WHEN Premiership star Erik Nevland offered to swap shirts with Stanley player Phil Edwards, the Fulham frontman had to leave the pitch bare chested.
It is normal for lower league clubs to make a dash to get the big name shirts after FA Cup matches such as Accrington’s clash with Fulham at the weekend.
However, with Stanley’s cash troubles, they may have got Fulham’s tops – but the Cottagers weren’t getting theirs.
Whereas the multi-millionaires of Craven Cottage are used to a new strip for every game, cash-strapped Stanley provide one shirt per man, per season. And that left Norwegian Nevland braving the elements after Edwards had the shirt off his back as a memento of his big day.
Edwards really wanted the top of his hero, former Everton striker Andy Johnson but, due to injury, Johnson didn’t play.
So the next best thing was striker Nevland who was born in Stavanger, near the Arctic Circle, so at least he would have been used to the cold.
"He asked me if I wanted his shirt before the end and I said yes and then he came and gave it me," said Edwards.
Stanley’s chief executive Rob Heys said: "I think the players understand that we haven’t got money to throw away so, although we didn’t tell them not to swap shirts, they understand the situation."
Stanley keeper Dean Bouzanis did swap his with his fellow Aussie Mark Schwarzer, the Fulham stopper, and Heys joked: "We do have a number of goalkeeper jersies so he is lucky but we will be docking his wages accordingly!"
And Norwegian winger Bjorn Helge Riise whipped off his shirt on the final whistle and generously donated it to a young Accrington fan who was collecting the flags.
Stanley substitute Billy Kee also grabbed a Fulham shirt but didn’t give away his in return.
He said: "I got Aaron Hughes’ shirt as I played with him for Ireland but I didn’t give him mine as I don’t want to pay out £30!"