Bury Relics Annual Golf Day 2022

Thanks and credit go to John W and Tony P for a great day of golf, food and drink, with the inevitable banter. The venue was an excellent choice, with its location on top of hills surrounding Bury, at the Walmersley Golf Club. The hospitality and staff were excellent, I for one will be very happy to play here again if the Golf men choose to in the next years. The day started off for most of them at 10-00am, meeting for coffee and bacon butties at the golf club, but for John and Andy, they decided to take a scenic tour around the rolling hills of Bury, until they realised they were lost. A quick tap of the phone sat-nav got us back on course (pardon the pun) and we arrived just in time to endure micky taking from other others, but also enjoy the delicious bacon butties. After 30 minutes or so of banter, we ventured out onto the course, with 12 men divided into 4 teams.

The teams

Team 1; Joe B, Bob D and Dr. John.

Team 2; Dave M, Graham W and Mark T

Team 3; John M, Andy R and Gerry S

Team 4; Tony P, John W and New Wayne

Results

After 18 holes of golf, the overall team winners with a whopping 87 points were team 4; well done.

Runners up were team 3 with 74 points and the wooden spoon (if Graham had supplied one) was joint between teams 1 and 2, with scores of 62 each.

Three other prestigious prizes were awarded:

1) Graham got closest to the pin on the Par 3 at the 14th hole (that was impressive, if you could even get on the green at this hole with just one shot),

2) Andy R was with the longest drive, who won the coveted yellow parchment trophy, sponsored by post-it-notes (see below) and

3) Dr. John won the prize for the most impressive piece of golfing equipment (I made this bit up but see below).  

After the game, the cool beer tasted better than usual and the food was phenomenal; steak pie and chips, followed by delicious apple pie and custard. It was an enjoyable day out. Again, a big thank you to John W and Tony P for organising the day and thanks to the staff at the awesome Walmersley Golf Club for their warm hospitality and tasty food.

Videos
Andy and Joe warming up puts
Bob’s near miss
Joe’s close put
Half time snacks

Photos

Pharmacy2u WFA Regional, North West (East) Final

Bury Relics over 65’s vs. Kingsmaid
What a fabulous occasion for the Bury Relics over 65’s team? Following a solid spring league season, where they finished runners up, the team had also reached the final of the Pharmacy2u cup. The run to the final was impressive, with wins over Winstanley and Oakwood, with Relics producing some great football in both games. Now it was the final, and a sizeable group of Bury Relics staff and fans had turned out to watch. Before the game, Ken and Pat the Cat were putting the team through a typical Friday morning training session warm up, that also included some passing and ball control practice. Meanwhile, Keiren was warming the hands and preparing Gaz the keeper for the match. Not to disappoint anyone, the usual Heywood inclement weather had not let us down, and had turned up with the usual clouds and rain. No road-work hindrance was experienced getting to the game. Bury Relics were in the White kit, and Kingsmaid were in a purple colour. 

