Year 3 primary school children from Hyndburn left the Wham Stadium with smiles on their faces, brand new football shirts under their arms and a goodie bag of gifts after an exciting morning.
This morning, 1200 children, plus their teachers, were transported to the Wham Stadium directly from their schools to take part in an enormous celebration, to mark the club’s 50th anniversary, by giving a shirt to every year three primary school pupil in the Hyndburn area.
The Stanley first team squad were on hand to greet the children and present them with their shirt upon arrival to the stadium, a chance to meet the stars they will be watching in the future.
Accrington Town Crier, Rawden Kerr, brought community spirit to the event and a sense of excitement. The presence of the Town Crier reminded everyone of the long history behind Accrington Stanley and our roots as one of the founding members of the Football League.
The local community and businesses all helped make this possible in spectacular style to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reformed club. The day was a brilliant display of civic pride and the power of community.
Andy Holt, said: “We want to create a connection with our professional League Two football team. Our roots go right back to 1888 when Accrington were one of the founder members of the Football League.
“We will be repeating this every year for the next five years in the hope it brings us closer to the community. We want it to inspire youths to take pride in their home town club by feeling part of the borough and
supporting their local team.”
Stephen Lowe, BBC Radio Lancashire, kept the children entertained, maintaining the high spirits of the day. Leading the children in chants of ‘super Billy Kee’ and ‘red and white army’.
Every school got the opportunity to have a group picture with the players, with captain Seamus Conneely, Sean McConville, Billy Kee and Jordan Clark all on hand. The picture will be given to schools as a keepsake of their day.
Special Guests included:
David Welsby, CEO of Hyndburn Council, Miles Parkinson, Leader of the Council at Hyndburn Borough Council and Lyndsey Sims, CEO of Hyndburn Leisure Trust.
Special thanks go to:
-Pilkington Bus, Moving People and Cranberry Coachways for providing the transportation for the children and teachers.
-All who donated items to the goodie bags for the children: Accrington and Rossendale College for the balloons, Celebrate Gifts for the gift vouchers for chocolate, Hyndburn Leisure Trust for the Adventure City vouchers and of course the Accrington Stanley Community Trust who sponsored the shirts.
-Scott Dawson Advertising for organising the event as part of their #AmazingAccrington initiative.
-All the media that have supported the initiative.