SCAN........ Update on another Stockport County First !

We are indebted to County Club Historian Ian Watts for this invaluable insight on a scheme , unique in the football world, to Stockport County. Ian writes.......

The Stockport County Appearance Number (SCAN) scheme

With the SCAN scheme having had a quiet year we thought it might be useful to update people on what this non-profit scheme is about and explain why this season's players are not receiving numbers.

The Stockport County Appearance Number (SCAN) scheme was launched on Saturday 16th October 2010 and intends to recognise all players who have appeared for the club in a senior competitive match. The idea behind the scheme was to show the players the importance County supporters place in the fact that they have represented our club - something that is very significant to the fans. The guardians were conscious that for many men their time in a County shirt is only a small part of their career and is, when it comes down to it, a job of work. 
The first SCAN Certificate presented to Len Rowlands!

Every player who has played a game for the Club in a senior competition has been issued their unique Stockport County Appearance Number. This represents the order in which they have made their senior debut and once issued remains with the player forever. The SCAN criteria was to have a minimum requirement that the competition had a direct link to the Football League. It also covered the FA Cup from the first round proper and the Football League's various cup competitions. This excluded the players who had appeared for County in regional non-League football prior to 1900 and in 1904-05. Obviously when we launched we did not think that County would get relegated three times in very short time but with County now back in a regional league for the first time since 1905, we will be looking at our original plan to produce an additional certificate in recognition of a players' debut for the club.

Whilst we are in regional football players will not qualify for an appearance number - unless County reach the first round proper of the FA Cup. The additional certificate plan will also give us chance to commemorate a number of other men who played a significant part in County's history - not least those who turned out on the Heaton Norris Rec back in mid 1880's. The Club's Historical Advisors website includes details of these players.

Those qualifying for a SCAN number are due to receive a specially commissioned certificate, and where the players have passed on we aim to present the certificates to their descendants. The preparation work involves a calligrapher hand writing the player's name and debut details on the certificate before it is stamped using a wax seal and framed ready for presentation; a process involving up to four people. Each presentation is made by a County supporter - we don't want these certificates arriving in the post.
SCAN presentation to Paul Jones.

Since the first certificates were awarded on the launch day we have made over 100 presentations to current and former players and relatives of some of those now deceased. The certificates have been well received by the recipients and should act as a lasting memento of the player's career and may in some cases be the only evidence of their time in professional football.
Youngest SCAN recipient Paul Turnbull presents to George Haigh, the oldest surviving.

The scheme is managed by its guardians - and we are more than happy to find others willing to get involved. You can read more about the scheme and view the presentations made to date by visiting our sticker-album styled website at

Ongoing, Help the Hatters have established an informal link with us aiming to include SCAN presentations in their get-togethers. We are also looking to spread the reach of the SCAN scheme. Since the web site was established players and descendants from all over the world have been in touch and we have seen presentations take place in Finland and the States. We are hoping exiled fans both inside the United Kingdom and abroad who are interested in making presentations will get in touch - so we can try and ensure as many players get their certificates as possible. Let us know where you are, or where you are going (if it's a holiday trip) - and we will search our records to try and find a locally based player you might be able to present to. We are also actively looking to track down a descendant of Joe Birchenall or his sibling so we can present certificate number 1.
Brian Lloyd,Bev Wilson and Carlo Nash chat at the SCAN event !

As mentioned earlier the scheme is non-profit making and financed by donations, sponsorship of the presentations, plus the amounts we can raise by the sale of  donated items - such as old programmes. We ask for a minimum donation of £10 for presentations which covers the costs of the frame, wax, calligraphy, etc. In return the presenter receives (where possible) a personal memento signed by the player they present to and a photograph of the presentation.  We are keen to hear from anyone who might be interested in more significant sponsorship as each £10 received guarantees 1 presentation can take place - and particularly helps where the presentation is to a descendant.

Ian Watts


Top Posts

Linotype Cheadle Heath Nomads 0 Stockport County 3 ( Friendly- 8 July 2017)