Bury F.C.

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Not to be confused with Bury Town F.C., a football club in Suffolk.
Full name Bury Football Club
Nickname(s) 'The Shakers'
Founded 1885; 130 years ago (1885)
Ground JD Stadium, Bury
Ground Capacity 11,840
Chairman Stewart Day
Manager David Flitcroft
League League One
2014–15 League Two, 3rd (Promoted)
Website Club home page
Current season

Bury Football Club is an English professional football club, based in the town of Bury in Greater Manchester. The club are currently members of Football League One, the third tier in the English football league system, and play at the JD Stadium, their home ground since 1885.

Bury have been members of The Football League since 1894, and won the FA Cup in 1900 and 1903.


Formation of the club and the early years (1885–1906)[edit]

The club was formed in 1885 by Aiden Arrowsmith following a meeting at the White Horse Hotel, between the Bury Wesleyans and Bury Unitarians Football Clubs. Gigg Lane's first ever game took place on 12 September 1885 when Bury played a friendly match against Wigan, and won 4–3.

In 1887 the first shed was built at Gigg Lane at a cost of £50 (although this debt was written off and never paid for), also in the same year Bury recorded their record defeat, 0–10 v. Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup's 1st round.

Bury's first ever floodlit game took place on 5 November 1889, when a crowd of 6,000 saw Bury defeated 4–5 by Heywood Central. In 1892 Bury were Lancashire Challenge Cup Winners, before joining the Football League Second Division in 1894, which they won at the first attempt, being undefeated at home all year, and beating Liverpool in a play-off at Stoke, to go up to the First Division. They stayed there until 1912. Bury's membership of the Football League from 1894 is now the 3rd longest ongoing run (after founders Preston North End and Notts County).

On 21 April 1900 they beat Southampton 4–0 in the FA Cup final at Crystal Palace, and returned to the London venue in 1903. The second win was achieved without conceding a goal in the entire competition, including a record FA Cup Final score of 6–0 over Derby County on 18 April, which remains the highest ever victory in an FA Cup Final.

The Bury team pictured in 1892

In 1906 the South Stand was built at Gigg Lane. And by 1922, the ground was finally handed over to the club from the Earl of Derby as a gift. In 1924 the Main Stand was built, during this period Bury's ground was one of the best in the Football League.

Building strong foundations (1907–1985)[edit]

In 1923 they were promoted again, and in 1926 they achieved their highest League position ever, fourth in the First Division. But two years later they were relegated and have so far not played top-flight football again. Steady decline followed and by 1971, they had reached the Fourth Division for the first time.

The Hugh Eaves years (1985–2003)[edit]

The club's greatest benefactor was Hugh Eaves, a local benefactor under the stewardship of whom Bury were promoted to the second tier of English football following back to back promotions.

In 1998–99, Bury were relegated from the second tier on goals scored, the only team to have ever done so.

Bury, along with long-fallen former First Division regulars Huddersfield Town and Grimsby Town pushed to remain at that level, only to see their plans being derailed by the financial crisis caused by the collapse of ITV Digital. In 2001–02, the club was relegated to League Two following a spell in administration for financial irregularities.[1]

In May 2005, Bury became the first football club to score a thousand goals in each of the top four tiers of the English football league.[2]

In 2006, Bury became the first team to ever be thrown out of the FA Cup after fielding an ineligible player.[3]

After the FA Cup debacle, Bury failed to win in 16 games, and relegation to the Conference beckoned for the first time in the club's history. They survived the relegation battle of the 2006–07 season, where a 0–0 draw with Stockport County ensured they would stay up to play another season in League Two.

It was announced on 14 January 2008 that co-managers Chris Casper and Keith Alexander had been sacked, the board terminating the pair's contracts simultaneously. A club statement said the pair had "lost the confidence of a large majority of the fans". Chris Brass, formerly the manager of the club's Centre of Excellence, was given the vacant manager's post on a caretaker basis. His first match in charge resulted in a cup upset, the Shakers knocking Norwich City out of the FA Cup in the third round. Despite this early success, results remained inconsistent, and a more full-time solution was sought by the board after Brass led Bury to a humiliating 5–1 home defeat to MK Dons.

Alan Knill era[edit]

Chart of table positions of Bury in the Football League.

