GMWFL Spring 2023 – Solid start for the over 60’s Stripes secures second spot

Bury Relics Over 60’s Stripes started their Greater Manchester Division 5 Walking Football league campaign on a bright but breezy day in Heywood.
The squad was Eddy (GK), Mark’s Thomas & Buckingham, Nev, Keith H, Ken Bond, Mike B and 2 late call ups, Tex and John Wardle, filling in for Pete Shev and John Howson. Ken Bug was Team Manager, with Keith S and Sir Pat also in attendance along with a handful of supporters.
A solid first day resulted in a win, draw and loss which was a good return all things considered.

First up were Wakefield Wanderers Whites whose skilful Number 3 was immediately identified as the danger man and so it proved as his shoot on sight policy paid off halfway through the first half, after an even opening period, when he fired a goal into the bottom right corner from 8 metres out. Eddy got a hand onto it but the power behind the shot took it in. Relics then pushed forward for the rest of the half with Ken and Keith both having good shots just past the post.
The second half was one way traffic as Mark B sprayed the ball around from the back and Relics battered their goal with 8 good shots from John, Nev, Mark T and Mike but all were blocked, saved or just off target. The opposition tactic of kicking for touch was frustrating but ultimately effective as the time they managed to waste certainly slowed down our siege of their goal and they held out for a 1 – 0 victory.

Our second match against Roach Dynamos started off at a frenetic pace of both foot and mouth. Shots and fouls aplenty from both teams followed until just before half time when our 4th foul resulted in a penalty being awarded against The Relics. Roach’s combative number 7 booted it ferociously high down the middle but Eddy stood tall and palmed it over the bar with 2 hands.
The halftime break brought some respite from the madness with Ken doing a brilliant job of resetting and settling us down. In the second half the pace slowed as Roach were on 3 fouls but we came out strong right from the off with 4 good shots making their goalie work hard. However, Roach came back equally strongly with Eddy making 3 cracking saves. Eventually, the Dynamos discipline cracked and a fast run off the ball handed us a penalty. Again, Ken had planned for this at half time and Keith had his orders which he executed perfectly with a well stroked shot to the keeper’s left. 1 – 0 up with 2 minutes to go was a good position but the kitchen sink was then thrown at us by a team with nothing to lose. Some desperate defending eventually led to Mark T being blue carded for a last ditch tackle on the edge of the D. We suffered the double punishment of a spot kick award which was blasted by a different taker above Eddy’s head into the top of the net. We then had a squeaky bum last minute to hold out for a 1 – 1 draw with a man down which was safely navigated when the ball sailed over our bar with the last kick of the match.

Ribble Valley was our final game; they are a skilful team with great movement and provided a tough test. Both teams exchanged a couple of shots at the beginning of the half which the keepers dealt with well. The Valley then started to dominate possession which left us chasing shadows and we quickly accumulated 4 fouls resulting in yet another penalty which to Relic relief was missed.
The second half saw some great walking football from both teams but class always tells and accomplished international, Tex, scored the only goal of the game with a magnificent powerful, low, angled drive through the goalkeeper’s legs which went in off the inside of the back post after been sent free by a lovely pass from Mike. Attacks continued in the final minutes as the game see sawed but eventually Eddy cemented the 1 – 0 win with a great diving save low to his left after a last second Valley breakaway.

Congratulations to Ian McK on his first report. Well done Ian.

For all the 2023 fixture and results see the Match Centre page here …

GMWFL Spring 2023 – an over 65s Nifty Nine deliver top of the league

Reading the team sheet prior to the first round of Spring fixtures for the over 65s, was like looking through a pack of super hero Top Trump cards. No, it was not the Dynamic Duo, nor the Fantastic Four, and neither the Magnificent Seven, it was The Nifty Nine for the Bury Relics; at this level, every player was an experienced and top-class walking football player. Plenty of Bury Relics supporters had turned up to see how the Relics could do this time around, and they were not to be disappointed. The first game up was against the current league champions, Kingsmaid, and their goal machine talisman, #77, was present in the squad. Tony G was given the unenviable task of marking him, and so, the games commenced.

Club Kingsmaid versus Bury Relics Over 65’s
To watch extended highlights of this game, click-here.
The final result was a 0-0 draw.
Goal: no goals in this game.
Result; Club Kingsmaid 0 – 0 Bury Relics Over 65’s

Bury Relics Over 65’s versus Manchester Corinthians
To watch extended highlights of this game, click-here.
The final result was a 1-0 win to Bury.
Goal: Gerry L’s smartly taken corner reached Graham, who’s precision hypersonic strike beat their keeper from distance. The score 1-0, click-here.
Result; Bury Relics Over 65’s 1 – 0 Manchester Corinthians

Bury Relics Over 65’s versus Preston North End
To watch extended highlights of this game, click-here.
The final result was a 0-0 draw.
Goal: no goals in this game.
Result; Bury Relics Over 65’s 0 – 0 Preston North End

ury Relics Over 65’s versus Bolton Arena
To watch extended highlights of this game, click-here.
The final result was a 2-0 win to Bury.
Goal: Gerry L is advancing forward, receives a pass from Graham, and shoots into Bolton’s goal, via the glove of their goalkeeper. A good goal to make it 1-0, click-here.
Penalty Save, a dramatic moment. With the score at 1-0, Bury conceded a penalty courtesy of the 4 foul rule. Gaz concentrated hard and made an outstanding dive to his left, to tip the ball around the post to preserve Bury’s 1-0 lead, click here.

