Paul Beck’s name is synonymous with Stanley’s FA Cup success of the early nineties.
The 1992-93 season was certainly the peak of a very successful non-league career for the prolific goalscorer. Early in his career Paul actually had two short spells with Stanley before making his name as a striker at Rossendale United, scoring 30 goals in a season on two occasions before being transferred to Clitheroe, where he scored 25 goals in one term. Rossendale decided to re-sign him and his career hit new heights with a 43 goal haul helping United to the B.N.W. Counties title.
Paul’s success prompted Accrington to pay £1,000 for his services in December 1990, ending a Rossendale career that had brought him 150 goals in just under 200 games.
Again the goals flowed at Stanley and the 1992-93 season brought him over forty goals, including the three that will forever go down in Stanley’s history. His hat-trick in the F.A. Cup tie with Gateshead prompted jubilant celebrations amongst the 2,270 crowd and at the final whistle Beck was carried off the pitch shoulder high as the hero in front of the BBC Match of the Day cameras.
The second round brought him an appearance at Ewood Park against Crewe Alexandra, and although Beck didn’t manage to get on the score sheet he again excelled in the following season’s competition.
With Stanley struggling in the league, they were drawn away at Altrincham in the last qualifying round. To add to their problems, manager Phil Staley had parted company with the club just days before the tie but Paul came up with the goods once again for the reds with two superb goals in a 2-0 win which earned the club a first round tie with Scunthorpe United at Turf Moor. Stanley were edged out 3-2 by the league side and as with the previous season’s match against Crewe Alexandra, being forced to switch the games from the Crown Ground had probably cost Stanley and Paul in particular the chance to inflict greater damage on their opponents.
At times Paul’s Stanley career reached ‘Roy of the Rovers’ proportions with goals all the way and he certainly had the full repertoire, with goals from inside and outside the box, headers, volleys and even one which came off his hand, allegedly, much to the anger of the travelling Southport supporters. On the last of his 300 appearances for the club ‘Becky’ was even employed as a stand in goalkeeper at Chorley, deputising for the absent Rob Molloy.
Due to Paul living locally during his time at the club, he always had a great affinity with the supporters and was always a popular figure at Stanley.