WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Accrington squad from 1961-62, the year Stanley went out of the League
MIKE PICKUP admits that over 50 years later he is still struggling to come to terms with why the original Accrington Stanley were allowed to die.
Pickup played in their last ever game in the Football League on March 2, 1962 – a 2-0 defeat at Crewe Alexandra.
They were, at the time of their demise, bottom of the Fourth Division.
Stanley had a transfer embargo placed on them because they owed £3,000 to other clubs while a ‘Save Stanley’ fund which was hoped would raise £20,0000 brought in just £450.
Crowds had dropped to just 1,500 – half the break-even figure – and with debts overall of £62,000, they sent a letter of resignation to the League on March 6.
Just two days later, another letter was sent withdrawing their resignation, claiming that a group of businessmen had come forward but on March 11 their fate was sealed – it was too late.
Pickup, who went on to sign for Southern League Cambridge City, recalled: “It was awful really. All we wanted to know was what was going to happen to us because we weren’t getting paid or anything.
“We were hoping that the worst wasn’t going to happen, but I think it was on the cards for a long time before the end came.
“There were a lot of things in the paper about different people coming in to take over the club, but it just never happened.” 1. Alex Hamilton: He became a foreman at a domestic appliances company and then a car components maker. Lived in Accrington until he passed away in 2009. 2. Bill Smith: Caretaker-manager when Stanley left the Football League. He coached at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn, where he settled and worked for the mentally handicapped. 3. Garbutt Richardson: Injury ended his career and he settled in Kinmel Bay, Conwy, where he died in August 1980, aged 42. 4. Mike Pickup: Went into Non-League management with Winsford United and Witton Albion. He also worked in the building trade and now lives in Congleton, Cheshire. 5. Joe Walton: Spent most of his career in Preston where he stayed running a newsagent’s before working for an electronics firm before his death in December 2006, aged 81. 6. Harry Hubbick: The trainer then joined the backroom staff at Preston, where he was trainer, assistant to three managers and kitman. He lived in the town until his death in March 1992, aged 81. 7. Charlie Kilby: Worked in the building trade and is the grandfather of former Burnley chairman Barry Kilby. Lived in Blackpool until his death in 1980. 8. James Harrower: After resigning as Stanley manager, he became a publican at the Castle Hotel, Accrington, and then a heating engineer. He died in February 1992, aged 67. 9. George Forrester: A motor mechanic by trade, he ran Mac- clesfield’s Moss Rose Hotel and then became a buyer with GKN Sankey. He died in 2001. 10. Alex Smith: A goalkeeping coach at Bolton Wanderers academy which he combined with running his family business, the Bolton Bed Centre, which he opened in 1971. 11. Peter Vipham: Lives in Rossendale, Lancashire, and spent 30 years working for a shoe-making company. 12. Bobby Wilson: An ever-present in the last season and became a senior buyer for GKN Sankey before moving back to Dundee. 13. Jack Wigglesworth: Secretary served the club in various capacities from the 1930s until they folded. Died in Haslingden, Lancashire, in 1967, aged 70. 14. Roland Walton: The vicechairman of the club was an electrician who lived in Burnley until his death in 1980. 15. Edwin Slinger: The chairman was a solicitor with Accrington firm, Sharpies Son & Slinger. He died in the Ribble Valley in 1975. 16. Bob Gordon: Stanley’s first ever apprentice became a policeman in Lincolnshire and is now back living in his native Larkhall. 17. Lawson Bennett: The winger was a gardener for the parks’ board and then a handyman. He died suddenly at his home in Darwen in 2010, aged 72. 18. Peter Irving: After emigrating to Australia, he is living in the Hunter Valley in Newcastle, New South Wales. 19. Mike Ferguson: Retired and living in Burnley. He managed a number of clubs, including Rochdale and Enfield, as well as acting as a players’ agent.
20. David Sturrock: Moved back to his native Dundee and became a ceramic tile fixer. 21. George Hudson: Is now living in Bury and worked on the printing press for the Mirror Group in Manchester. 22. Paddy Mulvey: Became a manager at Banners clothes factory in Accrington and then became a salesman for Bostik and PLA Products. He ran his own plastics business and lived in Timperley, Manchester, until his death in November 2003. 23. Willie Devine: After emigrating to Australia, worked for a sportswear company until his death in 1997. NOT PICTURED
Brian Bades: Lives in Bolton, Lancashire. Ran a chain of shops in the local area for 15 years. Reg Bonson: Played professional rugby league for Bradford Northern and Doncaster. Ran his own haulage company, Carpenter and Bonson, in Barnsley. Les Christie: Lives in the Ribble Valley. Was a window cleaner and then joiner and builder. Russell Cuddihy: Lives near Accrington and ran Arrods Snooker Hall in Great Harwood. Joe Devlin: Became an electrical engineer in Accrington. Alan Gregory: Settled in Burnley where he ran the White Lion pub. Joe Hooley: Is living in Barnsley after holding a host of management and coaching posts. Jimmy Milner: After working for GKN Sankey in Wellington, he returned to live in his native northeast. Barry Smith: Moved to New Zealand where he ran a manufacturing suppliers until his death in February 2007.