First half.
The referee did a small pre-game presentation and speech, so that all players were absolutely clear on what all the rules of the game were. From the KO, the Relics kept possession well, for a total of 9 passes, culminating with Jomo getting into an advanced position, right hand side of the area. However, the pass to him was slightly too hard, and the ball ran out of play. Nevertheless, that was a tidy start for the Relics. Then it was Kingsmaids first move, which was incisive, with only 3 passes around the team, and then the striker used his guile to get a quick shot off, that Gaz had to get quickly down to; a good save. As the match developed, a theme was evident; every time Kingsmaid got the ball, they were playing it straight up to their #77 striker, who on almost all occasions tried to take Peter on, using skill and a bit of pace to try and make shots. However, as is his specialty, Pete was defending well and repelling most of #77’s shots. Relics first shot came from a free-kick, that was laid off and hit quickly by John W, but too high. Kingsmaid replied with a good move, involving several passes and moving, until the striker hit a great ball between 2 Relics players, that found their right winger in space, who hit his shot hard but wide of the far post. A decent chance for Kingsmaid that. Tex makes a good interception from a Kingsmaid pass, then feeds Stuart, who then passes to Jomo. He considers his options, and the good movement by John W, lets Jomo set him up for a good shot. The shot is hard but the keeper is right behind it and makes a save. Another multi-pass move by the Relics sees John W have a hard shot, however, on this occasion, one of the Relics players was done for running. A good move by Kingsmaid ends up with their #77 striker holding the ball up, in an advanced position, and then playing an accurate pass to an onrushing midfielder, who hits a powerful shot, at about waist height. However, Gaz was alert and made a good save, diving to his right. Through the game, John W had picked up a couple of offences for robust tackling and a lung busting walk/trot down the left, made the referee blow his whistle and issue him a blue card. Now the Relics had to play for 2 minutes with a player down. Amazingly, Kingsmaid hardly had a touch during this 2 minute spell, with intelligent play from all Relics players. John W then came back on and the half finished with Kingsmaid on the attack. A snapshot from #77 produced a save from Gaz, and as the corner was taken, the half time whistle went. This was a good half of football for the Relics; in terms of passing and moving, Bury had more of the play, but on the flip side, Kingsmaid had made more shots and Gaz more saves.

Second half.
Bury’s first attack of the second half, saw Tex play a great pass down the righthand side, which found Stewart free. His shot was powerful, low and on target but the keeper was equal to it. Soon after, Kingsmaid put the ball out for a Bury kick-in, and John W played a one-two with Stewart. John was quick-thinking and hit a first time shot from Stewart’s return pass; the keeper had to make a full-stretched dive to his left, to save a certain goal. Was a great effort from a long way out. Kingsmaid intercepted from the subsequent Bury corner but and played it forward quickly; however, their #77 was adjudged to have ran when taking on Peter for a shot. The subsequent Bury move ended in a free-kick to Kingsmaid for running. Rain had started pouring down with a harder intensity and Bury made a stray pass that was cut out and played up-front for Kingsmaid. The striker was challenged by 3 Bury players, who got the ball safely to Gaz in goal, but the referee saw an infringement and it was a free-kick to Kingsmaid. Disaster struck from the free-kick, where their tall centre back, #64, took his time before playing the ball to the right-hand side of the area. The striker, #77, moved from the left towards the ball, and in what seemed like slow motion, turned following the movement of the ball, and hit a first time shot on the turn. The ball arrowed straight at the diving Gaz, through his legs and into the net. There was not enough time for Gaz to react and get down to it properly, as the shot was right on the edge of the area. A sucker punch for the Relics who had played well up to now; it was now 1-0 to Kingsmaid. The goal changed to the dynamic of the game; Kingsmaid could relax and take more time in possession, whereas Bury had to press and try and win possession back. Jomo almost played pass of the match in the next Bury attack. The ball had been played around the team, and Tex had seen an opportunity of open space on the right side. Jomo looked up and played a great ball across, but unfortunately a Kingsmaid leg managed to get a foot on it. Bury were pressing well now and forcing Kingsmaid into mistakes, where Stewart produced a smart turn and shot, that was just wide of the lefthand post. A 10-pass move from Kingsmaid followed, with passes both forward and back, trying to manage the game. Jomo managed to intercept to end this move. Kingsmaid subsequent move lead to a free-kick, which they laid off into midfield, and a shot that went high and wide of Gaz’s goal. Bury piled forward and momentarily lost possession, until Jomo made a great battling challenge. He immediately played the ball forward, where Stewart was lingering, but the ball was closer to the defender, who managed to clear. However, Stewart was committed to the challenge, and ran into the defender, who’s elbow ended up in Stewart’s chest. It was hard to tell if there was any intent from the defender, and Stewart was momentarily down but soon back on his feet, being the warrior he is. Kingsmaid pressed forward from the freekick but lost possession and Relics again tried to find an opening. No luck this time, and Kingsmaid had a breakaway attack following an interception. The Kingsmaid player was running, so no danger. A substitution for Bury was made, with Alan replacing Peter. Alan was straight into the action, by nicely setting up John W for a snap shot, that was saved by their keeper. Both teams made chances but the shots were going wide or over, but this was a prequel to the second sucker punch. Bury were on the attack, when the referee saw a Bury player running. From the resulting freekick, the ball was played to #77, who controlled the ball, turned to face the defender, move the ball to the left, dummy to shoot, before moving the ball further wide of the defender, then shooting to the left, past a stranded keeper. That was 2-0 to Kingsmaid and things were looking bleak for the Relics in rainy conditions. However, the second goal had the effect of super charging the Relics efforts to press Kingsmaid more and to make goal scoring chances. With the Relics on the attack, a misplaced pass gave Kingsmaid possession, and as before, a quick pass was played directly up to #77 up-front. He again used his guile and close foot control to make space for a shot, that was again wide of the outstretched arms of Gaz in goal, to make it 3-0 to Kingsmaid. Bury were not lying down and were going all out for pride, to get at least 1 goal back. The Relics were pressing all the Kingsmaids players, who were trying to manage the game by playing the ball around. They sometimes were taking advantage of the rule, that pass-backs to the goalie are allowed but to be fair, they did not use that too often, and would play it forward if the opportunity was there. Bury continued to toil and press, and eventually their efforts were rewarded by a stout challenge and shot by Stewart, that had such power that, even though it hit the keeper, the spin on the shot took the ball into the net; the Relics fans cheered and it was now 3-1. The game continued with the same pattern but the Relics did not create any clear-cut chances, and it finished with the result of 3-1 to Kingsmaid.

