Bury chairman issues rallying cry for Shakers fans to play as ’12th man’ in away cup clash with Norwich City

By David Aspinall

Bury fans will be hoping the Shakers can pull off a repeat of the shock upset that saw them knock Norwich City out the FA Cup five years ago.

In 2008 the Shakers knocked the Canaries out of the FA Cup third round via a replay after forcing a draw at Carrow Road – and will face them again for their Capital One Cup second round tie tonight.

That season Bury finished in the playoff places in what is now Skybet League Two, but ultimately failed in their pursuit for promotion to League One.

Had they succeeded in promotion, they would have been playing in the same league as Norwich City, following their relegation from the Championship.

New Bury chairman Stewart Day said: “The team is nearly fully assembled and its now down to the fine tuning and team awareness that only time can sort.

“The football at times was incredible and all we need is the support and belief already shown to be continued as the fans really make the difference as the 12th man!

“Norwich beckons and I think we will have over 1,000 fans at the game to really do the Town and the Club proud.

“Let’s wear our colours with pride and show the premiership club what a superb away support is. Let’s raise the roof and support the lads! Come on Bury!”

A lot has changed in the intervening five years since the 2008 FA Cup third round and both clubs find themselves a world apart.

Two months ago Bury were 24 hours away from being closed forever.

Administration was no longer an option and the club would have disappeared had it not been for Day’s £1million purchase of the club.

Only six players remain of the squad that was relegated in April following the release of 16 players in an attempt to fight off financial ruin.

As such this summer has seen 23 new faces arrive at Gigg Lane following the removal of the transfer embargo placed on them.

This embargo had come as a result of a loan taken out from the Players Football Association in December 2012 to alleviate short-term cash flow problems.

This recent influx of players, although desperately needed, has brought about some complications for manager Kevin Blackwell.

“One of the players had a word with me last week because I’d forgotten his name, and I said, ‘listen son, I don’t know anybody’s name – never mind yours’,” he told BBC Sport at the start of August.

One of these new signings is John Rooney, brother of Manchester United star Wayne, signed after his release from Barnsley in the summer.

Rooney has previously plied his trade in the United States Major League Soccer alongside fellow players Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill to name a couple.

In contrast Bury’s hosts for this evening have gone from strength to strength.

Norwich enjoyed two successive promotions between 2009 and 2011, rising from League One to the Barclays Premiership.

And following two seasons of consolidation, this summer the Chris Hughton’s team have spent an estimated £25million on strengthening their squad.

New Striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel alone cost almost nine times the amount spent to ensure Bury escaped oblivion this summer.

This visit to East Anglia marks only the second time in seven seasons that Bury have reached the second round of the Capital One Cup.

They earned this big money pay out by defeating Crewe Alexandra at home in the previous round 3-2.

The 1,000 Shakers supporters travelling to East Anglia tonight marks an increase in optimism and interest around the club.

Bury’s average home attendance last season was the lowest in League One, at 2,749, barely a tenth of the Premier League opponents tonight.

The low point came when less than 1,400 fans witnessed their 2-0 victory over Stevenage in March.

Early attendances have been up on last season’s average and should increase further with a surprise victory over Norwich tonight.

This possible increase in match day income would help move the club towards the sustainability targeted by their new chairman to ensure future security.

Bury drew their previous game, away to Burton Albion on Saturday August 24, 2-2 after having been two goals ahead.

Norwich lost their last game away to Hull City, also on August 24, 1-0 in the Barclays Premier League.

Image courtesy of BBC video, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles