The very bad weather that had battered the North West over the previous month arrived with a vengeance in Ramsbottom over Christmas Day and evening as the storm left the ground completely flooded.
The River Irwell, yet again, broke its banks and left both the cricket ground and the football ground under water as well as the majority of the town as well.
It not only caused the Bank Holiday Monday match at home to Workington to be postponed but the next five weeks worth of home games as the great mop-up commenced as the dressing rooms, tea bar, generator room and secretary’s office had all been heavy affected as well, of course, as the playing surface.
A sterling effort from club volunteers and the wider football family helped get the ground back to a playable state and we were finally able to return home on February 23 with a 3-0 home loss against Skelmersdale United.
The club will never forget the incredible effort from everyone who got themselves involved in the clean-up, including our friends from Sutton Coldfield Town, who travelled up especially to offer their help. It was a superb gesture of solidarity and we saw more as opposing clubs raised funds to help during matches against us.
It remains the worst flooding the club has had to endure, surpassing the summer floods of July 2012, and, thankfully we have not had to face anything similar since – although the River Irwell did try in February 2020 but the new drainage worked wonders and the waters receded as quickly as it arrived.
Everyone hopes that the scenes in the pictures, taken by Chris Woolfall on the day, will never be repeated.