BURY AFC has praised its passionate fanbase for acting as the club's main motivation for achieving promotion last weekend.

The phoenix club were crowned champions of the North West Counties League, Division One North, after beating St Helens Town on Sunday in an almost flawless season.

After losing just one game all season, the club's "for the fans" philosophy is the secret to its success, with its community-focused ethos a key driver towards its win in the first league to which it gained entry.

Following Bury FC’s expulsion from the Football League in 2019, due to longstanding financial difficulties, the fan-owned team rose to take its place, prioritising inclusivity and financial sustainability.

Board chairman, Marcel de Matas said: “A lot of the players that we have played for other teams but for a number of years.

“They are absolutely dedicated to the call.

“They’ve played higher up the football league structure or the non-league structure in teams which were playing at a much higher level than us.

“They made the conscious decision to do that primarily because we’ve got a large and passionate fan base behind us at this level of football, so for them they come down to play for us, they put everything in in terms of training twice a week, coming and playing matches sometimes twice a week in all manner of weather."

Marcel also said that Bury’s win is not only significant for the players, but is also testament to the work of the club's volunteers.

He added: “The level of hard work that’s gone in among the entire fanbase to bring us this success, everyone has gone above and beyond the call of the duty."

Shaker’s community CBS chairman, Phil Young, added that the concept of an inclusive club was not convincing to everyone.

He said: “Lots of people told us that it wasn’t possible and that we were wasting our time.

“We’ve won a league, but we’ve won a league doing it in a very specific way, we’ve not been paying through the nose for players."

Phil says that the atmosphere on Sunday at Stainton Park, the club’s home ground in Radcliffe, was one of “elation”.

He said: “By the time I left the ground, the place was singing louder than anybody else at that point in time.

“It was just a really nice atmosphere, and there were a lot of those older supporters and a lot of kids there as well.

“It’s become quite a new, warm welcoming place for people."