From the Chair
by Peter Leatham
In superb news for the region, the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust have been awarded a King’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE. The Accrington Stanley Supporters Society Limited (OASST) is one of 262 local groups to receive the award this year in the UK.
The Trust works tirelessly to strengthen the bond between the football club and its supporters and local community, and strive to give back to the community wherever possible and provide services to the supporters.
The volunteers operate various projects such as the Market Hall shop, local foodbanks as well as providing supporter services such as coach travel to away fixtures, social evenings, children’s free Christmas party and also a range of fundraising events.
On behalf of our Trust Board, many members, and our forefathers in our Supporters Clubs we are deeply honoured to be selected to receive The King’s Award for Voluntary Service.
A big thanks to Amazing Accrington and Murray’s team for nominating OASST, and helping to prepare the bid.
This award is a massive honour and is testament to all the hours, close to 7,000 in the past 12 months, that the trust and our volunteers donate to help both our community, our football club and its supporters.
We are immensely proud of all our achievements but particularly our Memorial Garden sited at the Stadium which provides a quiet area for the whole community to visit and remember loved ones. It is possible to place individual memorial plaques on the walls and we also host a Remembrance Day service on the garden.
Whilst we have achieved plenty there is always much more to do, and we are committed to continuing our efforts to assist many as much as possible!
The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty The King emphasised his desire to continue the Award and recipients are announced annually on 14th November, The King’s Birthday.
Representatives of the Trust will receive the crystal award and certificate from Amanda Parker, Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire later this year. In addition, two volunteers from Accrington Stanley Supporters Society will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May or June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Introducing the OASST Board
It’s great to be able to feature this brilliant photo of our OASST predecessors from 102 years ago, and very difficult to avoid the joke that many of the men pictured are still on the board…🤐
Few fans will be unaware that Andy Holt, majority shareholder and chairman of Stanley, made a shock announcement on X (formerly Twitter) that the club was up for sale. The following is from the Football League Paper, published on Sunday 29th October:
Accrington Stanley is a family club, but, more than that, to those of us who have known and loved it for years – even decades – it’s a family. Our family. And when a member of the family is in need, it is time for the family to come together. Below is a message from Sean:
A Very Personal Message from Sean McConville
People who know me and people who are close to me will tell you down the years ever since my own mum died how I suppress my emotions, I never let much out an am almost scared to open up to anyone. So I hope people understand how tough this is for me. Last season after a Tuesday night game I was to get back on the coach to the most devastating news possible that my baby’s mum had stage 3 Breast cancer. As you can imagine the news devastated me and more so Jenna as you can imagine, within 2 weeks of her news she started 5 months of solid chemotherapy which as most of you know affects the body in so many ways, seeing the strength she had to go through this alone was remarkable, after battling through chemo then came surgery to remove the Breast followed by a course of radiotherapy on top of all this trying to maintain being a mum and keeping a household of 3 kids that fully rely on her without showing them how scared and emotional she was feeling inside.
After she completed radio and was fully on the road to recovery after all the harsh treatments her body had endured she had a biopsy not long after her last set of treatments which confirmed the most devastating news we all didn’t want to hear that she had secondary cancer, not only had it spread into her liver it had spread at an extremely aggressive rate all her treatments suddenly stopped working and the cancer wasn’t under control which is still the case as I am typing this. For those who aren’t aware secondary breast cancer means it’s no longer curable the purpose of any treatments she has now are to prolong her life to spend as much time possible with our 3 precious kids who love her so much. After getting this news Jenna started doing her own research into looking for any treatments that could keep the cancer stable so it doesn’t travel anywhere else in her body. Secondary Breast cancer specialists across the country are hard to come by however there’s one at the Royal Marsden hospital in London who we hope to meet and talk to about an operation that could remove the cancerous lesions from her liver and prolong her life.
