“AND there has been a goal at the Wham Stadium,” was a regular phrase during Accrington Stanley’s glorious League Two campaign just gone.

And plastics specialists Whatmore UK, known as Wham, are proving to be in a league of their own when it comes to being a force for good in the community.

Producing a vast range of items, from gardenware to storage, from lunch apparel to bakeware, Wham produce it all.

And for the last few years, the firm owned by Andy Holt, who also owns Stanley, have mirrored the Reds’ meteoric rise.

But Tony Grimshaw, the managing director, said the firm’s philosophy was simple.

“It’s all about people,” he said. “Without our people, we are nothing.

“We do a lot of work in the community because Andy’s philosophy is to give as much back to the community as he can and create opportunities.

“We work with sports clubs and community groups to make sure we are giving back. Everyone will remember Andy’s big Accrington Stanley shirt giveaway.

“Stanley have been fantastic and it’s fantastic to be associated with them.”

But Whatmore UK are no slouches. In 1999 they had 13 products, mainly garden equipment, but now they produce over 2,000 and supply some of the high street’s biggest names, employing 245 people across its sites in Altham and Padiham.

The have won a Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2014 and have invested around £10million in state-of-the art equipment to keep the firm ahead of the game.

Mr Grimshaw added: “We export to 72 countries and all the staff here are keen to make it more.

“Our staff have a ‘must-do’ attitude and people are treated extremely well. So well that people generally don’t leave.

“East Lancashire people have a pride in manufacturing and we have a very flexible approach to our customers.

“One customer set us a challenge and we not only produced a mould to meet their requirements, we had it on the shelves in a very short time frame.”

“It’s a very exciting sector and there really isn’t a dull day. It’s a tough trading environment at the moment but we’re still investing in our business to make sure we meet the challenges of our competitors, especially from the Far East.”

And Mr Grimshaw said he had learned from the Stanley management duo of John Coleman and Jimmy Bell.

He added: “As someone who studies man-management techniques, they really get the best out of their players.

“It’s not what they can’t do, they concentrate on what they are best at and the results are their for all to see.”