THE main sponsors of the Football League have stepped in to buy Accrington Stanley players new boots.

The club called in police after thieves stole boots from several players – a day before a 4-0 defeat which saw them slip to the bottom of the league.

Many of Stanley’s first team were left furious after arriving for training to find their boots, some of them specially adapted for matches, had been stolen from the kit room and dressing room.

Some players had bought new boots in time for Tuesday’s match at Shrewsbury Town, while others had to use footwear usually reserved for training.

Stanley slipped to a heavy loss to drop to bottom spot in League Two.

But after hearing of the burglary, Sky Bet sent replacement boots to the lads the day before they took on Luton Town on Saturday – a game they drew 2-2.

Manager James Beattie said: “We can’t thank Sky Bet enough for helping us out. The players here don’t earn lots of money, and losing their boots was a big blow to a lot of them.

“This gesture is a big lift to us, and helped us to end a difficult week on a high.”

Club captain Luke Joyce was one of the players who had his boots stolen. He said the squad was ‘delighted’ to have new ones so quickly.

“This came out of the blue,” he said. “On behalf of all the players, I’d like to say how grateful we are to Sky Bet.

“We can put this break-in behind us now and get on with the job of winning games.”

Five boys, all 14, have arrested on suspicion of burglary.