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Up for the cup

CUP fever is sweeping Accrington as thousands of Stanley fans await Sunday's clash with Third Division Huddersfield Town.

CUP fever is sweeping Acc-rington as thousands of Stanley fans await Sunday's clash with Third Division Huddersfield Town.

It will be the first time a Stanley home game has ever been televised live, with the tie being shown on BBC1 from 1pm.

The game looks like being played in front of a sell-out 4,300 crowd and extra police and stewards will be on duty to ensure it passes off safely.

They are asking fans to arrive early for the all-ticket clash to avoid any congestion.

Stanley, in their first season in the Nationwide Conference, will receive £50,000 in TV rights from the BBC, most of which will be spent on improvements to their Interlink Express Stadium as the club chases its dream of a return to the Football League.

Huddersfield's allocation of 393 tickets sold out within 30 minutes of being put on sale at 9am last Saturday and fans without tickets have been warned not to travel.

As the Observer went to press yesterday, Stanley had about 800 tickets left for sale.

The ticket office will be open today and tomorrow but no tickets will be on sale on the day of the game.

Club chairman Eric Whalley said: "We hope everyone attending the match has a great day.

"This fixture is a real opportunity to sell the town as well as the club. I would ask that spectators arrive early and co-operate with the stewards and police in making this a memorable occasion for us all.

"I am confident our supporters will do us proud, as will the players on the pitch."

Since the tie was announced, Stanley and Huddersfield officials, the police and other emergency services have been in consultation to finalise a public safety plan for the game.

Chief Inspector Neil Smith, who will be in charge of the police operation on the day, said: "People should stay away if they do not have a ticket.

"Extra security will be operating around the ground and turnstiles to ensure unlawful entry is prohibited."

The crowd will be segregated, with Huddersfield fans being allocated the Whinney Hill corner of the ground.

Officers will also be enforcing parking restrictions in the vicinity.

No parking will be allowed on Livingstone Road all day on Sunday and vehicles will not be allowed access to the ground after 12.30pm for safety reasons.

Chief Inspector Smith said: "If people leave their cars on nearby residential streets we ask that they be considerate and don't block driveways, park on the pavement or double park.

"All agencies involved in the fixture have worked extremely hard to ensure that Sunday will be a great day for all spectators attending. We expect the fans will arrive in good spirits and really make the fixture one to remember for all the right reasons."

Stanley have drafted in extra stewards, including some from Division One club Preston North End, to assist at the match.

  • Hyndburn Council leader Peter Britcliffe said he was delighted at the high-profile fixture. The council controversially agreed to sponsor the club to the tune of £45,000 over three years and its name on the players' shirts will attract national exposure.

But most councillors will not be able to attend the game, as it clashes with Remembrance Sunday.

  • The game has attracted huge media attention.

There have been articles in most national newspapers, including a full-page feature in The Guardian. The BBC filmed the players in training at the Interlink Stadium on Tuesday and our Sports Editor Dany Robson was interviewed by Channel Five.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist