A FORTNIGHT on from Bury’s heroic performance at neighbours Bolton Wanderers in the Capital One Cup and captain Jim McNulty admits he still gets goose bumps at the thought of it.
Don’t talk to him about the result, as the 29-year-old skipper is still unable to accept the Shakers had victory prised from their grasp.
But the Runcorn-born defender, pictured, believes memories of the atmosphere created by nearly 2,500 travelling supporters inspired him and his team-mates to pick up seven points from their next three league matches.
“The support on the night was phenomenal, and I wasn’t the only one to say that,” he said.
“We were talking about it in the changing room. When we came out of that tunnel, went through the handshakes and ran over to our stand to do our warm-up there was this roar.
“Just thinking about it gives me goose bumps now, as it did on the night. It felt like we were in a big game and I haven’t felt like that for a long time. The longer you go on in the game the more you get used to rolling out the games but that felt like something special and the fans made it special.”
For McNulty, who faced up to a possible premature end to his career five years ago after rupturing his right kidney playing for Brighton and later having it removed, every game is cherished.
But the build-up to the cup battle at the Macron just increased the anticipation, and opened his eyes to the rivalry between the two clubs.
“We were reminded in small doses all week,” he revealed.
“Staff who work at the ground were telling me they couldn’t wait for it, educating me about the derby to be honest.
“Hearing little stories that fans had snuck up in the night and put a Bury kit on (the statue of) Mr Lofthouse and stuff like that.
“I’m not going to say that was a nice thing to do, but it just made me realise how big the derby was.
“Even all the fighting I heard about that the fans were doing – I know these are not good things at all but they sort of come around at big games.
“Everything pointed to it being a big game and it felt like it on the night. The fans were tremendous – unbelievable.
“It was just a shame about the result, but in my mind I believe we beat Bolton 1-0. I’m not going to say any more about that because I might get into trouble.”