Forty four years of hurt are over for Accrington Stanley after one of the game's most famous names regained their place in the Football League.
They beat Woking 1-0 today to tie up the Nationwide Conference title and go up
as champions. The game's only goal came from top scorer Paul Mullin in the 38th
One thing is assured as well... the players can rely on their wages being
When the new club was formed in 1968, the supporters made it their business to
make sure there would be no shortage of cash for those they believed deserved it
more than most.
That remains the case today.
Supporters club spokesman Steve Baker confirmed: 'The primary reason for our
existence is we are here to pay the wages of players in the unlikely event that
we get to the state we did in 1962.'
Accrington FC were among the 12 founder members of the Football League in
1888. But they resigned after five years.
Following their demise Stanley Villa took the town name to become Accrington
Stanley and they operated as a league club until 1962.
The club resigned from the league that year because of financial difficulties
and played their last match on March 2 when they lost 4-0 to Crewe.
Six years later the current club was formed and the Crown Ground acquired.
They played their first game in the Lancashire Combination in 1970 and beat
Formby in front of a crowd of 620.
Accrington have progressed from local leagues to the Football League but it
was only when Eric Whalley took over as chairman in 1995 that they really picked
up some momentum.
Baker said: 'From what I know the club are in good financial shape at the
'I have nothing but admiration for the job Eric Whalley has done.
'He has been disciplined, he has been strong - he has always run a tight
'Not only that, he is always at the club first thing in the morning. He sets
a great example.'
Whalley has a great relationship with manager John Coleman, now in his seventh
season in charge.
Coleman quit his job as a Liverpool primary school teacher in 2004 when the
club turned full-time.
Accrington secured the Conference title on the back of some vibrant attacking
football, which was pleasing on the eye.
Having a superb new training camp at the Rolls-Royce social club in the
village of Barnoldswick also helped.
Baker, who first saw Stanley play in the 1950s, now expects the fans to flock
back next season.
He said: 'Promotion [to the Football League] is everything we have worked for
since the supporters club was formed in 1968.
'There is a lot of affection for the club worldwide. Perhaps we are seen as
the plucky underdog.
'But we do not have strong local support. We do not have big attendances,
certainly not what you consider what we have achieved in the last seven years.
'I think there has been a degree of scepticism in Accrington - people do
remember 1962 and are still hurt by it.
'But now we are back in the league, I believe local membership will increase
With reference to the famous milk advert...Accrington Stanley, where are they?