Accrington Stanley Football Club is a professional association football club based in Accrington, Lancashire, England. The club competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. They have spent their complete history playing at the Crown Ground. The club came to national prominence in 1989 due to the Milk Marketing Board's popular television advert that featured the slogan Accrington Stanley, Who Are They?.
The current club was formed in 1968, two years after the collapse of the original Accrington Stanley, which played in the Football League from 1921 to 1962 after initially competing in the Lancashire Combination. The town's original club, named simply Accrington, were founder members of the Football League in 1888, though folded just six years later. The current incarnation of the club entered the Lancashire Combination and moved on to the Cheshire County League after winning the Combination title in 1977–78. Stanley won Division Two of the Cheshire County League in 1980–81 and became founder members of the North West Counties League in 1982, before being placed in Division One of the Northern Premier League five years later. They were promoted to the Premier Division in 1990–91, though were relegated in 1999.
The early 21st century saw the club win three promotions over the course of seven seasons under the stewardship of John Coleman to gain a place in the Football League. They won three divisional titles in each of their three promotions: Northern Premier League Division One (1999–2000), Northern Premier League Premier Division (2002–03) and the Conference National (2005–06). They then spent 12 seasons mostly in the bottom half of the table in League Two, though did also lose two play-off semi-finals, before Coleman led them to promotion into League One as League Two champions in 2017–18.