Bury FC fans from the past who had their ashes scattered at Gigg Lane have been remembered in an "uplifting and emotional" service which included international performers.

A 3G playing surface is due to be laid at the Shakers' stadium this summer, meaning the current pitch will be dug up.

And on Sunday, a memorial service was led by opera and theatre director and funeral celebrant, Caroline Clegg.

Around 150 people attended to remember family members and friends, and joined in with the service. 

International tenor Sean Ruane, who has sung at Wembley and The Ashes, and Dan McDwyer, who brought The Choir Project Manchester to perform, were present.

Film and TV director Noreen Kershaw was also at the event and carried out a reading.

Bury Times: Sean Ruane with the choir Sean Ruane with the choir (Image: Danny Crompton)

Caroline said: “I asked if I could lead the service when I heard about the 3G pitch going in because my brother’s ashes are under the turf along with lots of other people’s.

“I built the service around being very respectful of people’s feelings and that it's quite emotional that the pitch is being dug up and our loved ones' ashes will be disturbed, but I made the service quite spiritual.”

Rector of Bury Parish Church, Rev Julian Heaton, offered prayers and a minute’s silence was observed.

Caroline said: “It was very uplifting and very emotional.

“We had Bury FC's captain, Tom Moore, and Max Harrop, who also plays for the club, who carried the Bury flag around the pitch where lots of people’s ashes were buried.

“We had a minute’s silence in honour of all those people who have ashes buried there which goes back from the 1920s up to 2023.

“It’s decades of Bury FCs great history.

Bury Times: The Bury flagThe Bury flag (Image: Danny Crompton)

“I was really proud to do it for my brother and for all.

“It was a beautiful service and wonderful readings, and I think everyone felt comforted that we’ve commemorated everybody.”

Plans are in place to create a memorial garden where ashes may be scattered in the future and there will be a memorial board where names can be listed.

Caroline added: “It was a really comforting, positive and uplifting service and it was an honour for me to be able to put it together and have such great international singers with us.”