The club’s leading goalscorer, Russ Brierley, looks back over his seven season career with Ramsbottom United.

Name: Russell Brierley
Goals: 175
Seasons: 7 – 1996/97 to 2002/03

How did you come to join Ramsbottom United?
I was playing for Cheadle Town at the time but living in Tottington, which meant travelling a fair distance even for home games. I knew Ken Bridge, who was Rammy manager at the time, so I spoke to him and he invited me along to train with them. I did quite well and the rest is history really.

Rammy highlight?
Winning ‘league best player’ as this was voted for by all of the other teams in the league and showed me that, whilst they hated me when I was playing against them, they respected me. It is also nice to still be the top goal scorer at Rammy!

Favourite game?
Many highlights really so this is difficult. If I had to single one out I would say scoring the winning and only goal in a hard fought game against our local rivals Rossendale United. It was soon after Ken Bridge had died so pretty emotional and it was fantastic to dedicate the goal and the win to him.

Rammy lowlight?
Ken Bridge’s death obviously. He suffered a massive heart attack in the dressing room straight after a game against Cheadle Town (on 20 February 2001) in which we’d played awful and lost, so the lads all felt responsible. I travelled up to the hospital straight away and was there when they confirmed he had passed away. I’ll never forget how low I felt in that moment.

Best player you played with?
Impossible to say. I was lucky enough to play with a lot of great players and they all had different qualities so what defines best? They all made me look good I guess so I loved playing alongside them.

Player to avoid on the pitch?
My brother Warren. He played at centre half and even if you got the ball past him he didn’t let you past. He modelled himself on Vinny Jones!

Funniest moments?
So many of these on our trips to Ireland and Newcastle In particular but I think our end of season barge trip on the River Thames has to be up there. We somehow ended up sailing into a private yachting marina and nearly wiped out a few of them. The guy who worked there nearly had a heart attack! The whole trip was eventful and we subsequently got black flagged from boating holidays on the Thames.