by | Jan 22, 2024

When was the first time that Ramsbottom United played at Gigg Lane?  It was actually in our first ever season when we reached the Final of the Bury Amateur League Parks Cup in April 1967.  It was quite some game as the report in the Bury Times depicts.

Bury Amateur League Parks Cup Final
Saturday 22 April 1967

Eleven tense and exciting minutes completely changed the complexion of the Bury Amateur League’s Parks Cup Final between Bacup and Rawtenshall Grammar School Old Boys and Ramsbottom United at Gigg Lane on Saturday.  At 7.42pm with the game 62 minutes old, Ramsbottom scored the last of their goals and seemed set for an easy victory.  At 7.53pm, shattered, demoralised and disbelieving, they were 4-3 down.

The game has been won and lost in a few brief moments of commendable opportunism and tragi-comedy mistakes.  For Ramsbottom, who until then had dictated the match with a shaky but sufficiently strong hand, the timetable of disaster went like this:

63 minutes: Fisher, the Old Boys’ inside right, took the ball casually down the wing and send over a high, dipping centre.  Inside left Hindle and goalkeeper Ward went up for it together, but neither got within two feet of the ball, which dropped into the net under the bar.

64 minutes: A long clearance found centre forward Baron unmarked.  He raced away, and his shot from 10 yards was unstoppable.

70 minutes: A shot from right half Calvert hit the bar and bounced out.  His second shot was miss-hit, but in the scramble which followed, Fisher got his foot to the ball and forced it over the line.

74 minutes: From a left wing corner, the ball came out to Calvert on the edge of the penalty area.  His lob cleared the Ramsbottom defenders and dropped under the bar.

From looking slow and jaded, the Old Boys had bounced back to completely overcome the Ramsbottom challenge.  It is possible to sympathise with United but they were beaten by a side which managed to find extra reserves of stamina and spirit when all seemed lost.

Ramsbottom had taken the lead in the opening minute of the game when centre-forward Fielding headed home a cross from the left-wing.

The Old Boys’ defence had looked alarmingly vulnerable throughout the first half, and 12 minutes after the interval Ramsbottom took advantage to go further ahead.  Goalkeeper Lindsay fumbled a bad back pass as Seeley rushed in, and the outside left dribbled past him before shooting from point blank range.

Fielding got his second goal five minutes later, when Lindsay made another bad handling mistake.  The ‘keeper dropped the ball as he was challenged and Fielding ran on to help it over the line.

After the match, Bury’s Recreation Grounds Superintendent, Mr. John Isherwood, congratuled both teams and officials before presenting the Parks Cup to the Old Boys’ side.