Well done to the Bury Relics team today, although the result was a 3-1 loss, we can still hold our heads high with pride, as this was against a very good team. The difference between the teams on the day was that they had a very good in-form centre forward, who scored all 3 of Kingsmaids goals. That said, up until they scored, Bury had the more fluid passing moves and were probably the better team. On a different day, the result could have been different. Well done to Bury for a valiant effort and it was already a tremendous achievement to reach the final. There was a big turn out of supporters and Bury staff did a good job of organizing and managing the team, including: Pat the Cat, Keiren, Keith S and Ken. Thanks to everyone who turned up to support Bury. The team consisted: John W, John M (Jomo), Stewart, Peter S, Tex, Gaz the Keeper and Alan. Thanks to Nikon Nev for the pictures and Keith B for his notes; Match report by Dr. John.

Photos

“Sir” Pat walks the walk

Relics Vice President and player Pat Fitzgerald (“Sir Pat” as he is known within the Relics) has completed his leg of the Commonwealth Games Queens Baton Relay.

”Sir” Pat was selected for the walk following a nomination submitted by fellow Relic Iain Dawson.

“Sir” Pat was greeted by family and friends as he arrived at his starting point and was followed round to his end point. At the end of his walk ”Sir” Pat took part in the celebrations on the steps of Bolton Town Hall, and later was introduced to the Mayor of Bolton.

The Relics and Pat also got a mention in the Manchester Evening News report
“Bolton was the first part of Greater Manchester to welcome the baton, after it made its way down to the region on Saturday night from Carlisle and the Lake District, arriving in the town for a relay at around 7pm yesterday evening. Pat Fitzgerald, vice president of Bury Relics Walking Football Club, a community club founded for people over 50 which now has four teams, took part in the relay, after being nominated by a fellow player.”

Congratulation Pat, a superb and well deserved honour.

Over 74’s in Spring Tournament

The Relics took part in the GMWFL over 74’s Spring Cup tournament. The tournament was set up to gauge the interest from clubs and players for a league at this age group in the future.

Initially five teams were to participate but due to a withdrawal, the league was reduced to four teams, Blackpool FC Senior Seasiders, Bury Relics, Preston North End Senior Whites and Rochdale WFC. The teams playing each other in a round-robin format.

The relics squad comprised Peter Almond, Bob Daniels, Pat Fitzgerald (GK), Dave Morris, Tony Pope, Jerry Shuttleworth and Keiran Tilley.

