‘Bury Till I Die’ What happens to fans when the club is expelled? BBC Stories

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COMMENTARY: In space on the right-hand side, fans on their feet… pulled across…it’s in.
(Cheering) It’s three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, we should be playing Portsmouth, here today. The teams should be running out
right about now. I normally sit right over there, at the
top of the ‘A’ of Shakers. My brother would probably be running in right about now as well. Because he’s always on the minutes. It’s a bit emotional really. Gigg Lane has been Bury FC’s
home since 1885. But in August 2019, my club was expelled from the English Football League. I’ve completely lost interest with
all sorts of football at the minute. He’ll probably watch some form
of football eventually. But, it ain’t going to be the same as what
it’s been the last 20 odd years for me. And our family going back even
more than that. It’s years worth of following this team. It doesn’t look like
there’s any chance… It just feels like it’s disappeared. Don’t you think you’ve been robbed of
making those new memories as well? Because people that don’t get football, they’re like, “just do something else on a Saturday”, it’s not that simple. You know the people that are not the real football fans, the ones who will say, “can’t you go and watch somebody else?” Or: “Go and watch Rochdale or Bolton.” You’re just, like, you’ve got no
idea really, have you. (Sung) Score lots of goals. Whose badge is this? Bury, Bury badge. I’ve come to watch my nephew George at his Saturday morning football training. We’d do this in the morning and then we’d go to the football. So, what’s it like not having football to go to in the afternoon? Because it’s making me really sad. Yep, me too. Making you sad? What did you like
about going to the football? Watching the games because I
like eating sweets. Like eating sweets! It’s sad isn’t it, this used to be hustling and bustling before matches. It’s empty, just look around,
there’s no-one here. It was packed, you couldn’t
even get to the bar. It’s been hard to accept that you’re not at a game every other Saturday. They have asked about at what point
we come back, and at the moment I can’t give
them an answer. That’s the heartbreaking thing. Because you always want to be able to give your children an answer. I do shout at the game, I am vocal. I’m really going to miss that, because that’s where I went to get rid of all the stress and the tension. The games on, you’re all going to
start heading down Brierley Street, towards Gigg Lane. All the fans coming together, chatting about what’s going to happen, the anticipation of it. Don’t let over 100 years of Bury FC flatline
the heart of Bury. There was once a club called Bury FC. That I’ve supported since I was born. My dad took me to lots of games,
every Saturday afternoon. Then when I was six my dad
got me a season ticket. Bury FC still means the world to me. When I heard the devastating news I
cried in to my dad’s arms for over an hour. I’m crying now whilst writing this. “Bury FC was something special…”
Oh, I’m going to cry. I’m a 12-year-old girl writing this with my heart torn into pieces. Bury till I die. Portsmouth fan Keith came to
Gigg Lane today even though he knew there would be no match to watch. We nearly went out of
business as well, we’ve always enjoyed coming here, we usually get beat unfortunately. I’d be happy to see us get beat here again if it meant that Bury were back in the league. I wanted to talk to Dean from Forever Bury, the supporters group that is doing all it
can to save the club. Twenty years-ish, I sat where the Village Hotel sign is, on
the right hand side. Feels like I’ve had three full-time jobs to be completely honest, but, at the end of the day, I’m in a
priviliged position where I can help. I can give time and I can help. But I think more about the staff, because they’ve been in a position
where they’ve not been properly paid for months now. I’ve had conversations with staff where
they are struggling mentally. We’re out the league, yes, but
the club isn’t dead yet. This is me and my
friend Zoe. We’ve supported, worked for, and suffered with the club,
over the years. The thing I miss is our
extended family here. The people that work here at the club have given me so much over the years. I think I can vaguely remember when you said: “Why don’t we go and ask Gordon,
the press officer… You could take photographs, I can write
match reports.” “Let’s just go and ask.” Martin the photographer
lent me his kit. This is thousands of pounds worth of kit. And taught me the craft and
the skill of doing it. Even though I went on to do
fashion photography, not only is it grit and resilience you can build up for your career, from the fact that you might not
win every week. Come rain, hail or shine, I was having to react, and learn how to photograph
in those environments. Photograph when my fingers were numb. It makes me feel really sad now, where are the Hannah and Zoe, now ? Because it’s a small town and you need
somebody to give you the chance, to start your career and get work experience. And alright, people might
have laughed at the time. Saying “Oh, Bury”, we’ve always been
mocked for being Bury fans. I feel quite proud now, everyone seems to know about Bury. This just shows how much
everybody cares. Variety of different teams that have
put stuff here, it just shows that little old Bury is big enough for people to care about. I’m hoping, if anything, this shows people there’s a need for community beyond football. It brought everybody together, and I know a lot of people have said this, it is a community, and
when that gets taken away, and it’s out of your hands, that’s the really frustrating and the heartbreaking thing about it. It’s just a nice way to
connect with everybody and it’s gutting that
it’s not there now. For a lot of people going to watch Bury,
it was their life, it was the only time in the week
they got out. What are they going to do now
on a Saturday ? Who are they going to
speak to during the week? For some people that was their only
connection to other people. A big part of life
just ripped away. When money and
power take over and you lose sight of what it’s
actually all about which is – people. It was Danny Boyle that said it, and
he’s a known Bury fan. He said: “In the end there’s nowhere
to go but where you come from.” I’d rather be down the road watching
Bury FC at Gigg Lane this afternoon. But instead we’ve come along to see how Helen is supporting her partner Jon who plays cricket. You’ll get Jon now. So next week – no football, no cricket. I’ll probably just do stuff on the house…shopping. God, it’s just rubbish isn’t it. It is. No football for now. Yeah, for now. We’ll be back,
we’ll be back.

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