BURY’S staff who served the club in their hour of need have been honoured with an award.

Those who fought to keep the club afloat throughout the crisis that ended with the club being expelled from the Football League were given the Unsung Hero prize at the Northwest Football Awards in Manchester.

The club’s former academy managers Mark Litherland and Ryan Kidd were on hand to pick up the gong at Emirates Old Trafford and paid an emotional tribute to all those who had carried on at Gigg Lane despite wages going unpaid.

“A lot of staff have suffered in silence to be honest,” said Kidd, now an Under-18s coach at Blackburn Rovers, speaking on stage at the star-studded ceremony.

“They’ve not been able to tell the whole story and they still won’t.

“I think they’ve kept their decorum and behaved really well throughout this procedure.

“It has been a nightmare. For us in the academy we lost 150 kids in 24 hours, just released from their contracts from the age of eight all the way up to 18.

“To say goodbye to all those kids and leave them with no football was truly devastating.

“But everybody at Bury Football Club, the staff, I think they’ve done the club proud.

“The owners of Bury Football Club didn’t deserve the staff, the players and the fans as well to be honest. I think we’ve been really let down.”

While the club’s plunge towards oblivion came just months after promotion for the first-team, it had also been a successful campaign for the youth set-up, Litherland admitting it is difficult not to see the Shakers lining up in the FA Youth Cup this season.

“It was really tough, considering what a positive season we’d had,” he said.

“The first team got promoted, the youth team got to the quarter final of the youth cup and not to be in it this year is devastating.

“It’s been really difficult.”