There was some super football played by the Relics young septuagenarians, the results didn’t go the Relics way, but didn’t reflect how close all the games were. The Relics fought hard in all the games but didn’t create enough chances. Scores are below.

Blackpool 0 – 0Relics
Preston 3 – 0Relics
Relics 0 – 2Rochdale

A massive well done to the players and Manager Keith Swain.

it won’t be too long before we see these guys in proper league action at this age group.

Relics Keith Bibby selected for England Parkinson’s Walking Football Team.

Keith Bibby has been selected for the newly formed England Parkinson’s Walking Football Team.

Keith was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in January 2014. He joined the Relics in 2017.

He was invited to the England trials following success with Northern Light Stockport in the Sports Parkinson’s, Cure Parkinson’s Cup at St Georges Park in March.

The England trials took place in Solihull on 3rd July 2022 involving 35 players arranged into seven teams. The teams played a mini league against each other while being observed by the England WFAPD Management team in order to choose 18 players to form the squad. Some images from the trials are below.

Keith had been out of action for 12 months due to a knee injury and only returned to league action for the Relics in March this year following knee surgery in August 2021.

Keith becomes the first Relics player to be selected for England at any Level.

Pat Fitzgerald carries Commonwealth Games Queens Baton

Congratulations to Bury Relics Vice President and player Pat Fitzgerald who will be carrying the Commonwealth Games Queens Baton around Bolton on Saturday 16th July 2022.

Pat’s route starts at 18:39 from 96 Great Moor Street, Bolton BL3 6DS. His segment finishes at 7274 Ashburner Street, Bolton BL1 1TD.

Please turn out and support Pat on his journey.

Pat’s commitment to his local community, charities and The Relics was captured by fellow Relic Iain Dawson in his nomination summarised below.

Pat Fitzgerald is Vice President of Bury Relics Walking Football Club but he is so much more than that.

Bury Relics were formed in 2017,  They now field four teams in the Greater Manchester Walking Football League.
They also organise and provide community-based walking football on a weekly basis, open to anyone over 50 years old, irrespective of ability or gender and including people with learning difficulties, physical constraints and health issues. The wellbeing benefits to society are evident in the important and enthusiastic support Bury Relics receive from parties such as Bury Council, The Football Foundation and local healthcare providers (their main sponsor is a major GP practice in the area).

Pat is absolutely central to the ethos of the Relics and to everything they do. He is a coach, a kit man, a referee, a “groundsman” (he recently arrived early for training specifically to shovel snow off the pitch), an organiser, a provider of post-match refreshments, sage advice and compassion. (Illness and loss are unfortunate recurring themes amongst our membership). He is the first to welcome any newcomers. He also plays but always waits to see what positions need filling rather than making his own choice.

Prior to the Relics he has managed various local teams and been secretary of a local league, receiving a long service award from the FA.

In the last 20 years he has also developed a passion for hockey which has led to him becoming a qualified umpire, the Chairman of the Bolton Sports Federation Hockey section and (with his wife, Mandy) joint coach of Bury Youth hockey teams for both girls and boys. He is currently campaigning hard for a hockey pitch to be built in the Bury area, which would be a fitting legacy.

He has been actively engaged in projects to raise over £1m for the Army Benevolent Fund and local charities. This led to him receiving a written commendation from the Army. In other volunteering, he provides maintenance services for his local church and a transport service for people who need help getting to it or for attending to hospital appointments.

In short, he is a man of remarkable energy whose motivation in life is to help and encourage others. He is a huge asset to any sporting or community group and makes a genuine difference to them all. If he carries the baton this summer, he will see it not as a personal tribute but as a tribute to all those that he supports. He is a great sport and a great sportsman – our champion companion!


National Cup – Relics 65’s in Regional Final

Following victory over Oakwood Glossop in round 3 on the 8th June 2022 the Relics over 65’s have progressed into the Regional Final of the Pharmacy2U WFA National Cup.

The Relics will play the GMWFL Division 2 winners, Club Kingsmaid away in the Regional Final, date, time and venue to be confirmed, but the tie should be played on the weekends of 23rd or 30th July, details to be confirmed.

