writing we are a couple of weeks into life in League 2 with 2 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat so not a bad start really. It is still strange getting used to looking at results in League 2 instead of League 1 and also getting used to our new players, all seem to have fitted in very well at the club.
This season is a special one for 2 of our players, our Captain Seamus Conneely and Sean McConville. Their service to Accrington Stanley Football Club has been rewarded by Testimonial years for both. To keep in touch with information regarding Seamus follow on Facebook Seamus Conneely Testimonial and also to leave your tribute.

Before the start of the season the Lee, Ibby & Phil Memorial Match took place at Clitheroe FC. It was well supported and was a really good, entertaining afternoon. A total of £3060 was raised – £1530 to British Heart Foundation and £1530 to East Lancashire Hospice. The money raised will make such a difference to both charities. It was great to see Paul Beck putting on a Stanley shirt again (and even scored – it never leaves you Paul). It was lovely for all families of Lee, Ibby and Phil to come together in their grief but also to give abit of joy too. That’s what our Stanley family is all about.

It would be great to see this as an annual event and even better if it was played at the Wham Stadium taking advantage of our great facilities (perhaps at the end of the season when the pitch could get a bit messed up – these lads definitely go in for sliding tackles and take no prisoners making fans wince at times!)

In a couple of months there will be a Memoriam Book in the market hall shop with names written and tributes of those who are remembered in our Memorial Garden. There will also be 2 mounted flower holders on the memorial wall for people to place flowers in. My personal thanks to Smith’s Garden Maintenance Company who keep the grass around this area looking very neat and tidy. Also thanks to all those volunteers who give up hours of their time to maintain the plants (even herbs now) – you know who you are! If you’ve not been to the Memorial Garden for a while then please take time before or after a home match – it is a beautiful place for quiet reflection.

One of the main privileges of being Supporters’ Chaplain at Accrington Stanley Football Club is being asked to conduct a unique funeral service to help the families in their time of sorrow and to celebrate their loved one’s life, whether they have a faith or not.

With this in mind there is a special offer for season 2023/24. For every funeral service being conducted by myself at the crematorium, there will be a free plaque (worth £50) to have placed in our Memorial Garden at the Wham Stadium.  The Memorial Garden is a lovely place to sit and quietly reflect on those people who are no longer with us.

If you need to chat about this service I can give, please don’t hesitate to talk to me on match days or email chaplain@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