BURY AFC will fund a new charity initiative using funds procured from an unusual source - Bury FC owner Steve Dale.

The Shakers were thrown out of the Football League in August 2019 when owner Dale’s bid to sell the club – just promoted to League One – fell through.

By that November, the controversial businessman had placed the club into administration prompting some fans to set up Bury AFC with the club subsequently accepted into the North West Counties League Division One.

However, in July 2020, Dale applied to the UK Intellectual Property Office to register a trademark containing Bury FC’s crest which includes the town of Bury’s coat of arms. The trademark had not previously been registered by Bury FC.

Bury AFC asked its members if they wanted to legally oppose Dale’s application with a massive 99 per cent of the 600 who responded agreeing that they should. The new Shakers were supported by Bury Council in their counter-move and in March this year they were successful in defeating Dale's attempt.

A spokesperson for Bury AFC said: "We can confirm that the Intellectual Property Office have also instructed Steve Dale to pay Bury AFC £500 in costs.

"It’s not a huge amount but we felt it would be an appropriate way to start a new initiative so we are using the £500 to purchase four adult season tickets, and have asked two fantastic local organisations we have already been working with to distribute them to those people in the community they think are the most deserving.

"The organisations we’ve chosen to distribute tickets are Bury Hospice and Bury Community Support Network. Both organisations provide vital assistance and support to the people of Bury and we felt it only right that they have a pair of season tickets using the money we’ve recovered.

"Bury Hospice have informed us they will rotate their tickets amongst their volunteers as a thank you for the vital assistance they provide.

"Bury Community Support Network have informed us that they will offer the season tickets to service users who have fallen on hard times and otherwise would be unable to attend games.

"We hope all of those who are given the opportunity to attend as a result of this initiative thoroughly enjoy their trip to the Neuven Stadium."

Tina Harrison MBE, who is the foodbank lead volunteer for Bury Community Support Network, said:“Bury Community Support Network wishes to thank Bury AFC for the season tickets for the upcoming season. This will allow people with limited income something to look forward to and hopefully enjoy in the coming months.”

Rachel Wallace, head of marketing, communications and fundraising for Bury Hospice was equally thankful for the offer of two season tickets, added: "Thank you so much to Bury AFC for the Season Tickets donated to Bury Hospice which we will be offering to our amazing Volunteers.

"You may know that as a charity we rely on the support of our army of volunteers who tirelessly give up their time to support our work. With every penny counting, it is amazing to receive these free tickets which we will be using to thank our volunteers who love football. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."