A place at the Grand Finals at Lilleshall National Sports Centre on 18th September is at stake.

Good luck to the Relics.

GMWFL Spring 2022 – Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes miss out on a runners up finish by one goal

Apparently, a mini-heatwave is predicted for this weekend, and it had made an early start at Heywood today, ergo there was not the usual wind and rain that usually greets us. Hopefully, this was a prelude to good football. This was the final set of spring league fixtures for the stipes over 60’s team but it was down to a skeleton squad due to injury and holidays. Alan from Manchester Corinthians was drafted in, which had a bit of fortune attached to it; Corinthians were due to train today but only 6 had turned up, so they abandoned training and Keith S/Ken managed to grab Alan to help the Relics out. Plenty of supporters had turned up to see if the Relics can take the runners up spot in the division.

Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes versus Ribble Valley WFC.
Bury started well by passing accurately and moving into space, and were able to string 6 or 7 pass moves together, involving all of the out-field team. Keith B was given the role of fulcrum up-front, always been available, ahead of their last defender, and then laying off the ball back into the midfield. All players were passing well, with Corinth Alan controlling the ball and passing off to John, Bury Alan or Mark. The missing ingredient for the Relics was creating clear-cut space to shoot, which was down to good man marking by the Ribble. When the Ribble did manage to intercept, they were trying to shoot quickly, and one good shot, Eddy had to make a good save by diving across goal, with an agile dive to his left, and pushing the ball around the post and out for a corner. The corner came to nothing and Bury regained possession, and were probing around the Ribble defence; again the passing was good, involving all Bury players but it was difficult to find a shooting opportunity. Eventually, Ribble regained possession via a kick-in on the left-hand side, that found their striker in a bit of space on the edge of the area. He controlled the ball, and took a shot low to Eddy the keepers left and into the net. Disaster? Almost, but Eddy was immediately claiming the ball had run into the area prior to the striker hitting it, and the referee backed up his claim by awarding a keeper’s ball and not a goal. That was a close call as it was on the line, and a let-off for the Relics. On the subsequent Relics possession, an attempted interception by Ribble resulted in an over the head free-kick to the Relics. John H was on the ball, as he quickly took the free-kick that found Bury Alan in space up-front, but alas, the Ref was not ready and it had to be re-taken. That was good quick thinking by John H. The free-kick ended in a turn-over in possession to Ribble, and they moved the ball forward to their striker, who again was in front of his marker to have the opportunity to shoot; and again, Eddy made a save, but it was more straight forward this time. Just before half time, Bury Alan did some nice play; he managed to make a good last-ditch interception-tackle on the edge of the Bury area, and then dragged the ball back with skill to swerve away from the Ribble attacker and finally play the ball wide to John H in space. A superb bit of skill and play. Following half-time, the pattern of play was similar, with Bury Relics passing around well, and now with substitute Watford Mark creating space on the wings, but without making any clear-cut chances. Also similar to the first half, the Ribble were periodically regaining possession and shooting early. But none of those shots troubled Eddy in goal and the game played out to a goalless draw. 
Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes 0 – 0 Ribble Valley WFC.

Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes versus Wakefield Wanderers Whites.
Ken’s in between game talk probably included something about taking more shots, as Bury had very few against the Ribble, and early on, there was a good strike by Alan B. From an Eddy throw out, Mark T received the ball on the right hand side, and used some good skill to move past his marker and play a pass inside to Corinthians Alan. He moved forward with the ball until confronted by a Wakefield defender. He turned and saw Alan B with a bit of space in front of him, so Corinth Alan played an inviting ball to Alan B, who on the move hit a very powerful shot. In terms of power, it was magnificent but in terms of accuracy, it was high and off target and even cleared the fence behind the goal. A few chuckles and the words “AV IT” were heard but it was a good effort by the Relics, who had been a bit shot shy in the first game. With the ball lost over the fence; an innocent woman civilian was happily carrying her shopping home, but was kind enough to stop, put her bags down and throw the ball over the fence, which was applauded by players and spectators. The subsequent passage of play led to the first goal of the match, to Wakefield. Although the Relics won the ball back through Watford Mark, the next passing move by the Relics, moved the team forward but with leaving their striker stood with about 3 metres of space between him and the last Relics defender (goal side). An interception was made by Wakefield and a quick pass to their striker, who plays a bit Podolsky, had time to pick his spot and scored low into the net, with Eddy having little chance of saving it. This made the Relics more determined to make good passes and find an opening for an equalizer. However, as the game progressed, Wakefield were picking up running and bad tackle offences as they tried to quell Relics attacks. It was not long before it was a penalty to the Relics for a fourth foul. An interesting situation then occurred, where Eddy the keeper confidently wanted to take the penalty. The Ref allowed this but it seemed he was not sure of all the rules with it. A conversation ensued between the referee and Eddy about the one step rule. However, at this moment, there was a bit of confusion as to what happens if the ball rebounds out and still live, back into play. In any case, Eddy confidently dispatches the penalty, mid height, to the keepers right. The keeper made a good effort to save, and got his hands to the ball. However, the power that Eddy had put into the shot, meant the keeper just diverted the ball high into the net instead of saving it (see the video below). A fabulous equalizer for the Relics. However, the penalty saga was not over yet, see below. Meanwhile, in another area of Manchester, Dr. Smith told Pat the cat to relax, as he lay inside a large tube of an MRI scanner. The doctor turned away, and then heard a patter of footsteps, but ignored it as this was probably just the nurse moving to her station. He commanded the nurse to start the MRI scanner; lots of wiring and electric sounds began. Back in the game at Heywood, the Relics were again passing the ball around accurately but without creating too many chances. Then, in an almost carbon copy of Wakefield’s first goal, their striker was left alone, in space, on the edge of Eddy’s area. An interception and a pass was made to him. This time, the striker tried to hit it high into Eddy’s net but got his bearings wrong, with the ball flying well over the top. That was close and a let off for the Relics. Neither team had any further clear cut shooting opportunities in the game, and it finished a 1 all draw. Following the game, and a conversation with the referee, it was discovered that if the ball had rebounded back into play, then it will immediately be a penalty to the opposition, as the goalkeeper penalty taker is out of his area. That rule appears extraordinary and probably needs to be looked at by the league, as it effectively means a goalkeeper can’t take a penalty. Elsewhere, Dr. Smith looked very puzzled, following Pat the Cat’s MRI scan, as there appeared to be nothing on the scan picture. That was because Pat had done a runner to Heywood, to help out the depleted squad. He was putting his shin pads on in the build up to the next match against Winstanley. Pat had heard the conversation about the goalkeeper and penalties, and came up with a genius idea of changing goalkeepers if another penalty happens.
Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes 1 – 1 Wakefield Wanderers Whites.

Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes versus Winstanley Walkers.
This was a high-stakes game, against the champions elect. The Relics needed to win, or at least draw to have a good chance of finishing second in the league. However, that was no easy task, as Winstanley have been very good, and I understood were in top place already; they will be wanting to cement their place as champions. Winstanley started the game well, finding their #9 striker up-front, who fired just high and wide of Eddy’s goal. Keith B, like he had been doing all day, was finding space up-front, and holding up the ball brilliantly, and looking for support from midfield. Both the Alans and Mark were trying to provide it for him. However, as in earlier games, the Relics were finding it hard to just get that clear bit of space, so that a shot can trouble their keeper. Winstanley were making chances and then disaster strook. In a previous game against Winstanley, Eddy was beaten by the spin of the ball after making a save. The almost exact same thing happened here again. Their striker shot powerfully, and Eddy made a cat like dive to stop the ball reaching the net, but the power and angle of incidence on Eddy’s hand, took the ball up and down quicky, onto his heel, and then into the net. Very unlucky that, and a 1 – 0 lead to Winstanley. However, the Relics were not giving up, and were passing around well and trying to create shooting chances. During this time, Winstanley were racking up the fouls, and soon it was a penalty to the Relics. Ken, the manager, had a decision to make; should Eddy take this one, as he did before, but this time putting John H in goal? Or should an outfield player take it? Ken was decisive and a bit like Sergeant Grim from the Thin Blue Line; “We’re not doing anything Hoity Toity or Amby Pamby, Alan, you take it!”. Alan B did as he was told but unfortunately for the Relics, his penalty was just too high, but only by a whisker. Bury Relics toiled hard to try and get back into the game but Winstanley were resolute, and that penalty opportunity was the best chance the Relics had in the game. It was a good game, both teams playing well, but the result was a 1 – 0 loss to Winstanley.
Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes 0 – 1 Winstanley Walkers.

