by | Jan 22, 2024

Manchester Optical

GAME OFF – As expected due to the heavy and continual rain, tonight’s match at Gigg Lane has been postponed.

Did anyone involved at Ramsbottom United ever imagine that they would be making the short trip to Bury’s Gigg Lane on a level league playing field? The mighty Bury, the town’s team, the FA Cup winners … against Rammy in the same league? It’s happening on Tuesday night!

Manchester Optical

MATCH: Bury v Ramsbottom United
VENUE: Gigg Lane, Bury, BL9 9HR
COMPETITION: North West Counties League Premier Division
DATE: Tuesday 23rd January 2024
KICK-OFF: 7:45pm

ADMISSION: Tickets can be purchased in advance (see below). Or the admission charges oin 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.

TICKETS: You can pre-purchase a ticket from the Bury FC website at

PARKING: 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

The Shakers v The Rams. It is a game that has been highlighted in the diaries of many for a long time (although this is a re-arrangement from mid-December). Rammy playing at Gigg Lane. We’ve been there before, in various local club finals but not since Boxing Day 2006 when the hosts were FC United of Manchester who were sharing the ground with the League Two club.

Six divisions separated Rammy and Bury then. Today, just 14 league places do as the trials and tribulations of Bury Football Club have engrossed the local football scene for a number of years, with the expulsion from the Football League, the arrival of Bury AFC and then the battle of the merger between the phoenix club and the original, recreated one.

So, here we are. The Rams make the short trip one junction down the M66 or a little trundle down the A56 or go through Brandlesholme down the A676. Or take the 472 bus – unfortunately no steam trains on a Tuesday night! It is just six miles but, historically, many more!

The Rams come into this game having not played for 10 days since the desperately disappointing late 2-1 reverse to strugglers Skelmersdale United.

Our hosts are the same situation having not played since January 13 but their run of four straight victories and scoring 13 goals without reply has kept them firmly in the promotion shake-up, trailing Wythenshawe Town by a single point but with two games in hand.

Form wise, you cannot see anything beyond a home win in front of their sizable support – which is averaging 3,341 this season and would be the largest ever crowd to see a Ramsbottom United game should it match any of their home gates this campaign.

But the Rams gave a good account of themselves in the League Cup tie back in November when a 95th minute Bury equaliser took the game to penalties which the visitors won 6-5. A similar performance with a slightly different result will certainly boost the optimism around the HWRS that those play-off places are still within their grasp.

It will be a decided new look Ramsbottom United side too with a number of players having decided to leave but four new faces will be in the blue shirts on Tuesday night as manager Steve Wilkes looks to ensure that those hopes are not extinguished too early.

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 over 2,000 packed into the HWRS in November.


“We know this will be a tough game against a good Bury side who could take top spot in the table back again if they win.

“It has been a difficult week for the club with the comings and goings but that’s football and we will make the trip to Gigg Lane wanting to get ourselves out of this rut we have found ourselves in.

“But we do need to dust ourselves off and really get stuck in on Tuesday night. We played very well against them in the League Cup game and I want to see something of the same in this game.”