Bury FC saw a host of its legendary players lace up its boots on Sunday for a historic match at the club’s home ground of Gigg Lane.

The Bury FC Legends match saw the some of the clubs most iconic players return to the club’s spiritual home to play a charity match against Burnley FC.

The match was an opportunity for fans to watch a long-awaited game of men’s football as well as to raise money for the restoration of Gigg Lane.

Proceeds from the match also went to the Len Johnrose Trust, named after Lenny Johnrose, a Bury FC and a Burnley FC legend who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2017. 

Close to 3,000 fans attended the match at Gigg Lane where Burney FC’s own legends  team beat Bury's 2-1.

But the match signified the beginning of what many hope will be the return of elite men’s football to the ground.

Bury FC Supporters Society member, Mathew Pickup, said the day went wonderfully for those who returned to see the first men’s game at Gigg Lane since 2019.

He said: “It was wonderful, we had 3,000 people there, most of which were returning Bury fans going back to Gigg Lane for the first time in three years to see a men’s match.

“We did have about 600 fans back for the three Bury FC Foundation Women’s matches back in May so this is the first time they’d seen a men’s team.

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“It was a team from the mid to late 90’s, legends of that era, managed by Stan Ternant who was the manager at that time.

“It was just a really wonderful occasion in the beautiful sunshine, a really good atmosphere.

“We heard some of the traditional chants which was wonderful to hear and it seemed to be families coming, friends reuniting just magnificent.”

“It felt very significant, there’s still work to be done in terms of getting an elite men’s team playing regularly, but it did feel like a huge step, a huge emotional step, a significant move for fans to be back in stadium which the fans are responsible for.”

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Not only did fans get to watch some of the team’s most iconic players, they also have the chance to meet them at an organised meet-and-greet.

Matthew said: “There was a chance for loads of fans to go and meet those players afterwards, have a chat, have a beer with them with just added to the whole occasion for those people”

He said that both the match and the restoration of the stadium could not have happened had it not been for the dedication of the club’s fans, who have spent months cleaning and repairing Gigg Lane.

Bury Times: Former England and Everton legend Peter Reid (Picture: Danny Crompton)Former England and Everton legend Peter Reid (Picture: Danny Crompton)

Matthew added: “I just want to praise the volunteers that have been working tirelessly over the last few months to get the ground back into a really great shape and to some of those same people to get that game on yesterday, for everyone who organised it who made it possible.”

Photos: Danny Crompton