It’s a moment that Shakers fans have been waiting two and a half years to see.
Supports have finally returned to Bury FC’s Gigg Lane for the first time since their club dropped out of the football league in 2019.
Images from inside the ground show the empty rooms and disused seating that has been waiting for fans to return.
The existence of the 137 year old club has been doubt ever since Bury were kicked out of the Football League in 2019 – and then subsequently fell into administration.
Math Pickup, from Est. 1885, one of the two fan groups involved in saving the club, said that it was ‘exciting’ and ‘pretty surreal’ to unlock Gigg Lane for the first time on Monday (January 10).
“There’s been times I haven’t been so sure [it would pull through] but the last few weeks have been more and more promising.
“That physical thing of having the keys feels way more real than just having to stand outside it. Having the keys is such a big thing,” he said.
After years of being locked up, Gigg Lane isn’t in the state it once was.
“There’s been vandalism and damage and it’s not been looked after, particularly in the rooms and in the lounge,” Math said.
He said that the pitch is a bit overgrown but that it’s not as bad as ‘people might have thought’.
“It’s not overrun with trees or anything like that,” he told the M.E.N.
Nonetheless, it’ll be quite the task to clean up – but fans have already been offering to help ‘put it back into shape’.
“Loads of fans have been sending emails,” Math said.
And when they do enter the grounds – whether volunteering or otherwise – it will be quite the moment.
“It will be quite a moment actually. There might be a few tears,” he said.
Forever Bury and Est. 1885, the supporters groups who lodged a bid to acquire their iconic stadium, club, name and memorabilia, hope that the acquisition will be completed by the end of the month.
It comes after the Bury Football Club Supporters Society was handed £1m to bid for ownership of Gigg Lane, from the government’s Community Ownership Fund.
The aim is to transform the 12,500-seat ground into a cherished asset for the whole community, providing facilities for the men’s and women’s teams, youth football, local schools and the public.
It has been over two-and-a-half years since the Shakers played their last game at Gigg Lane against Port Vale, before being ejected from the Football League under the stewardship of widely unpopular owner Steve Dale.