Although we don’t know if possible yet nothing will stop us trying, there’s also a specialist in India and America we believe could help but again this is Jenna’s own individual research after her own hospital have said there’s not much else they can do. All this would be private treatment and unfortunately won’t be covered by the NHS so we’re hoping to raise enough money to get as many treatments as possible to keep Jenna’s life prolonged for our kids and all her family, like I spoke about earlier I have first hand experience of losing my mum young and no kid should have to go through that pain, I see daily how much they look up to her and how much she adores the 3 of them so this again is killing me inside. The thought of taking her away from them breaks my heart and is something I think about Morning noon and night. Any help towards them spending as much quality time they have left with their mum and giving her a chance to get the treatments she deserves will be greatly appreciated.
Please share Anything you can on the link below. Also as all you ASFC fans know this season is my testimonial year and all of you have supported this amazingly well so far. Every penny I make from this will go to Jenna’s cause so I appreciate your backing as always. Sean 🙏
There’s no point publishing if the end result can’t be read by its target audience. Older readers may remember ‘OZ’ magazine in the 1960s which was frequently printed using brightly coloured inks over swirling, ‘psychedelic’ images, rendering it almost illegible.
The intention with this Newsletter, and, indeed, with the whole OnStanleyOn website, has always been to publish clear and attractive information, ensuring the copy contrasts well with the background, regardless of what device it is read on.
Recently, however, it has become apparent that some readers have had issues with legibility and so from now on, all copy will be in black on a white background to avoid this problem.
If you still experience issues reading the Newsletter, please contact the editor. (The September 2023 edition has been revised in line with this new policy and is available at https://onstanleyon.com/2023/09/03/members-newsletter-september-2023/)
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 email@example.com
Mike Procter, editor.
Owing to the imminent closure of the Market Hall for redevelopment, OASST is moving to new premises in The Arndale Centre. Trust board members are working hard on fitting out the new shop – we are just waiting for the go-ahead to move in.
by Adam Scarborough
Please remember, people must be OASST members to travel so they need to renew if they have not already done so.
Upcoming trips are to Doncaster for the Cup, Crawley and Bradford, with plenty more to look forward to…
Please visit the Away Travel page on our website to read more.
The garden is looking great, thanks to the work of Smith’s Garden Maintenance Services
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.
All winners can be seen by visiting the Club 1968 page
Christmas Draw – £1000 in prizes
Tickets are now on sale for OASST’s famous Annual Christmas Draw. If you have received your book of tickets in the post, please try to get the stubs back to Josh Adcroft as quickly as you can. If you need more tickets, or if you haven’t received any, please email Josh at Membership.firstname.lastname@example.org You will also be able to buy tickets in the Market Hall shop.
The draw will be made at the OASST meeting on 21st December.
Seamus Conneely Testimonial Sports Dinner
Christmas Gift Ideas for your Stanley Fan
The Seamus Conneely Testimonial team have produced two new luxury souvenir items which would make ideal Christmas gifts for the Stanley Fan in your life (or for yourself
Seamus Conneely Testimonial Souvenir Brochure
We are delighted to bring you this A4 52-page glossy full colour brochure, detailing Seamus’s career journey to East Lancashire.
It’s packed with features including his early days at Newcastle in Galway, his time at Mervue United before joining Galway United and Sligo Rovers.
There are many tributes from friends and family as well as many former team mates and the fans at Accrington Stanley.
How to get your copy
In person: Copies are now available in the OASST Market Hall shop in Accrington, from the Accrington Stanley Club shop at the Wham Stadium and also from the OASST tables on match days in Coleys and on the Fanzone.
Limited Edition Seamus Conneely Shirt
All shirts are this season’s Macron home shirt and are all one size, XL, for display purposes.
You may also request (at no extra cost) your shirt to have a hand signed, personal message from Seamus, on the front or the rear of the shirt.
The shirts are priced at £100 each plus postage, which is calculated geographically.
Junior Redz Christmas Party 2023
The Annual Jack Barrett Memorial Sponsored Walk
The Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust undertook a sponsored walk in memory Jack Barrett to raise money for Hyndburn Food Pantry, an affordable food club, which offers a sustainable and dignified model of community food provision. For more information on the charity, visit their Facebook page or click here. Due to the current climate and cost of living, this a charity close to OASST’s heart.
Participants walked from Bury Football Club to Accrington Stanley Football Club on Saturday 7th October 2023.
