Hopes raised, hopes dashed – a day out in Accrington, Lancashire.
Leaving home in Nailsworth at 8.30 am and returning at 9 pm after travelling 360 miles to watch FGR play in League One, may not be everyone’s idea of a Saturday activity. Sixty-five fellow FGR supporters shared the coach trip and joined a further 80 plus FGR fans in the away seats and on the away terracing.
Nailsworth has an affinity with Accrington that few may be aware of. They are both hill and chapel towns with the town centre at the bottom of the valleys. They were both woollen towns based on local sheep rearing and a dependable water supply. The older buildings are all in local stone. Cotton spinning and associated engineering replaced the wool industry in the 19th century and Accrington took off, from 3000 population in 1801 to 45,000 in 1911. Its population today is 35,000, as compared to Nailsworth with 6000. Yet surprisingly it is the only football club in League One with smaller matchday crowds than FGR. This may well be due to the close proximity of Burnley and Blackburn being a few miles east and west, and Preston being only a few miles further west.
They have done well to stay in League One, with their limited resources and are a friendly club, happy to share their grateful thanks to FGR for providing free food to the 34 fans who travelled for the cancelled game at The New Lawn earlier this season.