A Bury FC fan says the club’s historic return to Gigg Lane was “a great relief” as the team played its first league match in four years.

Paul Thomas, 62, attended the club’s first league-level match in four years against Bradford City FC last Saturday, which ended 6-0 to Bradford.  

A lifelong Bury fan, Paul came out in support of the Shakers along with his son Kevin, 34, and his seven-year-old grandson Walter.

Following a turbulent few years for the club, which saw them thrown out of the English Football League in 2019, many fans believed they may never see a return to Gigg Lane.

Bury Times: Paul Thomas and his grandson Walter at Gigg Lane for Bury FC's historic match against Bradford City Paul Thomas and his grandson Walter at Gigg Lane for Bury FC's historic match against Bradford City (Image: Paul Thomas)

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The retired police radio operator said: “It was a great relief because we were very concerned about not ever getting back there, the last thing we wanted was for the ground to get flattened and houses to be built on it.

“It was amazing to get back there, it was a really good day.”

Paul’s mum, Sheila, who died in 2017 was also a lifelong supporter of the team and introduced him to the club as a lad.

Bury Times: Kevin Thomas and his son Walter at Gigg LaneKevin Thomas and his son Walter at Gigg Lane (Image: Paul Thomas)

He continued: “My mum took me about 50 years ago when I was about 10 and I’ve brought my son up to be a Bury fan and he’s bringing Walter up to be a Bury fan.

“It was brilliant, it brought back some great memories for me and Kevin. To me and my son it was a great feeling, it was just a relief that the club’s back where they belong at Gigg Lane.

Despite the match not ending in victory, neither Paul nor the rest of the fans felt it spoilt a historic moment for the team.

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Bury Times: Bury FC Manager Andy Welsh with WalterBury FC Manager Andy Welsh with Walter (Image: Paul Thomas)

He said: “The result didn’t matter, all we wanted to see was Bury back in the blue and white and back on the pitch at Gigg Lane.”

“Everyone who was leaving the ground was smiling, happy and chatty.”

“I think the players played well, although they were thrashed six nil I thought they played really well.

“They didn’t look like amateurs to me they looked like really great professional players, they did a good job as far as I was concerned.