Accrington Stanley rises from the ashes
Feature by Jaybee
Updated Saturday, 3rd September 2011
A History of Accrington Stanley (Part Two)
Following their exit from the Football League, Accrington played for a few seasons in the 2nd division of the Lancashire Combination, but in January 1966, the club was formally wound up again failing to finish a season. The club gained just 1 point from 15 matches and were bottom of the league. The very last match, however, saw them win beat Glossop 3-2 in front of just 50 fans at Peel Park.
In 1968 the club was reformed and 2 years later they moved into their present ground, the Crown Ground, now renamed the Interlink Express Stadium. Accrington were admitted to the Lancashire Combination (again!!) in 1970, the new club's first match being at home against Formby in front of 620 fans.
In 1972, Stanley finished runners up in the league as well as winning the League Cup and Combination Cup, which they again won in 1973 and 1974. In 1974, they won the championship as well and again in 1978. They then joined the Cheshire League, 2nd division, which they won in 1981 and in 1984 they were elected to the North West Counties League. In 1986 they joined the Northern Premier League, now the Unibond League, First Division and finished runners up to Stalybridge Celtic and in 1991 they were promoted to the Premier Division after South Liverpool resigned from the league.
However, in 1999, the new club suffered their first relegation when they finished bottom of the now renamed Unibond Premier Division. During the following summer, the management team of John Coleman and his assistant, Jimmy Bell arrived from Ashton United and the 1999/00 season ended with Stanley being promoted back to the Unibond Premier as champions. Three years later, in 2003, Accrington were Unibond Premier League champions and were promoted to the Nationwide Conference.
Stanley finished in 10th place in 2004 and again the following season, but in 2006 the club sealed their long awaited return to the Football League by clinching the Nationwide Conference Championship by 11 points. Ironically, one of the two clubs relegated from League Two was Oxford United, so things had gone full circle!! Though the club struggled in their first season back safety was assured with a final placing of 20th.