Gigg Lane

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Gigg Lane
Gigg Lanes Manchester RD Stand.JPG
Full name The JD Stadium
Location Gigg Lane
Bury
Lancashire
Built 1885
Opened 1885
Owner Bury F.C.
Capacity 11,840
Field dimensions 112 x 73 yards
Tenants
Bury F.C. (1885-present)
Swinton Lions (1992–2002)
F.C. United of Manchester (2005–present)

Gigg Lane, also known as The JD Stadium for sponsorship purposes is an all-seater football stadium in Bury, Greater Manchester, England. Historically within Lancashire, it was built for Bury F.C. in 1885, and has been their home ever since.

History[edit]

The first match to be played at Gigg Lane was a friendly between Bury and Wigan on 12 September 1885, which Bury won 4–3. The first league game was a 4–2 victory over Manchester City on 8 September 1894 in the 1894–95 Football League Second Division.[1] The stadium has had permanent floodlights since 1953, although the first floodlit match to be played there took place in 1889, before the Football League had authorised the use of floodlights in competitive matches.

The capacity of the ground was once 35,000—and this capacity was reached when the record crowd was achieved for Bury's FA Cup third round tie against Bolton Wanderers on 9 January 1960. The game ended 1–1 and Bury lost the replay after extra time 4–2.[1]

In 1986, Gigg Lane saw its lowest ever crowd of just 461 for a Freight Rover Trophy game against Tranmere Rovers. There has never been a league crowd below 1,000 although the closest to that mark came in 1984 with a crowd of 1,096 against Northampton Town.

The ground was renamed The JD Stadium in November 2013 after Bury announced a new sponsorship deal with JD Sports.[2] Bury F.C. own the stadium outright.[3]

Structure and facilities[edit]

The stadium's current capacity is 11,840. The South Stand is the largest stand and it was renamed the "Les Hart Stand" in the summer of 2010.[4] The stand contains a pattern of blue and white seats that spell out "SHAKERS"

After the Taylor Report forced all Football League clubs to switch to all-seater stadiums, The stadium began converting all four sides of the ground in 1993, with the Cemetery End being the final terraced section to be demolished in 1999.

The Manchester Road End (capacity 2,100) was home to the club's electronic scoreboard (obtained from Leicester City's Filbert Street ground after it closed in 2002) until 2011. A new scoreboard was placed in the south-east corner of the ground a few months later.[5]

The Cemetery End (the east stand) has capacity of 2,500.

Other users[edit]

The stadium has been used for many sports other than football, such as rugby league, cricket, baseball and lacrosse. It has also been used by football clubs other than Bury: Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers have hosted reserve-team matches at the ground. FC United of Manchester have shared the ground since the 2005–06 season, although they plan to move to their own ground for the 2014–15 season.

A couple of teams have "switched" their home games to the stadium, including Preston N.E. for a League Cup tie in 1994. Non-league sides Rossendale United and Radcliffe Borough moved home F.A. Cup ties to Gigg Lane against Bolton (in 1971) and York City respectively.[1]

In 1996, the stadium was used as the filming location for the TV film based on the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, where 96 Liverpool F.C. fans died as a result of a crush on the stadium's terraces. Hillsborough Stadium was seen as an unsuitable location for the film, partly to avoid causing further distress to survivors and bereaved families, and partly because the appearance of Gigg Lane was more akin to the 1989 Hillsborough than the actual stadium was seven years after the tragedy due to redevelopment.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Gordon Sorfleet (18 June 2012). "Gigg Lane, the home of Bury Football Club". Bury FC. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Paul Handler. "Gigg Lane renamed JD Stadium after Bury FC strike commercial deal". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  3. ^ Higginson, Marc (2010-02-11). "Shakers finances are in rude health, says Catlin (From Bury Times)". Burytimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  4. ^ The Les Hart Stand buryfc.co.uk
  5. ^ "New Scoreboard installed". Buryfc.co.uk. 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  6. ^ Hillsborough at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°34′49.82″N 2°17′41.36″W / 53.5805056°N 2.2948222°W / 53.5805056; -2.2948222