A steady inaugural season for the Bury Relics over 60’s stripes. In the end, Wakefield took the runners up spot, courtesy of scoring 1 more goal than the Relics did. So close to being runners up, but hopefully the Relics can do better next season. Under the adverse circumstances today, the scratch team put together did very well. A special mention and thank you to several men: Alan from Corinthians, playing at very short notice and doing well, Pat for abandoning his MRI scan and scrambling down to Heywood, ready to help the team, and Nev for his tigger like enthusiasm. Even though he’s been injured, he’s been down to watch all fixtures since and helped out by taking great photos. Not forgetting Keith B, who did a fantastic job up-front today, even though he plays for the over 70s.  The efforts put in by all the team have been excellent, and if I remember right, only 3 players have played most games this season: Watford Mark, Andy R and Eddy the keeper. So many changes through the season’s fixtures. Ken and Keith S did a good job of guiding and organizing the team, as usual. Today’s squad consisted: Eddy the Keeper, Alan B, Mark T, Watford Mark, John “bobble hat” H, Keith B and Corinthians Alan. Thanks to Nikon Nev for the photos and all the supporters who turned up, that included Terry. Match report by Dr. John.

Videos
A montage of moments from Bury vs. Ribble click-here.
Eddy’s penalty vs. Wakefield click-here

Photos

For all the GMWFL Spring 2022 fixtures, results and league tables, see the Match Centre page here

GMWFL Spring 2022 – Over 65’s finish on a high

Just like the last day of last season (Autumn 2021), The Relics started the day second in the table behind Manchester Corinthians, this time two points behind compared to one point behind last season. Everything was at stake in the first game of the day which might decide the title.
Due to holidays and injuries the Relics were down to a bare 6 players, and when John W came off briefly with a calf strain early in the game things looked bleak for the Relics. Pat went on briefly for John W and Keith B was drafted in as sub.
John W came back on but was clearly carrying the injury and seemed to play most of the game in the right back position with Tex playing right midfield, Pete Shev was at left back, Alan in midfield and Gerry L in an unusual position for him, up front. Gaz, as usual, was the general at the back.
The game was a close, well played game, lots of passing and moving from both teams, and both teams moving forward only for the various attacks to get broken down by the two defences.
The match report lacks detail now as this was the time I did my not so quick, costume change into a kit. While I was away Corinthians look the lead but Gerry equalised for the Relics.
So the race for the title is still wide open.
Final score Relics 1 – Corinthians 1

The second game of the day was against Manchester Senior Citizens, and the Relics started with the original six players and with Joh W not 100%. That didn’t stop the Relics as Alan scored for the Relics but was deemed inside the box, still 0 – 0. Alan shot over and a smart free kick move for the Relics resulted in John W shooting wide. The Citizens replied with a few shots from distance that didn’t trouble Gaz.

The Relics were having the better of the game, Gerry on the right passed to John W whose left foot shot went wide. Shortly after, Tex found John W on the edge of the box, but this time his saved. Citizens had a rare shot that was reflected for a corner.

Pete Shev cut out a throw from the Citizens keeper and had a rare break into the opposition half but his powerful shot was over the bar. A good passing move from the Relics found Gerry L on the right, his cross field pass to John W was perfect and Mr Red Boots John W didn’t show any signs of injury when he put the ball away with accuracy and pace. 1 – 0 to the Relics.

