Stan­ley fac­ing crunch easter ties in fight to go up

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS GEE chris.gee@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Ac­cring­tonNews

Back the boys:

AS at­ten­dances at Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley swell, mes­sages of sup­port for the team have come from for­mer Ac­cring­to­ni­ans all over the world.

The Reds re­main in the ‘box seats’ in League Two, de­spite be­ing edged off the top spot last week­end due to their game be­ing post­poned.

Af­ter a fort­night with no match, Stan­ley fans are chomp­ing at the bit to see if they can make it eight wins on the bounce at Mans­field on Good Fri­day - even those now liv­ing thou­sands of miles away.

Tony Robin­son has lived in On­tario, Canada, since 1970 but still fol­lows his beloved Stan­ley dur­ing each game.

Tony, 64, said: “It’s not easy fol­low­ing Stan­ley from afar but it’s a whole lot of fun and this year it’s been very re­ward­ing. You can feel a real buzz of ex­cite­ment.

THE Reds’ next home game is on Easter Mon­day at 3pm, against Notts County.

“Af­ter we em­i­grated to Canada in 1970 I fol­lowed Stan­ley’s rise through the lower leagues from weekold Accy Ob­servers sent in the post. Over here kick off for me is 10am.

“I have to rely on text com­men­tary which is al­ways a few min­utes be­hind and I have a friend in Nottingham who fol­lows on the ra­dio and he phones me on Face­book mes­sen­ger when Stan­ley score.”

The semi-re­tired in­surance con­sul­tant, born ap­pro­pri­ately on Stan­ley Street, has been able to re­turn to Ac­cring­ton with his wife Toni for a few weeks a year, watch­ing a hand­ful of home matches ev­ery year.

An­other ex­iled fan is Ste­fan Wiec­zorek, con­struc­tion man­ager at Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Ni­tra, Slo­vakia.

Ste­fan, of Whin­ney Hill, saw Stan­ley’s first game af­ter re-for­ma­tion in 1968.

He said: “I can re­mem­ber the slope on the pitch and that horses had been graz­ing on the field sev­eral days be­fore. The crowd was one per­son deep.”

The dad-of-two, 59, is also claim­ing par­tial credit for Stan­ley’s form thanks to a ‘lucky shirt’. He said: “On our first day in Ni­tra we vis­ited the Ir­ish Times bar and be­came friendly with the man­ager Jozef and dis­cov­ered his love of Chelsea.

“In view of his help we bought him a Chelsea shirt and called it his lucky shirt. Chelsea then took the ti­tle by a mile. This sea­son I got Jozef a Stan­ley shirt hop­ing the charm would work again. The lo­cals and staff in the bar al­ways look for Ac­cring­ton’s re­sults.”

Sev­eral mem­bers of the Nor­we­gian branch of the sup­port­ers’ club at­tended the Wham Sta­dium in the last home game against For­est Green.

Tony Robin­son (right) be­ing pre­sented with his Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley club share in 2010 from David Lloyd

Jozef (left) and Ste­fan Wiec­zorek (right) out­side the Ir­ish Times bar in Slo­vakia hold­ing their lucky Stan­ley shirt

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