by | Apr 10, 2024

Manchester Optical

Will it? Won’t it? Could it actually happen? No, it’s not Coronation Street! Could the Rams finally make the shortest trip of the season one junction down the M66 and, at the fourth time of asking, get through the gates of Gigg Lane for this much anticipated and long awaited local derby.

Manchester Optical

MATCH: Bury v Ramsbottom United
VENUE: Gigg Lane, Bury, BL9 9HR
COMPETITION: North West Counties League Premier Division
DATE: Thursday 11th April 2024
KICK-OFF: 7:45pm

Admission charges on the gate are Adults – £10, 16-18 year olds – £5, Under 16s – £3 (expect children under 12 to be accompanied by an adult), Under 5s – FREE.

Around the stadium there is street parking available. Please check road signs as some of the streets are residents only and need a permit. Ground parking is for players, officials and committee only. Further information is available here

Bury FC have requested that supporters enter the ground via the Cemetary End (East Stand) even if they have tickets for the South Stand.

Commentary of the game will be available via Roch Valley Radio and the game will also be streamed live – details will appear on Bury FC’s website on the day of the game.

It was supposed to have been 9th December but was postponed due to us being in the FA Vase 3rd Round. We tried on 23rd January but it rained. We tried on 6th February but it rained some more. We tried on the 19th March, yep, it was very wet again. Four attempts, four different months – can the fifth attempt be the one?

It’s The Shakers v The Rams. The ‘Black Pudding’ Derby – Bury makes them, Rammy lobs ’em! The M66 Derby! The East Lancashire Railway Derby! Call it whatever you want, but it is a game that many, you would think, have been looking forward to for a very long time – well, since December at least to be precise.

And with just nine official days left of this exhaustingly long season, the Rams, at last, get their opportunity to play the town’s team. Even thinking about the long standing football league club, our near neighbours of just 6.6 miles away, who many Rammy supporters have followed and supported – being in the same league as us is just remarkable in itself.

This, of course, is the reborn Bury FC, the reformed club after the events of 2019 and the formation of the phoenix AFC. And the Rammy faithful will make their way to Gigg Lane for the first time since Boxing Day 2006 when the hosts were FC United of Manchester who were sharing the ground with the then League Two club knowing that, with just three games remaining for the hosts, they could do some damage to their automatic promotion hopes.

Bury’s last three games are against the Rams on Tuesday, Padiham at home on Saturday and then the Rams again a week later at a sold out Harry Williams Riverside Stadium. It’s funny how things turn out.

For the Rams, there is much still to play for, if only much of it being pride. Six games still to go, the Rams are nine points shy of Cheadle in 16th and West Didsbury and Cholton in 15th with games in hand. A finish in the lower mid-table would, whilst still hugely disappointing in the larger scheme of things, at least give the Rams a little something to smile about.

Whereas Bury are four points behind Wythenshawe Town with a game in hand. It is one out of the Wythenshawe duo and Bury that will clinch the automatic promotion place. Town are top of the form table, Wythy fifth while Bury are down in 14th having won two of their last six – the two being at Prestwich Heys and home to AFC Liverpool last time out.

Victory for the home side is crucial and that brings it’s own pressures. The Rams, fresh from a huge morale boosting 1-0 win over hugely in-form Cheadle Town on Saturday can look at this game as a bit of a ‘free hit’ – we’d love to win and go out and play. A huge crowd will be expectant but with only one win in their last four at Gigg, anything could happen!

The first ever league fixture between the Rams and the Shakers. The second meeting between the Rams and this incarnation of Bury FC.

Tony Cunningham’s match report from the league cup game is here to remind you of what happened when nearly 1,700 packed into the HWRS in November.


It is certainly not the Rams first trip down the valley to Gigg Lane … we did it in our first ever season in the Bury Amateur League Parks Cup Final agaisnt Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School Old Boys in 1967.

Have a read of the report from that evening.


“The game every fan would have looked at when the fixtures came out has finally arrived – and we hope that we can actually get the game on this time!

“The players won’t need any motivation for this one. It’s Bury v Rammy and that’s all you need to know.

“We played some great football in our last game and fully deserved the three points so the lads know what they need to do, to take what they felt on Saturday into this game.”