The story of Bury FC from kick-off to full time

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By THOMAS GE­ORGE­[email protected]­i­tymir­

AN ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing Bury FC’s 134-year his­tory is com­ing to Manch­ester this week­end.

Cu­rated by Shak­ers fan Zoe Hitchen, the ex­hi­bi­tion will show­case mem­o­ra­bilia do­nated by fans of the cri­sis-hit club, which was thrown out of the Foot­ball League at the end of Au­gust.

Part of De­sign Manch­ester’s an­nual DM19 fes­ti­val, the fo­cus will be on sup­port­ers’ re­la­tion­ship with the club, as well as the re­cent events that led to its demise.

Zoe was in­tro­duced to the club by friends and, af­ter fol­low­ing them as a fan, she be­gan vol­un­teer­ing with the club’s pho­tog­ra­pher, Martin Og­den.

Fol­low­ing Bury’s ex­pul­sion from the EFL, she says she de­cided to col­late club arte­facts with help from Bury Art Mu­seum and the club’s fans them­selves.

Zoe said: “I’m putting on this ex­hi­bi­tion be­cause I can’t stand and watch an in­jus­tice from the side­lines. I have just wit­nessed 134 years of cul­tural his­tory be brought to a grind­ing halt be­cause of cap­i­tal­ism and fail­ures in the sys­tem.

“Money and power have taken over, and all the while the true value of Bury FC – which is peo­ple and com­mu­nity – has been for­got­ten. I care be­cause that foot­ball club was my ex­tended fam­ily. It’s where I learned I could be part of some­thing

HTHE ex­hi­bi­tion will fea­ture three main parts: 1. Kick Off: What has hap­pened at Bury Foot­ball Club? - Delv­ing deeper in the dis­as­ter at Bury FC, rais­ing ques­tions around foot­ball gov­er­nance, in­clud­ing min­utes from the DCMS in­quiry and fan emails to the EFL rais­ing their con­cerns.

2. Half Time: Our Foot­ball Fam­ily - The celebrator­y part of the ex­hi­bi­tion, cu­rated to con­nect fans from Bury FC to other clubs. Vis­i­tors are en­cour­aged to wear their club colours, share fan sto­ries, mem­o­ra­bilia and fan pho­tos.

3. Full Time: The role of foot­ball in the com­mu­nity - When the whis­tle blows, the role of foot­ball spreads way be­yond the pitch and into the lo­cal com­mu­nity. This sec­tion is in­ter­ac­tive, peo­ple of all ages can cre­ate their own items of mem­o­ra­bilia, and sit in an in­stal­la­tion of The Stan­ley Club - a favourite of Bury fans pre and post-match - while post­ing hopes for the fu­ture.

big­ger and it didn’t mat­ter if you won ev­ery week or not.

“It’s the re­silience and grit of being from a Greater Manch­ester town, and I’m proud of it. The peo­ple at the club helped to build my con­fi­dence and I learned that craft of pho­tog­ra­phy - this is my way of giv­ing some­thing back to the club that means so much to me.”

Zoe said: “I want to cel­e­brate the fact that Bury fans want to re­build and cre­ate a club for the fans, by the fans. It’s ul­ti­mately about peo­ple power and a real op­por­tu­nity to pull the com­mu­nity to­gether.

“I think we have the power to ques­tion the sta­tus quo, to chal­lenge and dis­rupt ex­ist­ing ways of do­ing things and to ac­ti­vate change for

Bury FC. This is just the start.”

We Are Bury takes place at Arch 7, Tem­per­ance St, May­field, Manch­ester M12 6HR from 11am-6pm to­mor­row and Sun­day.

Trib­utes out­side Bury’s Gigg Lane ground

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