Football club shocked by loss of 50-year-old groundsman Les Staniland

PLAYERS and management at Harrowby United are in shock this week after the sudden death of the man responsible for the resurrection of the club - Lesley “Stan” Staniland.

Stan was a former committee member of Harrowby United before the club folded and was integral in setting the team away again this season, inviting management duo Mark Fardell and Jay Harrison to take the club forward.

However on Tuesday (August 28) the landscape gardener and Harrowby United groundsman collapsed and sadly died from a heart attack.

Harrowby United manager Mark Fardell said: “He’s done so much work up at the ground to help get it going again. He’s going to be a big loss. I’m absolutely gutted - we’re all gutted.

“He was the one that got me and Jay (Harrison) to the club to start it up again. It was his project. He wanted it to happen.

“It was his idea to start it up and he asked us to come along and that’s how it all started.”

Stan was at the ground at the weekend helping with preparations for the visit of non-league giants Rushden & Diamonds.

The club is now dedicating this Saturday’s fixture to Stan.

Mr Fardell said: “The game is going to go ahead on Saturday. We’ve spoken to the lads and they want to carry on and play the game for him.

“It’s really knocked us back a lot - we’re all in a state of shock to be honest - but we’ve had a meeting and we are going to soldier on.

“It’s a game Stan was really looking forward to. We’ll be playing in his memory and dedicating Saturday’s game to him.

“He would have wanted us to carry on.”

You can send your memories and tributes to Stan to: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk