1200 replica Accrington Stanley football shirts were given away to local year three pupils in a ceremony to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the club earlier today.
Chairman Andy Holt has committed to providing local school children with replica shirts for the next five years, with those in attendance today also receiving free tickets to an upcoming Accrington fixture.
39 schools and over 1,100 children made their way to the Wham Stadium, as they were greeted by Stanley’s top goalscorer Billy Kee, and captain Sean McConville, as well as the rest of the Accrington squad.
Manager John Coleman praised the event and admitted the importance of a Football Club working with their local community.
“It’s a really good gesture by the club and everybody involved. We have to get the kids involved with the football club from an early age, and, if today means some can become supporters each week, then that would be great,” he explained.
“The smiles on their faces make it all worthwhile, and obviously getting a first-team shirt makes it exciting as well. The fact we’ll have so many young people walking around with Accrington Stanley shirts on is fantastic, it’ll give them a sense of identity with the club.”
On hand to supply the youngsters with their shirts, whilst signing autographs and posing for photographs, was Stanley’s 19-goal striker Billy Kee.
The forward has scored in eight of his last nine matches to help guide Accrington into the Sky Bet League Two automatic promotion places, but was pleased to see the club making continued efforts off the pitch as well.
Kee said: “It’s brilliant to have the chance to do something like this. You see every little face light up when they get a shirt, and just interacting with them makes days like today worthwhile.
“Hopefully they’ll come back here to watch us on a Saturday, wearing the colours with pride. They were a little bit shy at first, but like I said, hopefully we’ll see them sporting the Accrington Stanley badge at future games.”