Gigg Lane: Bury

Gigg Lane, Bury, Greater Manchester, England, BL9 9HR
John Lord / Flickr.com

Gigg Lane was built specifically for Bury Football Club to play their games at and opened in 1885, with the club from the Manchester suburb moving in straight away. Things began well for the club, too, with the first ever fixture being a friendly against Wigan that the home side won 4-3. They also scored four goals and won when they played their first league game against Manchester City, running out 4-2 winners on the 8th of September 1894.

The club played their first ever floodlit match in 1889, before the Football League had even authorised the use of floodlights for competitive matches; floodlights didn’t get installed at the ground permanently until 1953, however. Despite a rivalry with Tranmere Rovers, with Bury fans calling Tranmere fans ‘plastic Scousers’ and Tranmere fans returning the compliment by calling Bury fans ‘plastic Mancs’, Gigg Lane saw its lowest ever attendance when just 461 people turned out to watch the two teams play a Freight Rover Trophy match in 1986.

Stats

Gigg Lane Stats
Year Opened1885
Capacity12,500
Average Attendance4,004
Record Attendance35,000 (Bury FC v Bolton (1960))
Pitch Size102 x 66 (6732)
Former Namethe JD Stadium
OwnerBury F.C.
Clubs HostedBury F.C., Swinton RLFC, F.C. United of Manchester
First FixtureBury v Wigan (12/09/1885)
Bury Stats
Year Founded1885
NicknameThe Shakers
Club MascotRobbie the Bobby (Devo)
RivalsBolton Wanderers, Rochdale, Oldham Athletic, Burnley, Wigan Athletic, Preston North End, Accrington Stanley, Tranmere Rovers
KitWhite & Blue (Home) / Blue, Grey and Black (Away) / Grey (Third)
Training GroundCarrington
Shirt SponsorPaySec/Tappit
Team OwnerSave Our Shakers Trust, England The Bury F.C. Supporters Society Ltd (Forever Bury)
Record GoalscorerCraig Madden (153)
Record AppearancesNorman Bullock (539)

Gigg Lane Photos

Gigg Lane Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By dom fellowes from UK (Gigg Lane) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Main Stand is the one closest to the car park and features the club shop, the ticket office and the dugouts. It was recently re-named the Neville Neville Stand in honour of the man who did so much for the club. The somewhat morbidly named Cemetery End was rebuilt in 1999 and tends to welcome Bury’s most vocal fans, whilst The Les Hart Stand runs along the side of the pitch and was renamed after the club’s former player in 2010. Finally, The Manchester Road End often changes its name depending on which company is sponsoring it and tends to house the away fans.

Bury Ticket Prices

Bury have probably the easiest pricing structure it is possible to have. Prices alter depending on your age, but other than that there is a flat fee for the entire stadium rather than different prices for different stands. Family tickets are also available.

Here are the ticket prices for adults and concessions for each of the different categories:

  • Adults: £20
  • Concessions: £14

How To Get Bury Tickets

You can buy tickets for Bury matches online, over the phone or from the club’s ticket office in person; although family tickets and disabled tickets can only be bought from the ticket office.

Where to Buy

Getting To Gigg Lane

Bury is essentially a suburb of Manchester, so if you know how to get to that Northern Powerhouse of a city then you’re well on your way. Here are some more specific instructions, though:

Train - Bury doesn’t have its own train station, so instead you’re left to head towards Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Victoria. From there you’ll want to get the tram to Bury and then enjoy a fifteen minute or so walk to the ground.

Bus - The 135 bus leaves The Metrolink Tram Station in Bury every fifteen minutes or so and drops off on Manchester Road, near to the ground.

Car - The main way to get to Gigg Lane by car involves you leaving the M66 at Junction three and following the signs towards Bury. From there you’ll be able to see signs to the ground. Alternatively, get onto the M60 and leave at Junction 17, getting onto the A56 towards Bury. Stick on that road and you’ll eventually get on to Manchester Road, with Gigg Lane on the right.

By Air - Manchester Airport is definitely the best bet for Bury if you’re flying. From there you’ll be able to get the train to Manchester Piccadilly and then the tram.

Taxi - A taxi from Bury Metrolink Station to the ground will take less than five minutes and shouldn’t cost more than £6.

Parking Near Gigg Lane

There is no parking at the ground itself and parking restrictions are normally in place on a match day for those of you that like to opt for on-street options. There is a small car park at Fishpool Liberal Club, but it’s only got places for about forty cars so you’ll need to get there early.

Useful Resources

Gigg Lane Hotels

The reality is that you’ll probably want to look towards central Manchester for a particularly good hotel, but Bury is not without options of its own. Here are some of our suggestions:

Village Hotel Manchester Bury - £60+

Waterfold Business Park, Rochdale Road, Bury, BL9 7BQ
Given that The Village Hotel chain have sponsored Bury in recent times it would make sense that they’ve got a hotel nearby. This one is just a mile away from the ground and has a restaurant, a full-service spa with indoor pool and free parking. More details.

