After two years in Sky Bet League Two, Bury returned to the third tier in dramatic fashion on the final day of the 2014/15 season.
Bury Football ClubName:
Nickname: The Shakers
Stadium: Gigg Lane
How They Got Here
Bury were in and around the promotion places in Sky Bet League Two for the majority of the season.
They started the campaign with just one loss in the first nine games – a period which included six wins and two draws.
A disappointing November, in which they lost three games, saw them fall off the pace but the Shakers returned to form in the New Year.
They headed into the final stretch in good shape but a home loss to promotion rivals Southend United with just a few games to go meant automatic promotion was out of their hands.
In their final match Bury travelled to already-relegated Tranmere Rovers knowing that promotion could only be achieved if they beat the Super Whites and Southend lost at Morecambe.
Fortunately for David Flitcroft’s men, the Shrimps swept Paul Brown’s outfit aside 3-1 at the Globe Arena and the Shakers overcame Tranmere at Prenton Park to seal their promotion.
The Man In Charge
Brother of former Blackburn Rovers midfielder Garry, David Flitcroft enjoyed just shy of 20 years in the Football League as a player.
He started out at Preston North End before going on to play for the likes of Chester City, Rochdale, Macclesfield Town and Bury.
After hanging up his boots, Flitcroft began his coaching career at Spotland Stadium before leaving for Barnsley with manager Keith Hill as his assistant.
In the 2012/13 season Hill was sacked and Flitcroft took charge of the team as caretaker. He was offered the job on a permanent basis after leading the club to two wins from three games.
He led the Tykes to safety but was given his marching orders following a 3-0 home loss to Birmingham City in November 2013.
Flitcroft was officially unveiled as Bury’s new manager just a month later.
Gigg Lane, officially referred to as the JD Stadium for sponsorship purposes, has been the home of Bury since the club was founded in 1885.
It also housed non-league outfit FC United of Manchester from 2005 to 2014.
The ground has a capacity of 11,840 and is around 54 miles from Vale Park – about an hour and 20 minutes drive.
To get to Gigg Lane, take the M6 northbound to junction 21A and join the M62 eastbound. Join the M60 at junction 11 and come off the motorway at junction 17.
Follow the A56/Manchester Road for around three miles and the stadium will be on the right.
The Valiants’ last game against Bury was in September of the 2013/14 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Vale Park.
Chris Sedgwick put the visiting Shakers ahead in the second half but Vale striker Tom Pope responded emphatically with a late brace to seal passage through to the next round.
The last league meeting between the sides ended in a 0-0 draw at Vale Park and the Valiants’ previous trip to Gigg Lane saw Vale take home three points after Lee Collins’ 66th minute goal.