Accrington Stanley's Big Shirt Giveaway returned for the seventh consecutive year this week, with the club now having handed out 8,400 shirts to local youngsters.

On Wednesday (September 27) players from the Accrington Stanley first team squad handed out replica shirts, sponsored by Sundown Solutions, Studio and the Accrington Stanley Community Trust, to excited year three students from 39 local schools, at the Wham Stadium.

The annual event also saw the children receive a goodie bag, sponsored by North Lancs Training Group (NLTG) and Accrington & Rossendale College, which included a lunchbox from WHAM, goodies from Studio Retail Ltd/Frasers Group, a team photo of Accrington Stanley, as well as a voucher for a free Accrington Stanley ticket, courtesy of the club.

Lancashire Telegraph: The club have now given out 8,400 shirts across their giveawaysThe club have now given out 8,400 shirts across their giveaways (Image: Adam Woodhouse)

The vouchers for one free under-12's ticket, which is valid with a paying adult, for Accrington Stanley's home match against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, October 7, must be redeemed at least a day before the match from the club shop.

 Those attending the big shirt giveaway also received a special flag, sponsored by Taskers of Accrington and North Lancs Training Group, while local recycling firm, HML Recycling, generously sponsored the bus travel to and from the Wham Stadium, with local firms Cranberry Coachways, Mario Coaches and Moving PEOPLE providing the transport.

 Taking place for the seventh year running, youngsters got the chance to meet their favourite players and see the pitch up close, having their pictures taken in the Studio Eric Whalley Family Stand.

 With the support of schools and businesses across Hyndburn, this programme has now given away over 8,000 shirts and goodie bags; it is designed to encourage youngsters in the borough to take an interest in sport, get involved in sport, and feel connected to their local professional League Two team.

Lancashire Telegraph: The children were also given goodie bags at the eventThe children were also given goodie bags at the event (Image: Adam Woodhouse)

 Jimmy Bell, assistant manager of Accrington Stanley, said: "This event gets better and better every year and it has been fantastic to see all the youngsters visiting the Wham Stadium again today to collect their replica shirts and goodie bags.

 "This initiative has continued to generate new supporters for the club year-on-year, and we can't wait to see this year's students back at the Wham on Saturday, October 7, wearing their shirts and cheering us on against Forest Green Rovers."

Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn, added: "Accrington Stanley's Big Shirt Giveaway is an initiative that we are incredibly proud of here in Hyndburn.

"The number of children who have got a brand new replica shirt as part of this giveaway is absolutely amazing, and it has been magical to be here seeing all the children meeting the players."