Year 3 primary school children from Hyndburn left the Wham Stadium with smiles on their faces, brand new football shirts under their arms and a goodie bag of gifts after a very exciting morning.
Thursday 8th February saw this come together, with 1200 children, plus their teachers, being transported to the Wham Stadium directly from their schools to take part in the enormous celebration.
The Accrington Town Crier, Rawden Kerr, brought community spirit to the event and a sense of excitement. The presence of the Town Crier reminded every one of the long history behind Accrington Stanley and their roots as one of the founding members of the Football League.
The local community and businesses all helped make this possible in spectacular style to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reformed club. The day was a brilliant display of civic pride and the power of community.
Andy Holt, Chairman of Accrington Stanley said: “I want to create a connection with our professional League Two football team. Our roots go right back to 1888 when Accrington were one of the founder members of the Football League. The reformed club was founded in 1968. It is very fitting to mark the 50th anniversary by giving a shirt to every year three primary school pupil in the Hyndburn area. I will be repeating this every year for the next five years in the hope it brings us closer to the community. I want it to inspire youths to take pride in their hometown club by feeling part of the borough and supporting their local team.”
David Burgess, Managing Director of Accrington Stanley, drove a minibus with children from Green Haworth School to the Wham Stadium and was joined by Ben Ransom, Reporter, and a crew from Sky Sports News for the journey!
Stephen Lowe, BBC Radio Lancashire, did a wonderful job of keeping the children entertained and maintaining the high spirits of the day. They joined together in song for Accrington Stanley and the children all took part.
Every school also got the opportunity to have a group picture with two of the players themselves, Sean McConville and Billy Kee. The picture will be given to schools as a keepsake of the exciting day.
Special Guests included:
David Welsby, CEO of Hyndburn Council
Miles Parkinson, Leader of the Council at Hyndburn Borough Council
Lyndsey Sims, CEO of Hyndburn Leisure Trust
Special thanks go to:
-Pilkington Bus, Moving People and Cranberry Coachways for providing the transportation for the children and teachers.
-All who donated items to the goodie bags for the children: Accrington and Rossendale College for the balloons, Celebrate Gifts for the gift vouchers for chocolate, Hyndburn Leisure Trust for the Adventure City vouchers and of course the Accrington Stanley Community Trust who sponsored the shirts.
-Scott Dawson Advertising for organising the event as part of their #AmazingAccrington initiative.
-All the media that have supported the initiative.
For more information about Accrington Stanley visit www.accringtonstanley.co.uk
For more information about #AmazingAccrington visit www.amazingaccrington.co.uk