Dale Jenkins kicks off a new series with a profile of clubs around League 2.
The original Accrington team was formed in 1891 and played in The Football League from 1921 until they dropped out in 1962. The club folded a year later and then reformed in 1968. The 1980s saw the club mentioned in a British advert for milk, generating much publicity and coining a new phrase: ‘Accrington Stanley, who are they? Exactly!’
Stanley returned to the Football League in 2006 under the stewardship of long-serving manager John Coleman. Promotion at the time was some achievement and the club was indebted to the goals of club legend Paul Mullin as they arrived back in the Football League after a 46 year absence. Surprisingly to some the club has overcome financial concerns to establish itself as a fourth tier outfit ever since.
Eric Whalley, the former player, manager and chairman of Stanley who took over running the club in 1995 sadly passed away this summer. The club plays at The Shore First Stadium (otherwise known as The Crown Ground) which has a capacity of 5,057.
Luke Clark, George Miller, Laurence Wilson and Danny Webber were all released by manager James Beattie this summer, who will once again operate with one of the lowest playing budgets in the division.
Accrington are known as ‘The Club That Wouldn’t Die’ and with a small budget and an absence of any new signings to date, the small but loyal band of Stanley Ultras will again be counting on that team spirit and indefatigability that has served the club so well in the past in order to continue Whalley’s proud legacy.
Last season, one of Wanderers' new signings Peter Murphy scored a last minute equaliser in Lancashire to cancel out an Anthony Stewart goal in a 1-1 draw. In February 2014, the reverse fixture saw the two sides play out a drab 0-0 draw with Piero Mingoia having a late goal disallowed for Stanley.
Blues travel to Stanley on Saturday 20th December 2014.
The reverse fixture at Adams Park takes place on Tuesday 17th March 2015.