The walk started at 7am with
And Gary De-Maine
Runners are Mark plus 2 friends
You can still donate to this excellent cause by clicking on the gofundme link below.
To see oursels as ithers see us!
O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!
From ‘To a Louse’ by Robert Burns
Here’s an opportunity to see a day trip to Accy through the eyes of strangers. I wish they’d picked a better match, but beggars can’t etc. Apologies for the layout of the article, it’s crammed full of advertising and there’s nothing I can do about it, but it’s well worth a read.
Her Game Too
by Jodie Boast
ASFC Women 17th September
The Great Annual Shirt Giveaway
The seventh annual shirt giveaway organised by Accrington Stanley and Andy Holt took place at the Wham Stadium recently. The event was a huge success enjoyed by everyone involved in the organisation and especially by the year 3 children.
Over 1200 children from all the primary schools in Hyndburn descended on the Wham Stadium to receive their Stanley shirt and an excellent free goody bag. Several Accrington firms provided the goody bag items and the Stanley Supporters’ Trust (OASST) organised this area of the event. The children were then presented with their free shirts by the Stanley players.
The event was brilliantly organised and ran without any hitches. Everyone seemed to have had a very enjoyable day and a lot of very happy children left the Wham to return to their schools. A huge well done to Accrington Stanley for a superbly organised event and to members of the OASST and everyone else involved in the event.
Here’s how ‘Amazing Accrington’ reported it:
Accrington Stanley Big Shirt Giveaway Has Now Given Away Over 8,000 Shirts To Local Youngsters
by Adam Woodhouse, Amazing Accrington
Accrington Stanley’s Big Shirt Giveaway returned for the seventh consecutive year on Wednesday 27th September, with the Club now having handed out 8,400 shirts to local youngsters.
Players from the Accrington Stanley first team squad handed out replica shirts, sponsored by Sundown Solutions, Studio and the Accrington Stanley Community Trust, as well as goodie bags, to excited Year Three students from 39 local schools, at the Wham Stadium.
The annual event also saw the children receive a goodie bag, sponsored by North Lancs Training Group (NLTG) and Accrington & Rossendale College, which included a lunchbox from WHAM, goodies from Studio Retail Ltd/Frasers Group, a team photo of Accrington Stanley, as well as a voucher for a free Accrington Stanley ticket, courtesy of the club.
The vouchers for one free Under 12’s ticket, which is valid with a paying adult, for Accrington Stanley’s home match against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday 7th October, must be redeemed at least a day before the match from the club shop.
Those attending the big shirt giveaway also received a special flag, sponsored by Taskers of Accrington and North Lancs Training Group, while local recycling firm, HML Recycling, generously sponsored the bus travel to and from the Wham Stadium, with local firms Cranberry Coachways, Mario Coaches and Moving PEOPLE providing the transport.
Taking place for the seventh year running, youngsters got the chance to meet their favourite players and see the pitch up close, having their pictures taken in the Studio Eric Whalley Family Stand.
With the support of schools and businesses across Hyndburn, this programme has now given away over 8,000 shirts and goodie bags; it is designed to encourage youngsters in the borough to take an interest in sport, get involved in sport, and feel connected to their local professional League Two team.
Jimmy Bell, Assistant Manager of Accrington Stanley, said: “This event gets better and better every year and it has been fantastic to see all the youngsters visiting the Wham Stadium again today to collect their replica shirts and goodie bags.
“This initiative has continued to generate new supporters for the club year-on-year, and we can’t wait to see this year’s students back at the Wham on Saturday 7th October wearing their shirts and cheering us on against Forest Green Rovers.”
Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden, commented: “Accrington Stanley’s Big Shirt Giveaway is an initiative that we are incredibly proud of here in Hyndburn. The number of children who have got a brand new replica shirt as part of this giveaway is absolutely amazing, and it has been magical to be here seeing all the children meeting the players.”
Accrington Stanley would like to thank all the sponsors involved in the 2023 Big Shirt Giveaway, as well as to Scott Dawson Advertising and #AmazingAccrington for organising the event and preparing the goodie bags, alongside volunteers from the OASST and Accrington Stanley Community Trust.
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!
