Accrington Stanley’s big Shirt Giveaway returned in style earlier today as the first team squad handed out shirts and goodie bags to Year Three students from 39 local schools at the Wham Stadium!

The annual event also saw the children receive a goodie bag, sponsored by North Lancs Training Group (NLTG) and Accrington & Rossendale College, including a flag, a bottle of water, a lunch box, fresh fruit, a picture of the first team squad, as well as information leaflets from both the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters’ Trust (OASST) and Accrington Stanley Community Trust.

Taking place for the sixth year running, youngsters got the chance to meet their favourite players and see the pitch up close, having their pictures taken in the Eric Whalley Family Stand.

With the support of schools across Hyndburn, this programme has now given away just over 7,200 shirts and goodie bags; it is designed to encourage youngsters in the borough to take an interest in sport, get involved in sport, and feel connected to their local professional League One team.

The shirts were generously sponsored by Studio and Accrington Stanley Community Trust.

John Coleman, Manager of Accrington Stanley, said: “As a club we think that this is one of the most important days of the year. It’s a chance to integrate with the community, the schools, the children and the parents of Hyndburn.

“We have been doing it for six years now, with every Year Three pupil getting a shirt, which in the time of financial austerity which we are going through at the moment, it’s a good gesture by the club and it builds bonds with the local community, and hopefully we will be seeing these children back at the Wham Stadium.”

Mayor of Hyndburn, Cllr Abdul Khan, commented: “This is a great initiative from Accrington Stanley and thanks go to the club for supporting their community. I’m sure the children are really grateful for the shirts, and the trip to the stadium, and well done to all involved in organising it.”

Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden, said: “This is the 6th annual shirt giveaway, and I’m delighted to see the children so excited to be able to visit the stadium and receive their shirts. I hope they all return to watch a match!”

Collette King, HR Director at Studio Retail Ltd, commented: “We are proud to have sponsored the sleeve on the shirt for the sixth time. It’s been great to be here seeing all the kids coming through and what a great day it is.”

Gareth Lindsay, Managing Director of NLTG, added: “We are delighted to have sponsored the event again this year, what a fantastic day to see all these young children getting involved with their local football club.”

The Club would like to thank all the sponsors and all those who donated items for the goodie bags including Accrington Stanley Community Trust, Official Accrington Stanley Supporters’ Trust, Studio, North Lancs Training Group, Accrington & Rossendale College, What More UK,  Clayton Park Bakery, James Hall & Co, Scott Dawson Advertising and Peter Scott Printers.

The Club would also like to thank Scott Dawson Advertising and #AmazingAccrington for organising the event and preparing the goodie bags, alongside volunteers from the OASST and Accrington Stanley Community Trust.

Finally, we would like to thank Christine at Cranberry Travel for arranging the logistics and transport across her fleet of buses and colleagues in the industry.