Things to do in Lancashire Before You Die...
See Stanley Play
Everyone knows football is about greed and preening and rolling around on the floor like you've been shot if anyone has the temerity to tackle you. It’s about chairmen who ramp up ticket prices to extortionate levels, agents who bleed clubs dry and players who are more interested in which nightclub they’ll be staggering out of than who they’ve drawn in the cup. And then there’s Accrington Stanley. Last season, during the height of the “Can they pay their tax bill” saga a strange thing happened.The home stand was full of supporters from most of Lancashire’s football clubs.
Shirts from Bolton, Burnley, Blackburn, Liverpool, Man Utd, City and many others were dotted amongst the Stanley faithful. Where this would normally provoke a blood bath, the home fans shook hands, thanked them for coming and, at various points even serenaded them. They’d come to the Crown Ground for nothing more than to put a few quid across the turnstile and help shout them to a 2- 1 win over Darlington. And that’s the odd thing about Stanley. Hardly anyone hates them and, for some reason, people seem to care. From football fans in general to Ilyas Khan, a multi million pound businessman who found it in his heart to open his cheque book and save the club he’d grown to love. Whether it’s because Stanley, as they proclaim at their ground are “The club that refused to die”, the way they originally left the league through financial problems, or that god awful milk advert from the 80’s which is still quoted today, people have a soft spot for Stanley.
While it’s unlikely you’ll see goal of the season at the Crown Ground, you do enjoy an atmosphere which harks back to an earlier time. Fathers stand side by side with their children and didn’t have to take out a bank loan to do it. Whereas at Old Trafford you’re so far away from the action you can’t tell if you’re watching Ryan Giggs or Paul Scholes at the Crown Ground you can see if your centre forward cut himself shaving this morning. Man Utd don’t need more fans and City don’t need the money. If you’ve got a Saturday free and you’d like to see a game of football then take your family to watch Stanley play.