Loyal Bury Town fan's battle cry

LONG-serving Bury Town fan Gerald Hogg hopes the town's residents will come out in force for Saturday's FA Cup fourth qualifying clash - just like they did on the club's run to the first round of the competition 40 years ago.

Stuart Watson

LONG-serving Bury Town fan Gerald Hogg hopes the town's residents will come out in force for Saturday's FA Cup fourth qualifying clash - just like they did on the club's run to the first round of the competition 40 years ago.

Bury face Blue Square South side Basingstoke at Ram Meadow knowing that one more giant killing feat would put them in the first round proper of the competition and in with the chance of a lucrative tie against a Football League side.

Should Richard Wilkins' side achieve that feat, it would equal the club's longest ever run in the world-renowned competition.


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That came back in the 1968/69 season when, following two replay wins in the early rounds, Bury won 2-0 away at Lincolnshire side Stamford to set up a first round home match against then Division Three leaders Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic.

Bury put in a brave performance against the Football League outfit at their old King's Road ground in November 1968, a goal-less draw earning them a replay at Dean Court.

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Ultimately, the Dorset side proved too strong in the return match, running out 3-0 winners, but Hogg can still remember the excitement surrounding that first match.

The 75-year-old first watched his home town club play as a schoolboy in the post-war years and was so taken with his local side that he went on to become chairman and treasurer of the supporters' club.

“Everyone was very excited (about the Bournemouth game),” said Hogg, who still has the programme and newspaper cuttings from the day. “There were over 3,000 people at King's Road for that first game so hopefully there will be a good crowd on Saturday.

“It's wonderful that they could get that far again because an FA Cup run can bring a lot of excitement to the town.

“As the manager (Richard Wilkins) has said, they have got a chance. Who knows what will happen? They (Basingstoke) will be tough opponents I am sure, but there is not much difference between the quality of sides at non-league level.”

Hogg, who is also proud of being at the 1966 World Cup final, now lives in Lowestoft, however, there is no denying that he has Bury Town in his blood.

He said: “I never used to miss a game unless I could help it. Everyone loved their football in those days. There were no television matches so it was Bury's first team or reserves for me every Saturday.

“My dear old mother helped in a tea hut at the top end of the ground, while my late wife ran one at the bottom end.

“I don't get to many games now though. I remember encouraging my late father to go to the football and he said it was too cold. Now I know what he was talking about.”

Meanwhile, Bury Town`s FA Trophy second qualifying round match at Dulwich Hamlet has been re-arranged to be played on Sunday November 2 with a 2pm kick-off. This is due to a ground-sharing arrangement at Dulwich which means that Fisher Athletic will be playing there on Saturday, November 1.

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