Very sad to hear the news about Bury FC's expulsion from the English Football League today. My pal's partner is a life long fan, and I'm thinking of her, and all Bury fans at this difficult time.
With Bury's grim fate in mind, I've just had a quick rummage through my collection of old football programmes - and came across this fascinating gem. A slim 8 page edition for the FA Cup 3rd Round tie between Bury and Arsenal on 10th January 1959. There were 29,800 spectators packed into Gigg Lane that day, watching Arsenal's David Herd scoring the only goal of the match.
This fixture was the last time that Bury FC and Arsenal met in a competitive match, and when Bury were playing in the old Third Division of the Football League.
A vivid picture of local business and social life leaps from the pages - adverts for cafes, clothing shops and breweries - all accompanying the team line-ups for both clubs. Playing for the Gunners that day were the Welsh national team goalkeeper Jack Kelsey, Tommy Docherty who would go on to manage numerous clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United, Aston Villa, as well as Scotland - and David Herd who later on twice won the old First Division with Manchester United.
As one of the adverts proclaims, there are "Fair times or Foul'. On this day, it feels like the ultimate foul has just been committed on a club that was founded way back in 1885 - and who were FA Cup winners in 1900 & 1903.
"We shall shake 'em, we are the Shakers" a club official famously declared before a big cup match. A quote that offered up Bury's nickname which stuck for well over a century. Can the shaken fans now find a way to rebuild their club?