ACCRINGTON Stanley seem certain to win promotion back to the Football League this weekend after 44 years in the non-league wilderness.

And plans for huge celebrations have already been made by the club and the council.

The Reds need just two points from Saturday's visit to Woking and Easter Monday's home game against lowly Scarborough to be mathematically certain of going up.

If it happens a civic celebration will take place the following Sunday, 23 April. This will involve the whole team, along with chairman Eric Whalley and manager John Coleman, triumphantly touring the town on an open-top bus.

They will meet the Mayor at the Town Hall, from where they will address the crowds. They will then go inside for a civic reception before boarding the bus back to the Interlink Express Stadium, which will be open to the public, where they will do a lap of honour for fans.

Council leader Peter Britcliffe, who will travel to the game at Woking tomorrow, said: "Stanley's journey to promotion has been truly magical and this event will be in celebration of their outstanding achievement. It's set to be a fantastic occasion. Stanley are a big part of the community and everyone feels proud of them.

"The whole of Hyndburn will be boosted by their promotion and the civic celebration will be a chance for everyone to get involved and show their appreciation for the team."

Labour leader David Myles said: "Stanley are part of the fabric of the town and it will be terrific to see them back in the Football League where they belong.

"They have really helped to put Accrington back on the map and in the history books. It will be a day of celebration for the whole community and we want everyone to come along and cheer on the Reds."

WE WILL be marking Stanley's likely promotion with two special supplements on 21 and 28 April.

The first will look back at the historic season and the second will cover the celebrations.

For the second supplement we are inviting fans and readers to send in their own messages of congratulation. These will all be printed in the paper to make it a unique keepsake to treasure for life.

Messages should be no more than 15 words and must include the sender's address. You can:

  • Write to us at Observer offices, 103 Blackburn Road, Accrington.
  • Send us an e-mail to
  • Post a message on our website - log on once promotion is assured and we'll tell you how.
  • Text STANLEY followed by a space and then the message to 81800. Each message costs 25p plus standard rates. All messages will be acknowledged. The service is provided by g8wave, London N7. The line will be open as soon as Stanley's promotion is assured .