Vital Accrington Stanley brings you part one of Small in number, BIG in heart.
The Accrington Stanley we have today was only formed in 1968. The name however is over 100 years of age, and when the so called ‘Old Stanley’ resigned from the Football League, many feared the name had gone forever, only to be told to grand-children by the people who knew and loved the ‘Old Stanley’ all them years ago.
It was 1963 when Stanley folded. In 1962 a lack of money in the club meant that Stanley had to ask around local clubs for donations. Blackburn Rovers and a few others contributed money, but there was certain clubs who wouldn’t, they shall remain nameless though. And after failing to raise the money they needed, Stanley wrote a letter of resignation to the League chairman. This was to take a few days Stanley were told. But Stanley somehow managed to raise the money, and went straight to the Football League, but it was too late. Their resignation had gone throught, just hours earlier. They did try to carry on playing, but in the lower leagues. It only lasted a season longer though. Support faded in the Lancashire Combination League, and at that point it was decided that the team that played at Peel Park was to fold after 42 years at their ground.
But that wasn’t the end of Stanley! People around Accrington faught long and hard to get their club back, and they did!
In 1968, just five years after the ‘Old Stanley’ folded, the ‘New Stanley’ was born. This was just the beginning though, it took almost two years for Stanley to get back playing competitive football again. There was no return to Peel Park for Accrington Stanley, so the club moved in to their current home, The Crown Ground, now known by it’s sponsor name of, The Fraser Eagle Stadium. The Club acquired their ground in 1968, leaving manager Jimmy Hinksman the task of building a new squad. From nothing!
Stanley entered back in to the League that had saw them fold five years earlier, The Lancashire Combination. The first game was against Formby, but Stanley were back! A crowd of just 620 saw Stanley’s first game back! Small in number, BIG in heart!