Accrington Stanley F.C. (1891)

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Accrington Stanley
Full name Accrington Stanley Football Club
Nickname(s) The 'Owd Reds
Founded 1891
Dissolved 1966
Ground Peel Park, Accrington
League Lancashire Combination
1965–66 Resigned mid-season

Accrington Stanley was an English football club based in Accrington, Lancashire. Established in 1891, the club played in the Football League between 1921 and 1962, when the club became only the second ever to resign from the League mid-season. The club went into liquidation in 1966. They played at Peel Park.[1]


The original town team, Accrington, were amongst the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888, before resigning from the league after just five years. A team called Stanley Villa already existed at the time, named as such because they were based at the Stanley Arms on Stanley Street in Accrington. With the demise of Accrington, Stanley Villa took the town name to become Accrington Stanley.[citation needed]

The club re-formed after World War I and entered the League in 1921 with the formation of the old Third Division North, along with the other top northern non-League clubs.[citation needed]

In four decades of league football they never achieved promotion from the Third Division. Their best-ever league position was finishing second in that division, in the 1954–55 season and again in 1957–58.[citation needed]

In 1960, amid persistent financial difficulties mainly relating to the speculative purchase of the new Burnley Road stand, Stanley were relegated to the recently formed Division Four. However, they only managed to complete one full season in this division as bankruptcy followed shortly afterwards. On 12 February 1962 Edwin Slinger, the chairman, resigned and revealed that Stanley owed up to £4,000 in unpaid transfer fees and a similar sum to the Inland Revenue. Pilkington, as life vice president, brought in Bob Lord, who persuaded the rest of the board to resign by promising to buy shares, despite his chairmanship of nearby Burnley. Stanley lost their last League match 4–0 away at Crewe on 2 March 1962[1] and, at a creditors' meeting shortly afterwards, further unsecured creditors was revealed. The club sent a letter of resignation to the Football League and the resignation was accepted by Alan Hardaker, the League Secretary on 11 March, mid-way through the 1961–62 season.

Stanley were accepted into the Lancashire Combination Division Two for the next season, and with some local investors stepping forward to reduce debts to a more manageable level, it seemed like a new beginning for the club. They performed respectably well in their first season in the Combination, and earned their first (and only) promotion the following year. Unfortunately this proved to be a false dawn, as Stanley were immediately relegated after finishing bottom of Division One. By this point the club's debts had become overwhelmingly large once again, and the start of 1966 saw the final end for the club, who resigned from the Lancashire Combination and disbanded. Two years later the club was reformed.[2]


[citation needed]

Season Division Position Significant events
Joined the Lancashire Combination
1900–01 Lancashire Combination 9
1901–02 Lancashire Combination 3
1902–03 Lancashire Combination 1 Champions
Lancashire Combination becomes Lancashire Combination Division One
1903–04 Lancashire Combination Division One 2 Runners Up
1904–05 Lancashire Combination Division One 7
1905–06 Lancashire Combination Division One 1 Champions
1906–07 Lancashire Combination Division One 5
1907–08 Lancashire Combination Division One 7
1908–09 Lancashire Combination Division One 12
1909–10 Lancashire Combination Division One 3
1910–11 Lancashire Combination Division One 7
1911–12 Lancashire Combination Division One 9
1912–13 Lancashire Combination Division One 2 Runners Up
1913–14 Lancashire Combination Division One 7
1914–15 Lancashire Combination Division One 6
English football is postponed due to World War I
Lancashire Combination Division One becomes Lancashire Combination
1919–20 Lancashire Combination 7
1920–21 Lancashire Combination 6
Elected into Division Three – North upon The Football League expansion
1921–22 Division Three – North 5
1922–23 Division Three – North 8
1923–24 Division Three – North 13
1924–25 Division Three – North 17
1925–26 Division Three – North 18
1926–27 Division Three – North 21
1927–28 Division Three – North 9
1928–29 Division Three – North 18
1929–30 Division Three – North 16
1930–31 Division Three – North 13
1931–32 Division Three – North 14
1932–33 Division Three – North 13
1933–34 Division Three – North 20
1934–35 Division Three – North 18
1935–36 Division Three – North 9
1936–37 Division Three – North 13
1937–38 Division Three – North 22
1938–39 Division Three – North 22
English football is postponed due to World War II
1946–47 Division Three – North 20
1947–48 Division Three – North 6
1948–49 Division Three – North 20
1949–50 Division Three – North 13
1950–51 Division Three – North 23
1951–52 Division Three – North 22
1952–53 Division Three – North 24
1953–54 Division Three – North 15
1954–55 Division Three – North 2 Runners Up
1955–56 Division Three – North 3
1956–57 Division Three – North 3
1957–58 Division Three – North 2 Runners Up
Placed into Division Three upon The Football League re–organisation
1958–59 Division Three 19
1959–60 Division Three 24 Relegated
1960–61 Division Four 18
1961–62 Division Four Resigned
Accrington Stanley resigned from The Football League and joined Lancashire Combination Division Two
1962–63 Lancashire Combination Division Two 8
1963–64 Lancashire Combination Division Two 1 Champions
1964–65 Lancashire Combination Division One 21 Relegated
1965–66 Lancashire Combination Division Two Resigned
Accrington Stanley resigned from Lancashire Combination Division Two and folded


  • Lancashire Combination
    • Champions 1902–03, 1905–06
    • Division Two champions 1963–64

Club records

[citation needed]

Notable Players

Players who played 100 matches for Accrington Stanley, or who gained international caps whilst with the club.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Accrington Stanley: How The Reds got kicked out of the Football League - only to return over 40 years later!". Heroes and Villains. BBC Lancashire. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Louise Taylor (27 October 2009). "Accrington Stanley desperate not to let history repeat itself". The Sport Blog. Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>