A last minute winner for the Relics. Final score Relics 1 – Citizens 0

The next game was against Rochdale who are always difficult opponents despite starting the day at the foot of the table.
Dale started well with a shot in the first few seconds that went wide. The Relics had a quick three chances with Alan shooting wide, Gerry having a shot blocked and Tex hitting the side netting with a fierce shot.
Rochdale replied and Gaz had to be on his toes to make a couple of good saves.
John W was still carrying his calf injury but still had a couple of chances one was saved and another was deflected for a corner. A good passing move from the Relics found Gerry on the edge of the box but his shot was just wide.
Rochdale had a break away which resulted in a corner on the Rochdale right. The corner was struck across the box, the striker managed to get on the end of it despite pressure from Pete Shev and hit a strong shot past Gaz. 1 – 0 to Rochdale.
Rochdale could have gone further ahead a couple of minutes later when they were awarded a penalty when a Relics defender was judged to have stepped in the box The penalty was struck hard, but relief for the Relics is was wide of Gaz’s left hand post – missed! a loud sigh of relief from the Relics supporters on the side-lines but time was up.
Disappointment for the Relics. Final Score Relics 0 – Rochdale 1

Final game of the day was against Preston. The Relics made a couple of positional changes by putting Tex up front, moving Gerry to right back and John W in midfield. The changes soon paid off, with a good interchange between Tex and John W resulting in John W putting the Relics ahead. 1 – 0 to the Relics.
Tex was loitering with intent in the Preston half and a great pass from defence found him on his own, but his shot hit the post. The next move put Tex into another scoring but the final pass to him was a bit strong, Tex managed to slide and hit his shot which beat the keeper but agonisingly hit the post.
A beauty of a pass from Gerry in the Relics defence went nearly the full length of the pitch to Alan who was free just outside the Preston goal area, he scored calmly passed the Preston keeper. 2 – 0 to the Relics.
The game was all one way now, the Relics were breaking down the Preston possession and creating lots of chances. Tex got free and smashed a shot that rattled the crossbar, then Tex and Gerry combined well for Alan to score his second of the game and put the Relics 3 – 0 up.
Alan nearly got his hat-trick late on. He was on the left hand side of the area, he played the ball inside to Gerry, who played it back to Alan, his shot from an awkward angle was saved at the near post.
Final Score Relics 3 – Preston 0

Seven points on the day wasn’t enough to overcome Corinthians who had gained 8 points pipping the Relics to top spot in the league by 3 points. The fight against adversity was won though, and second spot was a great achievement after the challenges of a reduced squad and injuries on the day. It brought more silverware for the Relics cabinet, that’s three trophies in June, Over 70’s League Champions, Over 70’s WFLA Champions Cup win and the over 65’s second place in the league today.

Well done to all the players, Gaz, Pete Shev, Gerry L, Tex, John W, Alan, last minute subs Pat, Keith B and the management team of Ken, Keiran and Keith S.
Thanks to all the supporters that turned up in the sunshine.

Sorry no photo’s or video’s today.

For all the GMWFL Spring 2022 fixtures, results and league tables, see the Match Centre page here

Relics over 70’s win WFLA Champions Cup

Bury Relics over 70’s have won the inaugural Walking Football League Alliance (WFLA) Champions Cup.
The Competition was open to the top two teams from all 16 Walking Football Leagues that are affiliated to the WFLA
The Relics beat Rochdale Strollers 3 – 1 in the final held at Leek Town Football Club on 11th June 2022.
Two goals from ‘red boots’ John W, and a penalty from JoMo securing the win.

Due to unavailability, holidays, injuries, and other commitments The Relics were down to a bare six players, Keiran, Pat, Tex, Jerry, JoMo, and John W, with Jerry also not feeling 100% on the day.

As boss Keiran put it, “All the guys had the Relics positive, never say die, attitude.
Led by Keith S the lads gave everything and on the day were the better team as acknowledged by our opponents”.


A great achievement for all the players taking part and one for the history books for the Relics.