The Accrington Observer celebrates its 125th anniversary next month and we are asking for your sporting memories.
Accrington has had plenty of sporting stars over the years and has been the scene of sporting dramas, featured in the Observer.
Your most vivid memory could be Walter Galbraith’s Accrington Stanley team of 1953-58 which hit the headlines, the Reds going out of the Football League in 1962, or the 44-year wait before they were back there again in 2006.
One event which brought the national media to Accrington was West Indies cricketing legend Viv Richards landing in his helicopter in 1987 at Rishton Cricket Club or there have been the likes of Allan Donald, a young Shane Warne, Charlie Griffiths or Everton Weekes gracing Lancashire League grounds around Hyndburn.
There has been more home grown sporting talent in cricket supremo and Sky Sports commentator David Lloyd as well as hockey star Val Robinson who was a regular on the television on Saturday afternoons representing England or Great Britain.
There is also running legend Ron Hill and shooter Ian Peel, who moved to Great Harwood and won a silver medal at the Sydney Olympics 2000 in the trap.
And, in golf, Trevor Foster famously led the 1988 Open at Lytham, replacing Seve Ballesteros at the top of the leaderboard which the picture of that leaderboard appearing in the newspaper.
Accrington has had a wealth of sporting talent, especially in cricket with appearances for England and in county cricket for the likes of Eddie Paynter, Graeme Fowler, Ian Austin, David Hughes, Jack Simmons, Graham Lloyd, Peter Martin and Bernard Reidy.
Going back even further than the Observer, from 1877-89, Richard Pilling was described as ‘the champion wicket keeper of the world’.
Talent has also come from cricket/football crossovers as Jackie Chew was in Burnley FC’s FA Cup final squad of 1947 and he also played for East Lancs CC. Other all-rounders were brothers Jack and Bill Finney – Accrington Stanley and Accrington Cricket Club players before the First World War.
Accrington has also been home to several top-flight footballers.
From this era, there is Great Harwood-born David Dunn, now at Blackburn Rovers; Blackpool legend Brett Ormerod and West Brom midfielder Richard Chaplow.
Former Manchester United ace Mike Duxbury was born in Accrington as was former Burnley star Ashley Hoskin, as well as Dave Hargreaves, Simon Westwell and Chris Grimshaw.
And ex-Stanley player Les Cocker was on the winning side in a World Cup final – as a coach to Alf Ramsey in 1966.
Futher back, Oswaldtwistle-born Jack Bray played for Manchester City and England and was later manager of Watford while George Bray played in the 1947 FA¿Cup final for Burnley.
Pre and post Second World War Dick Webster played for Stanley and Sheffield United and Stan Lynn, who was recognised as the finest uncapped right back in the country, turned out for Stanley, Aston Villa and Birmingham between 1940-60.
Even further back, George Haworth played for Accrington from 1882-1894 and won five caps for England while John Haworth led Burnley to the League Cup in 1920-21.
In running, Ron Hill’s name dominated marathon running in the 1960s and 70s and he hasn’t stopped running since.
Hill took part in the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympics, won a gold medal at the European Championships in¿Athens in 1969 and Commonwealth Gold the year after. He also became the first Britain to win the Boston Marathon in 1970.
Accrington-born Kerry Gillibrand reached the 1500m final of the 2002 Manchester Games while Dave Lewis raced for Great Britan on track and was also the three times national cross country champion. Harry Haseley clocked up 128 marathons and also has an international appearance to his name.
Javelin champion Pamela Brindle represented Great Britain and won a range of honours including eight consecutive years as Northern Women’s AAA¿javelin champion from 1974-81.
Rory Birbeck competed for Great Britain in the decathlon in 1993-4.
In archery, Clayton-le-Moors born Barbara Fielding had two world titles and was a British title holder nine times.
Meanwhile, the one-time St Christopher’s pupil Geoff Billington was a star show jumper, competing in the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics. He also won the Hickstead derby in 2007 after 30 years of trying.
In cycling, Alan Ramsbot-tom from Clayton was a British international who took part in the Tour de France in the late 1950s and Harry Hill won a bronze medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games in the 4000m team pursuit.
In swimming, Stephen Poulter represented Great Britain at two Olympics in 1980 and 1984; Tommy Walker was a swimmer from the 1950s and Eddie Keane, Brian Crompton and Chris Goddard all starred in the pool.
In judo, father and daughter Phil and Sami Smithson starred for GB while in netball Marion Lofthouse captained England and Anna Newell competed for England.
More recently Hyndburn had become a hotbed of martial arts with kickboxer Mikey Worswick aiming to become the youngest fighter to win a world crown before he hits 21 – beating Mohammed Ali’s record.
This list is by no means exhaustive and the Observer are looking for readers to write in about the sporting headlines which have gripped them over the newspaper’s history. Either e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, write to: Dany Robson, Accrington Observer, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Avenue, Chadderton OL9 8EB or telephone 0161 211 2775.