Best Western Bolholt Country Park Hotel - £90+

Walshaw Road, Bury, BL8 1PU
Two miles away from Gigg Lane is this member of the Best Western chain of hotels that refuses to be outdone by The Village, so it’s got two indoor pools to choose from. There’s also a restaurant, a business centre and a garden. More details.

Mercure Manchester Norton Grange Hotel and Spa - £110+

Manchester Road, Castleton, Rochdale, OL11 2XZ
The furthest hotel from the stadium, at around five miles is also the most expensive. In return for your hard-earned cash, however, you get access to two restaurants, a rooftop terrace, a health club with an indoor pool and free Wi-Fi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Gigg Lane

Bury is the very definition of a Northern town with colourful characters, atmosphere and a few cracking places to go for a drink if you can resist the draw of nearby Manchester. Here are some places worth checking out:

Bury FC Social Club

Gigg Lane Stadium, Bury, BL9 9HR (0871 221 1885)
You’re going to struggle to get closer to the stadium than actually in it, with Bury FC Social Club serving home and away fans a choice of drinks and bar snacks.

The Swan & Cemetery

406 Manchester Road, Bury, BL9 9NS (0161 764 1508)
This half-timbered pub has excellent dining options, a large beer garden and a good menu. It’s also got more than one TV screen for showing live sports and is welcoming of fans from home and away teams.

Art Picture House

20-36 Haymarket Street, Bury, BL9 0AY (0161 705 4040)
If all else fails, head to a Wetherspoon’s. You know what you’re getting at a Wetherspoon’s pub and Art Picture House is no different. Expect cheap food, cheap drinks and a carpet that gives you a headache if you stare at it for too long.

Facilities

Though the ground was rebuilt in the 1990s, that’s a bit longer ago than probably feels to those of us of a certain age, so the facilities are starting to show signs of tiredness. There are a couple of places where you’ll be able to buy food and drink but expect queues.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.20
  • Cup of tea: 2.20

Hospitality

By Espandero (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hospitality at The 1885 Suite features a three-course meal, Director’s Box seating, a pitch side tour and a presentation gift from the club – and it’s obviously very popular as it’s always sold out. Hospitality in Starkies Lounge often features entertainment from a club legend as well as a four course meal in a relaxed environment and seating in the Director’s Box.

Private Hire

Gigg Lane promises stunning surroundings for any type of business event, though we’re willing to bet you might get more spectacular sights if you hosted your do at Old Trafford or The Etihad. That said, Bury are willing to let you use most of the suites and rooms to hold conferences, exhibitions, product launches or even board meetings, should you so desire. They can accommodate for up to 200 people.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Gigg Lane currently doesn’t offer tours and the club does not have a museum to speak of.

About Bury

Bury Squad 1892 - See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Despite often being overshadowed by the likes of Manchester United and, more recently, Manchester City, Bury Football Club actually has a history all of its own that it can be proud of. The club was formed in 1885 by Aiden Arrowsmith after a meeting at the White Horse Hotel in the town’s centre. It was essentially a combination of the town’s two football teams, Bury Wesleyans and Bury Unitarians. The club was accepted into the Football League in 1894.

Success-wise, Bury have actually enjoyed more than some other clubs can even dream of. They won their first FA Cup in 1900 when they beat Southampton 4-0 in the final at Crystal Palace, then they went one better in 1903 when they returned to the same venue and beat Derby County 6-0. That remains the highest winning scoreline in an FA Cup final to this day. In 1926 they achieved their highest ever league position when they finished fourth in the First Division. They were relegated in 1928 and have never reached the dizzying heights of top-flight football since.

Gigg Lane History

The first stand, such as it was, was built at Gigg Lane in 1887 at a cost of £50. The debt was eventually written off and never paid for, something the club wished they could do with the result of an FA Cup first round defeat to Blackburn Rovers that was registered in the same year, with Gigg Lane witnessing a humiliating 10-0 home defeat. In 1906 the club built The South Stand, even though Bury didn’t technically own the ground. It became theirs in 1922 when it was given to them as a gift by the Earl of Derby.

The Main Stand wasn’t built until 1924, though when it was eventually erected it made Gigg Lane one of the finest stadiums in the country. Since then the ground has undergone numerous renovations, with the most recent coming in the 1990s. In the wake of the Taylor Report into stadiums after the Hillsborough Disaster the numerous stands at Gigg Lane were converted to all-seater affairs. The final stand to undergo this reconstruction was The Cemetery End, knocked down and rebuilt in 1999.

Future Developments

By dom fellowes from UK (Shakers 1-3 Tigers) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In 2014 Bury bosses revealed a plan to redevelop The Main Stand, though as things currently stand there is no timescale for this redevelopment to occur. It is believed that the powers that be want to wait until Bury re-establish themselves as a long-term Championship side. One minor development, if you can call it that, happened in 15/16 season when a fence was erected between the Les Hart Stand and the Cemetery end to keep the rival supporters apart and try to control the bad behavior that was on the rise.

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