On 4 February 2008, Bury appointed Alan Knill as manager. A former player with over 140 appearances, he went to coach the side from second-to-bottom up to 13th position during the 2007–08 season.

In his first full season in charge, Knill led Bury to 4th place, missing out on automatic promotion by a single goal. In the play-offs, Bury won the first leg against Shrewsbury 1–0. During the second leg, Bury missed a penalty and Shrewsbury scored with only two minutes of normal time remaining. Bury ultimately lost 5–3 on penalties, leaving them in the fourth tier.

In Knill's second full season in charge (2009–10), promotion seemed like a real possibility with Bury near the top of the table in February, but a poor run of form late on in the season meant they would have to settle for 9th position.

On 31 March 2011, Knill and Assistant Manager Chris Brass left the club to take over at struggling Championship side, Scunthorpe United.[4] The next day, Youth Team Manager Richie Barker was announced as caretaker manager.[5]

Promotion 2010–2011 Season[edit]

After Richie Barker took over as caretaker manager on 1 April 2011, he guided the side to promotion to League One with a stunning run of six consecutive wins, culminating in a thrilling 3–2 victory in which Ryan Lowe scored the 87th minute winner to send the Shakers (Bury FC) up at league leaders and ultimate champions Chesterfield. This saw the club return to the third tier of English football for the first time since 2002. Barker was subsequently appointed as the club's permanent manager.[6]

League One 2011–2013[edit]

Under Barker's stewardship, the team finished their first season back in the third tier in a respectable 14th position. Despite retaining the nucleus of the squad Alan Knill had previously assembled, some key players had left during pre-season and the team was expected to struggle in a competitive league featuring the likes of Preston North End, Charlton Athletic and both of the Sheffield teams. The sale of Ryan Lowe to Sheffield Wednesday was of particular note. The season was judged as a success in all quarters.

Barker had enhanced his reputation, proving his worth over the duration of a full campaign, and during the 2012–13 pre-season, he was approached to become the manager of newly promoted Crawley Town. The departure of the manager during this crucial time threatened to disrupt preparations for the coming season, and the board moved quickly to install Peter Shirtliff (Barker's assistant) as caretaker manager for the beginning of the season. Shirtliff made public his desire for the role on a full-time basis, and the board were said to be considering this option, dependent on results. Unfortunately for Shirtliff, the team was unable to manage a win in the opening 8 games of the season, and despite impressive draws away from home against Coventry City and Sheffield United, the team found themselves bottom of the table.

It was announced on 26 September 2012 that the board had hired Kevin Blackwell as permanent manager.[7] Blackwell had previously managed at Leeds United and Sheffield United, and his appointment was widely regarded as something of a coup for Bury. Blackwell began his tenure with a 2–2 draw at Stevenage followed by a 1–0 home loss to Swindon prompting him to blast some of his players as 'garbage'.

After being winless in his first five games in charge of Bury before they beat Hartlepool 2–1 to earn their first win of the season, the result sparked a run of form which saw Blackwell's side lose only once in eight games in all competitions, a spell which included five victories. Bury were a point clear of the relegation zone by the end of November, a remarkable turnaround from being seven points adrift when Blackwell took over. In mid December the club was placed under a transfer embargo due to falling into financial difficulty as a result of poor attendance figures. Bury were officially relegated from league one on Saturday 13 April 2013 after losing at home 1–0 to Oldham Athletic following a late Matt Smith header.

League Two 2013–2015[edit]

Bury finished League Two as 12th in 2013-14 season. 2014-15 was to be much more successful for Bury, they finished 3rd in League Two with a club record points haul of 85 and promotion back to League One.


Bury have a number of rivalries with local and non-local clubs.

Bury have a bitter rivalry with Bolton Wanderers, who are Bury's oldest traditional rivals. The head to head record between the two clubs is: Bury – 30 wins, Bolton Wanderers – 29 wins and there are 17 draws between them.

Bury's current local rivalry is arguably with Rochdale also known as the M66 Derby, a rivalry that has been heightened by acts of hooliganism between the clubs. Rochdale have largely been in the same league as Bury in recent times and are the closest Football League club to Bury.

