Mike Ferguson’s name was written into Accrington Stanley’s history books as the last player to score a Football League goal for the Reds before their return to the EFL in 2006.
He is also believed to be the only player transferred from the Football League to a club as, because he was under contract when Stanley resigned from the Football League in 1962, he became their property.
The midfielder was transferred to Blackburn Rovers following Stanley’s demise – Mike said the fee was £750 - where he went on to make 289 appearances and scored 36 goals over six seasons at Ewood Park.
Mike, who was born in Burnley, died aged 76 today.
Mike was the youngest professional at Peel Park, making his debut as a 17-year-old in the old Third Division against Gillingham in September 1960.
His first and only goal came against Doncaster Rovers in a 1-1 draw in February 1962, four days before Stanley’s final game of the fateful 1961/62 season – a 4-0 defeat against Crewe.
It was the last goal Stanley scored in the Football League before their return in 2006 – something Mike admitted he didn’t really think about until later in his life.
He used to travel on the bus from Burnley to Accrington and talked fondly in interviews of how the more experienced players, especially the Scottish players at the time, looked after him.
He had talked about how guilty he felt for turning down a move to Workington for £3,500 which may have prolonged Stanley’s future, he chatted about getting £7 a week and how he only realised the extent of Stanley’s problems when the players turned up on the Monday after the Crewe game – and Chris Lloyd from the Professional Footballers’ Association was there and told them it was over.
“It was a bolt out of the blue,” he said in later interviews. “But we just got on with our lives.”
He went onto play at Aston Villa and QPR, he managed Rochdale and abroad as well as scouting abroad for Terry Venables when Venables with the England manager in 1996.
Everyone's thoughts at Accrington Stanley are with Mike's family and friends at this sad time.