Adam Stansfield: Exeter City and Yeovil prepare to remember striker

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Adam Stansfield
Adam Stansfield scored 39 goals in four years with Exeter City

Exeter City and Yeovil Town are only 45 miles apart, but on Saturday they will be drawn even closer as they celebrate the life of Adam Stansfield.

The 31-year-old forward died of bowel cancer in August 2010, and five years on the fixture computer has pitted his two former clubs against one another.

"The fact that both clubs have an affinity with Adam brings us that tad closer," said Exeter boss Paul Tisdale.

"We'll always do our very best not to forget Adam."

As a lower-league footballer, he was known by many fans thanks to Geoff Stelling regularly remarking that 'Lisa will be pleased'external-link each time he scored one of his 72 career league goals on Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday.

Stanno's stats
Played 299 games for Yeovil Town, Hereford United and Exeter City
Scored 83 goals, including one for Yeovil when they won FA Trophy in 2002
Won promotion four times with all three of his clubs

But as well as sharing a surname with a famous singer, 'Stanno' shared a mutual respect from the fans who saw him play for Yeovil, Exeter and Hereford United, having gained promotion from the Conference to the Football League with all three sides and was part of Exeter's team that were promoted to League One in 2009.

"He was one of those players that supporters identified with because of his energy and work rate," added Tisdale.

"He was blessed with incredible athleticism, which does help when it comes to that ability to work hard.

"There'd often be an opportunity where a supporter would say 'If I could be a City player how would I play?' And I think a lot would say they'd play like Adam Stansfield, just because he gave absolutely everything for 95 minutes and ran himself into the ground and worked very hard for his team-mates.

"He scored some vital goals for us, but I think it was his attitude and the way he played for his club that made him that bit special."

Supporters at Saturday's League Two match at St James Park, which is two days before the fifth anniversary of Stansfield's passing, will have a minute's applause in the seventh and ninth minutes, the numbers he wore for Yeovil and Exeter respectively.

Exeter retired their number nine shirt for nine seasons after Stansfield's death, but it is hard to imagine any player who may wear that number after 2019 having a place in the hearts of Exeter fans that Stansfield still holds to this day.