Bury's third rival are Oldham Athletic, another club within close proximity of Bury. This rivalry intensified at the end of the 2012–2013 season when Bury were relegated by Oldham after a 1–0 loss at home.

Bury also have smaller rivalries with local clubs such as Burnley, Preston North End and Accrington Stanley. Bury also have a mild dislike for Tranmere Rovers, with the supporters of the two clubs referring to each other as 'Plastic Mancs' and 'Plastic Scousers' respectively.

Bury unusually have a more recent rivalry with York City. In the 2013–2014 season when Bury played York, a fight between both clubs 'firms' broke out due to an apparent attack on a woman[citation needed], who was a York City fan. Mild footage can be seen on a documentary made by the BBC called 'Football's Fight Club' however it is still unknown why the violence truly occurred.


Current squad[edit]

As of 6 February 2015.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 Wales DF Craig Jones (vice-captain)
4 England MF Andrew Tutte
6 Nigeria MF Kelvin Etuhu
7 England FW Hallam Hope
9 England FW Danny Rose
10 England MF Danny Mayor
11 England DF Chris Hussey
15 England FW Ryan Lowe
16 England DF Keil O'Brien
17 Wales FW Daniel Nardiello
No. Position Player
19 England MF Tom Soares
23 England DF Joe Riley
26 England GK Rob Lainton
27 England DF Nathan Cameron (captain)
35 England MF Scott Burgess
36 Scotland GK Jack Ruddy
37 England FW Anthony Dudley
- England DF Peter Clarke
- England FW Leon Clarke
- England FW Tom Pope

Out on loan[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Former managers[edit]



Cup wins[edit]

Minor wins[edit]


  • Bury FC hold the record of the highest winning score in the FA cup Final (6-0 1903)
  • Record League victory: 8–0 v Tranmere Rovers, 10 January 1970
  • Record Cup victory: 12–1 v Stockton, FA CUP 1st rnd Replay 2 February 1897
  • Record defeat: 0–10 Blackburn Rovers, FA CUP Premlim 1 October 1887, 0–10 West Ham United, FL Cup 2nd Rnd 25 October 1982
  • Furthest progess in the League Cup: Semi-final 1962
  • Only club to score 1000 goals in each of the top 4 English leagues
  • Top goal scorer in a season: Craig Madden 43 goals 1981–82 season (35 league & 8 Cup)
  • Top goal scorer overall: Craig Madden, 153 (129 league, 25 cup) goals from 1977 to 1986
  • Most Appearances: Norman Bullock, 539 (506 league, 33 Cup) games from 1920 to 1935
  • Youngest player in a league game: Jimmy Kerr – 16 years and 15 days
  • Oldest player in a league game: Bruce Grobbelaar – 40 years and 337 days
  • Most capped player: Bill Gorman, 11 caps for Eire (Ireland)
  • Record attendance: 35,000 v Bolton Wanderers FA CUP 3rd Rnd, 9 January 1960
  • Most undefeated league matches: 18 games – 1960–61, 2002–03
  • Most undefeated home games: 25 – 1967–68 season
  • Most undefeated away matches: 9 – 2015
  • Most goals consecutively scored: Ryan Lowe 10 goals in 9 games, 2010–11
  • In August 2005 Bury became first club to score 1000 goals in every division
  • First European club to sign a player from the Indian sub-continent, Baichung Bhutia[8]

Online media[edit]

  • Bury has a Twitter feed and Facebook page which is constantly updated with information about the club on a daily basis. When a match is in progress the Twitter feed provides live text coverage of the game to its followers.
  • The club also has an online video service called Player, where users can pay a subscription fee to see exclusive interviews, live commentary and match highlights.


  1. ^ "Shakers' fans take control". BBC News. 31 May 2002. 
  2. ^ "1000 goals for bury". BBC News. 25 August 2005. Retrieved 1 October 2007. 
  3. ^ "Chester take bury's FA Cup place". BBC News. 20 December 2006. Retrieved 20 December 2006. 
  4. ^ Bury FC confirm departure of Alan Knill
  5. ^ "Statement from the directors – Richie Barker takes charge". buryfc.co.uk official website. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Barker promoted to Bury manager". BBC News. 1 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Kevin Blackwell named new manager of Bury". BBC News. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Indian striker joins English club". BBC. 30 September 1999. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 

External links[edit]