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Tributes to ex Accrington Stanley player and manager Donald Bramley

Donald, who has died aged 80, also played for Burnley and West Ham in the 1950s

Tributes have been paid to a former Accrington Stanley manager and player who has died, aged 80.

Donald Bramley played for the Reds in its previous incarnation during the 1960s and was a member of the final team before they lost professional status.

The grandfather-of-five later became manager of the newly formed club and was honoured for his commitment with lifelong membership.

Donald, of Dill Hall Lane, Church, also played for Burnley and West Ham in the 1950s and later turned out for other local teams, including Great Harwood Town.

Donald Bramley, 80, from Church, Accrington, who passed away on November 24, 2017. Pictured playing for Accrington Stanley.

He passed away in hospital on Friday, November 24, surrounded by his loving family.

They said the former left-winger was ‘honest, hard-working and passionate about football’.

Son Anthony, 53, from Accrington, said Donald had been receiving treatment for fluid on his lungs since March 2017 and passed away following complications.

Anthony, who also played for the Reds in the 1980s, said: “He was on the books at Burnley and West Ham in the late 1950s and got injured and ended up playing for Accrington Stanley.

"He played in the last team that represented Stanley before they were wound up at court.

Donald Bramley, 80, from Church, Accrington, who passed away on November 24, 2017. The picture shows the final Accrington Stanley team before the club was wound up in the High Court in the 1960s. Donald is pictured on the front row third from the left.

“He was the second manager of Stanley after it reformed, and took over from the late Jimmy Hinksman.

“He lived and breathed football. He would talk to anybody for hours.

"He was highly respected by everyone. He had a serious side to him but he was a real social character.

"He certainly could commandeer an audience of people around him with his tales, especially when he told you how good he was.”

Donald also worked as a tool fitter at Howard and Bullough Engineering and then at Allspeeds.

He loved all sports and enjoyed cricket and fishing. He also enjoyed his holidays abroad, particularly to Spain.

Donald Bramley, 80, from Church, Accrington, who passed away on November 24, 2017. Pictured playing for Accrington Stanley in the 1960s. Third from the left on the top row.

Donald was the dearly loved husband of Mary, a much loved dad of Elaine and Anthony, dear father-in-law of Mike, loving grandad of Ryan and Drew, Joseph, Elizabeth and George.

A funeral mass will be held at St Joseph’s RC Church in Accrington at 9.30am on Friday, December 1, followed by interment at Dill Hall Cemetery from 10.30am and then a wake at Accrington Stanley’s Wham Stadium.

Former players Ian Wilcox and Michael Finn, who played under Donald, will be among the pallbearers and a wreath will be produced made up of Stanley colours.

A Stanley shirt will also be placed in his coffin.

Family flowers only and donations in his memory to the British Heart Foundation.

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