Fans turned out in force for Accrington Stanley’s Ground Force weekend, all keen to get the club’s Store First Stadium in tip-top condition in time for the new season.

Held over both days last weekend, the event saw a steady stream of volunteers turning up armed with their brooms, paint brushes and tool kits, with well over 50 there during the weekend. Many had seen publicity about the event in the local press and were keen to do their bit.

Among the army of volunteers was 66-year-old Diane Greenhalgh, of Westwood Street, Accrington, who has been helping out at her favourite football club for the past 15 years.

“It’s true what they say,” said Diane, “many hands make light work!”

Getting stuck in with their paintbrushes were Sophie Schofield (18), from Rawtenstall, and Clarice Trubody (19), from Haslingden, who both enjoyed volunteering. So too did Sam Wilson (18), of Devonshire Street, Accrington, who saw an article about the Ground Force weekend in his local paper and was happy to help with painting and grass cutting.

Young pals from the 1st Oswaldtwistle St Paul’s Cub Scouts found they could combine having a fun day out at the football club with making progress towards their Community Challenge badge. One of them, 10-year-old CeeJay, used to play for Accrington Stanley Under-7s and wanted to help out at the club every week!

Their leader, Corinna, was proud of her Cubs’ helpful attitude and any boys or girls interested in joining the 1st Oswaltwistle Beavers (age six to eight) or Cubs (age eight to ten-and-a-half) can email:

McDonalds in Accrington donated staff time plus fruit and water to the event as part of its community commitment, while members of the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Club, which organised the weekend, also took part.

Nick Westwell, chairman of the supporters’ club, said: “There was goodwill in abundance and I want to thank everyone who came along and lent a hand.

“We got a lot done and the icing on the cake is that people enjoyed it so much they were asking if they could come back another day and do some more! Because of that we’ve organised another Ground Force day on Sunday July 12th, from 9am to 4pm.

“It’s the same formula, if you want to help get the ground looking its best, just turn up on the day. It doesn’t matter if you can only stay an hour or all day, we’ll be delighted to see you.”

Refreshments will be provided for the volunteers and the club is particularly keen to hear from those with trade skills. For more details email: