Yesterday, Saturday 25th March, I took my first ever visit to Gigg Lane, home of League One side Bury FC to watch them take on Fleetwood Town. Since moving to Manchester to study football, I realised I’d only ever actually been to 3 football grounds in my life, being the Emirates, Villa Park and Camp Nou. The Emirates and Camp Nou are absolutely huge, modern, up to date technology, and to be fair Aston Villa’s Villa Park isnt very far behind after only just coming out of the Premier League into the Championship. My dad always told me lower league football was ‘real football’ and that I needed to go and see it; the sun was also shining bright, so why not!
Bury had a special offer on their tickets for this game, which was another reason I decided to give it a go. They called it ‘Real Football, Real Value’, with adult tickets only £10, concessions £5 and under 11’s for only £1! I thought this was a really brilliant idea, as it gets fans of other possibly bigger clubs who cant afford to see their team play every week to attend more games, and gives them the opportunity to see some lower league football.
The entry to the ground was through an old-style turnstile, a big difference from the one used now where you scan your tickets! Upon entering the stadium, I was told by my friend I had to have a proper ‘football pie’ and I’d never had one before (I know, 21 and never had a pie!!). £3.20 for a cheese and onion Pukka Pie seemed reasonable for my first one, as I didn’t have much to compare it to! Can now honestly say it will become a regular thing!
The game was a 3pm Kick off, and as I say, the sun was shining which definitely attracted more people to the game as well! I arrived at the ground around an hour and 20 before kick off, which is why its more or less empty here!
As it was unreserved seating, we got a really good seat and waited for the teams to come out! With warm-ups done, the teams came out for the game to start! I found myself shouting and cheering and really getting involved which I didn’t think I’d do! I think with being such a small ground and being so close to the pitch and the players, you feel more involved, and feel like you’re almost being heard when you shout ‘man on!’ or ‘leg it!’ haha! Even though Fleetwood Town were in 3rd and Bury FC 17th when the game kicked off, you couldn’t tell which team was where at times! Bury really gave it a go and needed those 3 points to move them further away from that relegation spot, but they only managed to grab 1 point in the 0-0 draw. I’m quite gutted I didn’t get to see a goal and see what the Shakers’ fans atmosphere would of been like, but I guess that just means I’ll have to go to more games like this!
I recommend anyone who supports a bigger team and who has never been to a lower league game to go and give it a try! It’s cheaper, and actually at times a lot more interesting! Credit to Bury FC for making it such a good day out! 🙂