Accrington Stanley - who are they?
Accrington Stanley resigned from the Football League midway through the 1961/62 season because of heavy debts - it looked like the end of the club. However, following a meeting at the local working mens club in 1968 the new Stanley were formed.
But it was not until two seasons later that the new Stanley played their first fixture, beating Formby in the Lancashire Combination League. Stanley won the league in 1974 and 1978.
The East Lancashire outfit joined the North West Counties League upon its formation (following a merger of the Lancashire Combination and Cheshire League) in 1982. They were promoted to the Northern Premier after finishing second in the top-flight of the North West Counties League in 1987. Stanley stayed there until 1999, which saw them relegated to Northern Division One after finishing 22nd.
After relegation chairman Eric Whalley - who took over at the Fraser Eagle Stadium- in 1995 - appointed John Coleman as manager. Stanley returned to the Premier at the first time of asking. In 2003 Accrington won the Unibond (northern) Premier League Championship by 16 points, attracting an average attendance of over 1000.
Stanley continued to go from strength to strength, partly due to the sale of Bret Omerod to Blackpool for a club record of £50,000 in 1997. Accrington included a sell-on clause in the contract that guaranteed the club a quarter of any future fee that the player was sold for; in December 2001 Blackpool sold Omerod to Premiership side Southampton for £1million.
After two seasons in the Nationwide Conference Stanley were promoted to the Football League, replacing Oxford United - the side that were elected to take their place in the Football League in 1962.
Accrington are currently 13th in League Two, and beat two-times European Champions Nottingham Forest in Round One of the Carling Cup. Tonight they face Premiership Watford in a second-round glamour match.
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