One to Watch

Last season’s top scorer for Accrington was Colby Bishop. Earlier in his career (2016) he played 9 games for Gloucester City, scoring twice. In July though he moved to L1 rivals Portsmouth.

In replacing Bishop Accrington have followed a similar route of going to a non-league club. This season the Accrington number 9 shirt is worn by Matt Lowe.

The 26-year-old has played in the National League North for Brackley Town for the last six years after starting his career at Coventry Academy before moving to Cambridge United between the ages of 16-19. He went on loan to Brackley while with Cambridge and then signed for them permanently on his release.

He went to university, studying sports science, and trained to be a teacher while playing part-time for Brackley.

Lowe won the FA Trophy at Wembley in 2018 and scored 15 goals in all competitions last season while with the Saints, with his contract ending with them in the summer.

Currently Accrington’s top scorer is though  Sean McConville with 3 goals.

How Are They Doing

Accrington finished 12th in season 2021/22.

This season they had had four draws and a win, so were unbeaten. Their unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday when they lost to L1 leaders Ipswich, who scored 2 late goals.

They are in 18th place with 7 points having, like FGR, played one match less than most teams after the game was postponed following a mini monsoon on 16th August.

                          Accrington’s new signing Matt Lowe


John Coleman played for several non-league teams. He was appointed player manager of Ashton United in 1997. After two years, he joined Accrington Stanley then playing in Northern Premier League First Division. His 12-and-a-half-year tenure saw the club win three promotions as champions to enter the Football league in 2006. He was also the club’s longest ever serving manager. At the time of his departure to Rochdale, Coleman was the third longest serving manager in England, behind Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

On 24 January 2012, Coleman and his assistant Jimmy Bell were appointed by Rochdale to replace Steve Eyre, who had left the club the previous month. Their contracts were terminated by Rochdale on 21 January 2013 following a poor run in form. In October 2013, Coleman declared his interest in replacing David Hockaday as manager of FGR but returned to Southport as manager on 7 December 2013, with Jimmy Bell once again as his assistant.

He took over as manager of Sligo Rovers in June 2014.

On 18 September 2014, Coleman was confirmed as manager of Accrington Stanley for his second spell with the club. He then took Accrington into League 1 for the first time.

Rovers Connection

Sadou Diallo played 9 times on loan from Wolves at Accrington Stanley during season 2019/20. He joined FGR in July 21 and has played 9 times for FGR. He was born in Guinea but brought up in Rotherham and has played for England Under 19s. In July 22 Diallo left FGR and  joined Derry City.

Andy Mangan had two spells at Accrington Stanley and two at FGR. Mangan was part of the Accrington side that won promotion to the Football League. He subsequently moved to Bury. As a result of bets placed on a Bury v Accrington Stanley match, he received a 5 month ban from playing. He had by that time joined FGR. Mangan was, in his first season at FGR, the Conference top scorer with 26 goals. Mangan left FGR for Wrexham but returned to FGR for a second spell between 2013 – 2014. Mangan is currently first team coach at Bristol Rovers.

Club History

Nobody can be sure where the Stanley name first came from, but the best evidence suggests that patrons of the Stanley Arms on Stanley Street in Accrington formed a club called Stanley Villa in the early 1891. At this time, Football League founder members Accrington FC were struggling and ultimately resigned from the league in August 1893. Stanley Villa took up the town name and Accrington Stanley was born.

Accrington were one of the clubs involved in the expansion of the Football League and accepted an invitation to take a place in the new Third Division North.

The original Accrington Stanley then played in the Football League from 1921 to March 1962 but had spent its final four seasons in the Lancashire Combination before its collapse in 1966.

Accrington had been without a football team since 1966. At a meeting at Bold Street Working Men’s Club in 1968 the revival was initiated, and in August 1970 the new club played at a new stadium, the Crown Ground. Eric Whalley, a local businessman, took control of the club in 1995 and began the development of the club’s ground. After the club was relegated in 1999, Whalley appointed John Coleman as manager.

In 2005/06 Stanley win The Nationwide Conference Championship by eleven points and with it earn promotion to The Football League after a gap of 44 years.

In 2011/12 John Coleman leaves Accrington to manage Rochdale but returns in 2014/15.

In 2015, the board of Accrington Stanley voted to approve local businessman Andy Holt’s takeover of the club. Holt, who owns What More UK, attained a majority share of 75% in Accrington Stanley, in return for clearing the club’s £1.2m debt.

2017/18A historic season for Stanley as they won promotion to League One for the first time.


Accrington Stanley’s mascot is called Winstanley – see what they have done there – who is possibly a dog?

A Different Corner

The club has plays at the Crown Ground, currently known as the Wham Stadium as part of a three-year £200,000 sponsorship deal with What More UK Ltd. So, nothing to do with George Michael and Andrew Ridgley who played their Final Concert at the old Wembley Stadium.

The Wham stadium has a capacity of 5,057 (2,000 seated).

‘Milk is Murder’

In the 1980s, Accrington Stanley was mentioned in an advert for milk, which briefly brought the club to the attention of the general public. The advertisement featured two boys in Liverpool replica shirts played by young actors Carl Rice and Kevin Staine. It made reference to Accrington Stanley’s obscurity in comparison to Liverpool’s success at the time.

Boy 1: “Milk! Urghh!”
Boy 2: “It’s what Ian Rush drinks.”
Boy 1: “Ian Rush?”
Boy 2: “Yeah. And he said if I didn’t drink lots of milk, when I grow up, I’ll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.”
Boy 1: Accrington Stanley who are they?”
Boy 2: “Exactly.”

(Ian Rush at the time was the Liverpool and Wales centre forward.)

The original script for the advert referred to Tottenham Hotspur, an obscure North London football club, but they complained so non-league Accrington was used instead.

To view the advert, click here: –

Ian Rush, Accrington Stanley Milk Advert, CLEAN AND IN FULL! – Bing video

Carl Rice featured in the vodka advert and the original milk advert.

Ian Rush playing for Liverpool in their crushing 4-3 defeat by C Palace in the 1990 FA Cup semi-final.

A shot for shot remake advertising Black Cow Vodka, which is made from milk, began airing in September 2016, with a much older Rice reprising his role. The advert was banned from airing in March 2017, due to concerns that it targeted children, because of the connection to the original advert, and promoted excessive drinking.