David Hargreaves was Stanley’s talisman for a large part of the of 1970’s and 80’s.
Hargreaves was first spotted playing for Whinney Hill in local football and was signed by reds boss Jimmy Hinksman in 1974.
Hargreaves soon got to grips with football at a higher level and scored a breathtaking 56 goals in the 1975-76 season, which is a club record and one that is unlikely ever to be broken. His exploits gained the attention of Blackburn Rovers, who wanted to take Hargreaves on loan, but Stanley refused, insisting Rovers would have to pay a fee. The following year both Crewe Alexandra and Everton showed interest but it was not until February 1978 that Dave finally got his chance in the Football League, when Blackburn paid Stanley £1,000 for him. This was the first transfer fee the club received but sadly he managed only two games in a blue and white shirt, although one was a rare live television game. As part of the transfer, Stanley played Rovers and David had the honour of captaining Blackburn in the game, a 3-3 draw enjoyed by around 800 people.
Just seven months after joining Rovers, David was released and returned to the Crown, much to the delight of the reds faithful and the following season he again proved his commitment to the cause by scoring 51 goals, and was named Cheshire League Player of the Year.
Hargreaves, at the level Stanley were playing at that time, was a true ‘goal machine’ and some of his goalscoring feats make for remarkable reading – 18 hat tricks, four goals in a game on five occasions and even five goals in one game. He scored Stanley’s goal in the 1984 A.T.S. Lancashire Trophy Final but was only able to pick up a runners-up medal with Stanley going down 2-1 to South Liverpool.
Dave was the first player to be honoured with a testimonial year in 1984 and in December of that year he was presented with a cheque for over £2,000. He eventually left the club in 1985, having scored over 300 goals.
David Hargreaves very sadly passed away in 2018 but there is no doubt he is an Accrington Stanley Legend.