AROUND 350 Bury supporters are set to take in Blackburn Rovers’ Boxing Day fixture at the invitation of the Ewood Park club.

Chief executive Steve Waggott says the club have ‘extended the football friendship’ to give Shakers fans the chance to watch a game for free over the festive period.

Bury were expelled from the EFL in August and the North West Counties League are currently considering the possibility of a phoenix club, under the name of Bury AFC, becoming a non-league outfit next season.

Rovers supporters raised the idea of inviting Bury supporters to a game earlier in the season at a fans’ forum meeting, but Waggott didn’t feel the time was right with the club’s future still hanging in the balance.

With the Shakers having since been expelled from the EFL, Waggott says the time is “unfortunately right” to extend the offer, which is set to see a group of supporters attend the Championship game with Birmingham City on December 26.

Waggott said: “There is a contact we’ve got from one of the Supporters’ Trust, he’s a key influencer, and he contacted us initially.

“We have since picked it up and said we had to do it and extend the football friendship.

“We are a football community. I have met a few Bury supporters who said what a great gesture it is.

“A few of our fans asked us to do it before.

“But that was the wrong time because there had been no decision on the club and we didn’t want to be seen as poaching their fans.

“That would have been the headline, even though we weren’t doing that, it could have been an issue at the time.

“But now the timing is unfortunately right we have invited them.

“We haven’t put a cap on it, but are looking at around 350.”