Memorial Garden Act of Remembrance
On Sunday 12th November 2023, a Remembrance Day ceremony was undertaken in the Accrington Stanley Memorial Garden, led by Mrs Debra Phillips, Supporters’ Chaplin; attended by Peter Leatham, Chair of OASST; David Burgess, MD of the club; with Josh Adcroft and other supporters and members of the public.
by Deb Phillips
At the time of writing I’m sat here in my home shortly after the Act of Remembrance and Plaques Dedication Service (Sunday 12th November).
It is always a privilege to conduct this service and this year was no exception with the added honour of prayerfully scattering a family’s loved ones ashes (privately after the service). It is always good to have feedback on how much comfort families find at our Memorial Garden – it is a special place.
Unfortunately it was rather a damp occasion this year but as Gerard said to me afterwards, “Half an hour in the rain for us was nothing compared to what those men endured in those trenches.” Very poignant words, and thank you Gerard for sharing them with me. Those words will stay with me for a long time.
Grateful thanks to all those who helped to make this occasion possible – to David Burgess for his and the club’s support, Peter and the Supporters’ Trust for their support and encouragement, Andy for setting up the tech stuff and keeping us all safe in the rain whilst using it, Josh for reading the poem “Just Over The Ridge”, Gary for reading the poem (bravely) “When You Have Lost Someone You Love” written by Donna Ashworth. Last but not least to Fran and the two pipers from Accrington Pipe Band who played Amazing Grace at the start and Abide with Me at the end – thank you so much adding something special to the service.
The plaques in the memorial garden which were dedicated this year were for the following loved ones: Philip Carter, Ibby Hussain, David Walter Keeley, Ian Procter, Sam Spencer and Ivor Thompson.
Our home match against Wrexham will be the one which will see us mark two minutes silence before kick-off. There is hope that this will be a sell-out match and that both sets of fans will observe this quiet moment to reflect on those who gave their lives so that we can live our lives as we do today and to enjoy our football.
It is also good to bounce ideas off other Football Chaplains and it was nice to communicate with Sarah from Reading FC who needed advice on how to organise a Remembrance Day service in which I duly obliged.
As mentioned in the past newsletter this season is a special one for two of our players, our Captain Seamus, and Sean, who both have been rewarded Testimonial years. Both of the players’ committees have been working very hard in organising various events. Sean had his first event on 7th October – a Race night – which saw the return of Stanley favourite Billy Kee, and others. I don’t think people won a fortune but a good time was had by all.
There has been a Souvenir Brochure produced celebrating Seamus’ achievements as a professional footballer which can be bought for £7.50. It is a great read for any Stanley fan and is lovely to read about his various past clubs and what he meant to so many. Reading about how he started in football is very interesting too. There is a lovely tribute from his wife Lauren who gives us an insight into being part of a family of a professional footballer. Also his Mum’s tribute especially tells the tales of when Seamus met Kevin Keegan which is brilliant.
Some comments from his fellow team mates – past and present (I won’t say who said what) but some made be go aaah and others made me laugh.
“Seamus is Mr. Reliable. A true leader on and off the pitch.”
“Oh as a man… one of the most boring people I’ve ever met, but he embraced it.”
“He is definitely up there with the most intelligent footballers off the pitch I’ve played with as well, although a little work is needed on his clobber though.”
And finally my favourite from a current player, “Seamus is a fantastic footballer and leader, but an even better human being.”
There is also a batch of limited edition testimonial shirts, all hand signed with messages as requested. For more details about this and also the Dinner on the 30th November visit the Seamus Conneely Testimonial page on the website, or the Facebook page or Twitter feed.
The Jack Barrett Sponsored walk took place on 8th October which saw some of our fans walk (and three ran!) from Bury Football Club to the Wham Stadium. Well done to all and also to those who gave money so generously – this will be equally split between the OASST and also Hyndburn Food Pantry. Stacy from the Hyndburn Food Pantry will be presented with a cheque in the next couple of weeks by myself and also Gary who organised and did the walk.
This money will make such a difference to the work at the Hyndburn Food Pantry which is located on Broadway in the town centre and to help those less fortunate than ourselves who rely on this community service.
And finally as always – let’s look out for one another and keep the faith.
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