Former Stanley Chairman Eric Whalley is laid to rest today and Accrington Stanley are remembering him by collecting tributes and memories of the man who drove us back into the Football League.
“Eric was Accrington Stanley. His tireless efforts made the club what it is today and we will forever be grateful to him. Our Football League status is a continuing reminder of everything he did for the club.”
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of such a great man, we had some great laughs along with success and some great games to be involved with. Eric will never be forgotten and is a true Stanley legend. RIP smiler.”
Former Reds captain Peter Cavanagh
“Few men can say they had a dream and they achieved that dream. Eric delivered his promise of guiding Accrington Stanley back to the Football League with a determination, passion and ambition of a man 30 years his junior. His vocabulary was colourful but I found him a gentleman and a man of integrity. I feel privileged to have played for a club under his stewardship and am grateful for all the great memories he helped me create. He will be sorely missed. RIP chairman.”
Ex Stanley star Peter Murphy
“I will always remember my debut at Wrexham away. We won 3-1 and when I walked on the coach Eric reached out to shake my hand. I thought he was going to say ‘well played’ but he instead said ‘thanks for not keeping a clean sheet, you have saved me a load of money!’
Stanley defender Dean Winnard
“The first thing Eric said to me when I signed was ‘You are not f******’ injured are you as everybody else Coley signs is!”
Ex-Stanley keeper Jamie Speare
“Deeply saddened to hear about Eric’s passing. Condolences to his family. Accrington have lost the man who put them back on the map and made the club what it is today. He always wore his heart on his sleeve and told it how it was. RIP Eric and thanks for the opportunity to play for ASFC. I’m honoured to say I was one of his players.”
More stories and memories will be added throughout the day and you can add yours. Just tweet @ASFCofficial (using #RIPEric) or post a message on the club’s Facebook page.