Accrington Stanley’s first team squad handed out shirts to Year 3 children from Hyndburn schools at the Wham Stadium on Tuesday morning.
The annual big shirt giveaway also saw the children receive a goodie bag sponsored by Studio and North Lancs Training Group (NLTG), including a free match ticket, crayons, a lunch box and picture of the first-team squad.
Taking place for the fifth year running and back at the Wham following slightly altered plans for the 2020 event due to COVID-19, the youngsters got the chance to meet their favourite players and see the pitch up close, having their pictures taken in the Studio Family Stand.
The shirts were generously sponsored by Studio and the Official Accrington Stanley Community Trust.
Manager, John Coleman, said: “It’s always a day in the calendar that we look forward to and so do the players.
“It’s a fantastic initiative and something that has been going for five years. If we can capture the children’s imagination and get them involved in Stanley, it bodes well for the future.”
Coleman added: “The idea of giving the children a replica shirt is fantastic and it gives them an identity. For a lot of people it’s difficult to justify being able to get their child a replica top and I think this is a great gesture by Andy Holt. I hope it captures the imagination of these kids and in 10-15 years’ time they’ll be here cheering us on or even playing for us.”
Chairman and owner, Andy Holt, said: “It’s an event that I’m particularly proud of. It’s probably the best thing we do as a Club and I promise to do it every year I’m involved with the Club, it’s fantastic.”
Stanley’s most famous fan David Lloyd, otherwise known as Bumble, said: “It’s a marvellous time of the year and there’s one thing that I’m really looking forward to… and that is one day boys and girls will have that football shirt on and they’ll be representing Accrington Stanley at the Wham.”
Paul Kendrick, CEO of Studio, said: “It’s a fantastic way to get new followers into the Club from the outset, get them passionate about Accrington and we’re really happy to get involved in it.”
The Club would like to thank all the sponsors who helped make this amazing event a huge success – The Official Accrington Stanley Community Trust, Studio, North Lancs Training Group and What More UK.
Also, the Club would like to thank Scott Dawson Advertising for organising the event and preparing the goodie bags, alongside volunteers from the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust.