Ian Wilcox says he was proud to captain Accrington Stanley during an important time in the club’s history.

Ian was the skipper at the then Crown Ground from 1970-79 as they moved from the Lancashire Combination to the Cheshire League to boost their bid to return to the Football League.

Stanley resigned from the league in 1962, were reformed in 1968 and began that climb back up the ladder and, 50 years since their reformation this season, they are celebrating their first ever promotion to League One.

“I am Accrington born and bred and have never lived anywhere else,” said Ian, now 66. “I played for Accrington schoolboys and captained that side before I moved onto Blackburn Rovers, Great Harwood and Horwich before moving to Accrington.

“I came in 1970 and we were a group of local lads who had some great times, and some tough times, won trophies and came through it all. I was incredibly proud to captain the team.

“I worked at Platts at the time, a textile machinery company, and they were great with me, giving me time off and I had to work over-time to make it up. It worked perfectly.

“I played alongside Haggis (Dave Hargreaves, Stanley’s record goalscorer), Mick Finn, Jack Brydon and it’s credit to people like Charlie Tuck, Bill Parkinson, John Prescott and John Alty that the club kept going.

“Haggis was an unbelievable player at that level and we won a lot of trophies in that time. I am proud to be part of the club’s history.”

Ian never imagined he would see Stanley in League One.

“It’s an unbelievably different world now but owner Andy Holt deserves all the credit.

“Mick Finn and I travelled around the world a few years ago and we took Accrington Stanley badges with us. We gave them out in New Zealand and Australia, all over, and it was a talking point.

“When you say Accrington, the only other word people┬ásay is ‘Stanley’ and it was brilliant. Everyone knows Accrington Stanley.”