BURY AFC fans will be able to take a step back in time this weekend by boarding a ‘football special’ to their latest match.

The East Lancashire Railway (ELR) is offering supporters the chance to travel to their away game with Ramsbottom this Saturday via the line at discounted prices.

The ‘phoenix’ club face neighbours Ramsbottom United away at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, with kick-off at 3pm.

The heritage railway has also has rescheduled its last train from 4:47pm to 5:05pm to allow spectators time to make their way to the station after the final whistle blows, with flexibility allowing it to leave later if fans continue to arrive from the ground when the train is due to depart.

Mike Kelly, chairman of the ELR, said: “Football is such an important part of any local community, but after witnessing the collapse of Bury FC the whole community was left mourning the pride of the town.

“The creation of Bury AFC has given fans and the town something to cheer for and, as a Bury-based attraction, we want to champion our community by lending our support to the club and its supporters as much as we can.

“We’re delighted we’re able to help Bury AFC supporters get to and from the game when they play Ramsbottom United, while enjoying a scenic trip through the Irwell Valley on a steam train. It should be a great day out.”

Jon Wiggans, commercial director at Bury AFC, added: “ELR’s Bury AFC Special fare will enable fans to experience the memory and nostalgia of when they had to set off from Bolton Street Station to get to games in the past. We’re anticipating for there to be potentially 500 fans when we play Ramsbottom United, so we’re expecting there to be a good atmosphere.

“We know the pandemic affected ELR as well, because a lot of their income comes from themed weekends and events, so as a new club we too want to give back as much as we can to the community.

“We wanted to help ELR get some more footfall and we would love to work together in the future as well, so hopefully this is the start of a nice partnership which benefits both parties.”