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24 September 2014

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One goal from history

By James Bentley
The news that Bury are about to become the first club to score 1000 goals in each of the four tiers of British football will come as a surprise to many. When looking at the Shakers’ league career though, it’s hardly surprising at all.

Bury's David Nugent and Michael Nelson celebrate
Goal!! another towards Bury's record

What seems astonishing to me is that it has taken my club so long to reach the milestone in the basement when we seem to have been languishing here for what seems like an eternity.

"...the goals are ones that we cheered and that took us to heights we never dared imagine"
James Bentley

But Bury Football Club has a proud history. To go with the two FA Cup wins at the turn of the twentieth century are lengthy spells in the top two levels of the Football League.

My time watching Bury began in 1988 and has involved a rollercoaster ride from the bottom division to trips to stadiums I never thought I’d see my team play at.

So, apologies if my choices for Bury’s top 10 league goals are a little on the recent side and don’t include much from Norman Bullock or John Reid Smith but the goals are ones that we cheered and that took us to heights we never dared imagine.

My Bury Top Ten

Ronnie Jepson
Ronnie Jepson

1. Ronnie Jepson vs. Millwall
The goal that set Bury on the way to winning the Division 2 championship in 1996/97, a feat precisely no-one would have expected at the start of the season.

2. Jamie Hoyland vs. Bolton
An exquisite scissor-kick that confirmed victory in the 1990 derby. Bury beating Bolton was a regular occurrence when the two were in the same division – and we’ll never let them forget that.

3. Greg Farrell vs. Aston Villa
A goal that makes Bury fans’ of a certain age eyes mist over. People talk in wonder of Beckham scoring from the halfway line but Gregory “on the wing” did it first in the eyes of a thousand Bury supporters.

4. Paul Butler vs. Man City
It was the only goal in an untidy and ugly game but it meant, so so much. Manchester City fans never gave our club the respect we deserved when we shared a division, less so after this defeat. City’s world came crashing down around their ears after they lost to ‘little Bury’ and it still feels good to this day.

Paul Butler (top right) in the game v Man City
Paul Butler (top right) in action v City

5. David Lee vs. Grimsby
The wing wizard began his career at Bury and tormented defenders with his innate trickery. We always knew he’d play in the Premier league but did it have to be with Bolton?

6. Derek Spence vs. Barnsley
A goal that is still spoken of in hushed tones. Acute angles meant nothing to the Northern Irishman as he fired in from the tightest of positions. It’s still claimed that as the game re-started, the Manchester Road End was still applauding his wondrous effort.

7. Craig Madden, various
Bury’s all-time record goal scorer terrorised Division Four defences mercilessly in 1981/82. His 35 league goals still stands as the highest tally a Bury player has bagged in a season.

8. Gordon Armstrong vs. QPR
When Division One survival looked to be slipping away in 1998, Gordon Armstrong scored the goal that kept us up. Even sweeter was that Manchester City’s relegation was partly dependent on us winning. Not even a 5-2 victory at Stoke could keep them up.

Bury's David Nugent
David Nugent

9. David Nugent vs. Yeovil
One of the latest young guns to roll off the Bury conveyor belt of talent, this goal started a season that ended at the Millennium Stadium and one game away from the Premiership. This is extra special for me because I made eye contact with him as he wheeled away from the goal – it was as though it was just him and I celebrating.

10. Colin Kazim-Richards vs. Cheltenham
Another former Shaker who has made the step up to the second tier of British football with apparent ease, Colin left us with some memories of an impressive forward who we only expect to go on to greater things.

last updated: 25/08/05
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