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Accrington Stanley
Accrington Stanley crest
Full name Accrington Stanley Football Club
Nickname(s) Stanley,
The 'Owd Reds,
Founded 1968
Ground Crown Ground, Accrington
(Capacity: 5,057 (2,000 seated))
Chairman Ilyas Khan
Manager John Coleman
League League Two
2008–09 League Two, 16th
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Accrington Stanley is an English football club from Accrington in Lancashire, in the North West of England, who play in Football League Two, the fourth-highest division in the English football league system.

The club was formed in 1968, with the town regaining a club with league status after 44 years when they were promoted as champions of the Football Conference on 15 April 2006.[1]

Ilyas Khan has been chairman of the club since saving it from possible oblivion in late 2009 (along with club President Peter Marsden). The club employs Robert Heys as Chief Executive and David O'Neill as Managing Director and Head of Operations.

In 2008, the club was the subject of a documentary series, Accrington Stanley... Exactly!. The name was a reference to a 1980s milk advert which mentioned the team.[2]



Accrington had been without a football team following the collapse of the original Accrington Stanley in 1966. The original team had been formed in 1891, and played in The Football League from 1921 to 1961; it had spent its final four seasons in the Lancashire Combination. In a meeting in the town library in October 1968 the revival was started and in August 1970 the new club played at a new ground, the Crown Ground. Since their formation, Stanley have climbed the non-League pyramid to reach The Football League. Eric Whalley, a local businessman, took control of the club in 1995 and started the development of the club's ground. After the club was relegated in 1999, Whalley appointed John Coleman as manager. In 2005-06, Stanley won the Football Conference and were promoted to League Two, switching places with relegated Oxford United - ironically, the team that was elected to replace the former Accrington Stanley as members of the Football League in 1962.

The club's recent rise to the Conference level, and eventually to the League, is attributed in part to the windfall of hundreds of thousands of pounds reaped by the sell-on clause in the December 2001 transfer of former Stanley star Brett Ormerod to Southampton, who paid Blackpool over a million pounds for his contract. Stanley had taken £50,000 from Blackpool in 1997 with the agreement that Blackpool would pay Accrington a quarter of what they might have received if they in turn transferred Ormerod to another team. The 2002-03 championship of the Northern Premier League followed quickly on Accrington's getting the cash. Further funds were raised with the sale of J.Gray to Stirling Albion.

On 21 August 2006, Accrington Stanley won their first ever Football League Cup match, beating Nottingham Forest 1–0. Their first appearance in the second round resulted in a loss on penalties against at the time Premiership team Watford at Vicarage Road.

2006-07 saw Accrington Stanley finish 20th in League Two. Stanley finished higher a year later in 2007-08, rising to 17th. 2008-09 saw Stanley finish higher still in 16th place with 50 points.

The club also has a women's team playing in the Lancashire FA Women's County League Division One.

On the 26th March 2009, Eric Whalley announced he would be selling his stake in the club and stepping down as chairman after 14 years.[3]

In the 2009-10 FA Cup, Accrington Stanley reached the fourth round proper, their best FA cup performance, equalling the original club's best performance.[4]


The original town club, Accrington, were amongst the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888, before resigning from the league after just five years. A team called Stanley Villa already existed at the time, named as such because they were based at the Stanley W.M.C. on Stanley Street in Accrington. With the demise of Accrington, Stanley Villa took the town name to become Accrington Stanley.

Television advertisement

The club was mentioned in a British advert for milk, in the 1980s, which briefly brought the club to the attention of the general public.[2][5] The milk advert made people know the team and from then on they became more well known due to the milk advert.

Notable supporters

  • Jon Anderson, member of the band Yes
  • David Lloyd, former England cricketer and Sky Sports pundit
  • Brett Ormerod, professional football player who played for the club during their non-league days
  • David Dunn, football player for Blackburn Rovers seen regularly at Accrington Stanley games

In a PFA Fans' Favourites survey published by the Professional Footballers' Association in December 2007, Chris Grimshaw was listed as the all-time favourite player amongst Accrington Stanley fans.[6]



Current squad

As of 12 March 2010.

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Dean Bouzanis (on loan from Liverpool)
3 England DF Leam Richardson
5 England DF Darran Kempson
6 England MF Andrew Procter (captain)
7 England MF John Miles (vice captain)
8 England MF Luke Joyce
9 Northern Ireland FW Billy Kee (on loan from Leicester City)
11 England MF Robert Grant
12 England DF Phil Edwards
14 Republic of Ireland MF Jimmy Ryan
15 England DF Dean Winnard
16 England MF Chris Turner
17 England MF Sean McConville
No. Position Player
18 England MF John Mullin
19 England FW Michael Symes
20 England DF Peter Murphy
24 England FW Gary King
25 England GK Ian Dunbavin
26 England DF Tom Lees (on loan from Leeds United)
27 England GK Josh Molloy
28 England FW Adam Black
29 England DF Zack Riley
30 England DF James McCarten (on loan from Everton)
31 Northern Ireland DF Johnny Flynn (on loan from Blackburn Rovers)
32 England GK Matthew Ince

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
21 England MF Alan Burton (on loan at Marine)
22 England DF Bee Ami (on loan at Radcliffe Borough)


League history

Season Division Position Significant Events
Joined the Lancashire Combination
1970-1971 Lancashire Combination 6
1971-1972 Lancashire Combination 2 Runners Up
1972-1973 Lancashire Combination 3
1973-1974 Lancashire Combination 1 Champions
1974-1975 Lancashire Combination 10
1975-1976 Lancashire Combination 2 Runners Up
1976-1977 Lancashire Combination 3
1977-1978 Lancashire Combination 1 Champions
1978-1979 Cheshire County Division Two 5
1979-1980 Cheshire County Division Two 2 Runners Up
Accrington Stanley were not promoted because of ground difficulties
1980-1981 Cheshire County Division Two 1 Champions
1981-1982 Cheshire County Division One 13
Placed in North West Counties Division One upon merger of the Cheshire County & Lancashire Combination football leagues
1982-1983 North West Counties Division One 10
1983-1984 North West Counties Division One 7
1984-1985 North West Counties Division One 15
1985-1986 North West Counties Division One 11
1986-1987 North West Counties Division One 2 Runners Up
1987-1988 Northern Premier League 8
1988-1989 Northern Premier League 6
1989-1990 Northern Premier League 3
1990-1991 Northern Premier League 4
1991-1992 Northern Premier League 8
1992-1993 Northern Premier League 6
1993-1994 Northern Premier League 16
1994-1995 Northern Premier League 15
1995-1996 Northern Premier League 7
1996-1997 Northern Premier League 11
1997-1998 Northern Premier League 20
1998-1999 Northern Premier League 22 Relegated
1999-2000 Northern Premier Division One 1 Champions
2000-2001 Northern Premier League 9
2001-2002 Northern Premier League 6
2002-2003 Northern Premier League 1 Champions
2003-2004 Conference 10
2004-2005 Conference National 10
2005-2006 Conference National 1 Champions
2006-2007 League Two 20
2007-2008 League Two 17
2008-2009 League Two 16


External links


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