Goal: One of Pete’s telescopic legs robs possession from a Bolton forward and John W is on to it; he plays it forward to Graham, who uses guile and skill to bamboozle the defender and then chip over the stranded keeper. The score 2-0, click-here.
Result; Bury Relics Over 65’s 2 – 0 Bolton Arena

What a good day for the Bury Relics club. With 2 wins and 2 draws, that puts Bury top of the league after the first set of fixtures. It was pleasing for everyone that Bury did not concede a goal all day, with hardly any free shots given away by Bury. Tony G produced a masterclass on how to shut out Kingsmaid’s danger man. Gaz, too, made an excellent penalty save against Bolton, and another penalty by Corinthians was blasted way over, following an apparent toe incursion into the goal area. However, following an extensive investigation by the Belgium Detective Poirot, no evidence was ever found for that alleged toe incursion. So, in the end, it was justice that the ball sailed high over the crossbar. The goals by Graham and Gerry were excellent, and John W had some good strikes that brought good saves. The comedy moment of the day was probably Graham’s first time and mis-timed air shot, that brought a few chuckles in the crowd. However, in the end, it was he who had the last laugh, after scoring two sublime strikes that Messi would be happy with. Thanks to the squad who all played well, and the staff on the day: Players Gaz (GK), Dave L, Gerry L, Tex, Pete S, Alan, Tony G, Graham (C) and John W. Staff: Manager Ken Bug, Sir Pat, Keiren and Keith S. The Relics were backed up by at least 10 supporters today, which is phenomenal. Report by Dr. John.

GMWFL Spring 2023 – Good start for the over 60’s Whites

2nd March 2023 – Heywood Sports Village doesn’t let us down with the usual cold, blustery, showery weather. However technology did let us own, so no photos or videos from todays action which is a real shame because there was some great goals from Graham W and from Gordon (the dog) and some fantastic saves from General Gaz, plus controversy and a sin bin.

The Relics season kicked off with a tough game against last seasons runners up Kingsmaid. Relics played well, and both team had chances but the game ended 0 – 0

The Relics 2nd game of the day was against Corinthians. These are always tough games. The Relics played some great football, pass and move, quick paced play, it was a delight to watch. The Relics had the early chances with a passing Wayne > Gordon > Graham, but his shot was saved. Another passing move saw a great turn and shot from Graham which was saved by the Corinthians keeper.
Corinthians had a good spell with a powerful shot from distance well saved by Gaz. Another powerful shot hit the underside of the Relics bar and bounced back into play, a close one that! Gaz was kept busy again with a shot straight at him this time.
Another good passing move from the Relics ended in controversy. The move ended up with Graham with the ball at his feet, back to goal with a defender behind him on the edge of the Corinthians area, he was bundled down by the defender and the ref awarded a penalty to the Relics. The Corinthians defender was not happy with the ref at all, and was complaining angrily to him which resulted in the defender getting sin-binned for his actions. From the side-lines it looked like a definite foul on Graham from behind by the defender so spot on by the ref.
Ian stepped up to take the penalty, his shot into the bottom right hand corner gave the keeper no chance Final score Reiics 1 – Corinthians 0

Next up Rochdale who started brightly but with the Relics first attack, from a passing move that started in the Relics defence, Gordon found Graham who’s quick turn and shot into the bottom left corner of the net put the Relics 1 – 0 up.
Relics were playing good football which resulted in a few good chances with Graham hitting the post, another shot going just wide and anther saved by the Rochdale keeper.
At the the other end Gaz made a superb save from close range and a Rochdale free kick ended over the bar.
The next Relics attack found Gordon storming down the right hand side un-challenge form his own half, fire a superb shot from the edge of the area that gave the keeper no chance Relics 2 – 0 up.
Almost immediately from the re start the Relics won possession and a passing move from Ian to Graham, who found Gordon with a superb little flick. Gordon moved forward and tricked the keeper who went to ground and Gordon calmly played a wonderful chip over the keeper into the net. A goal of the season contender already and a pity it wasn’t caught on camera Relics 3 – 0
Rochdale had the final chance of the game when the Ref awarded them a penalty, but the penalty was missed giving the Relics a 3 – 0 win

Final game of the day was against last seasons Champions Wakefield. A good, even, end to end game saw the Relics lose 0 – 1 to a very powerful shot that whizzed past Gaz on his inside post. The shot was so hard Gaz didn’t have a chance. The Relics had a few chances but couldn’t pull the goal back. Final score Relics 0 – 1 Wakefield

A massive well played to al the Relics today, some great football, great saves, and great goals. Gaz, Tony G, Keith S, Wayne G, Ian McC, Gordon (dog), Graham W

For all the 2023 fixture and results see the Match Centre page here …

GMWFL Spring 2023 – a steady start for the over 70s

On a somber note, there’s recent sad news that the good man and Bury Relics player, Jerry S, passed away. As a little tribute, Jerry’s power stride is shown as the main picture for this report (See).

Bury Relics over 70s were spring and autumn champions in the GMWFL league in 2022. Could they maintain that superiority in the spring 2023 season? The final day of fixtures in December was sensational! Relics were ahead of Rochdale just on goal difference at the start of play, and managed to maintain that advantage by first mirroring results and then drawing the final game against Rochdale to win the league. Absolutely phenomenal! Is it possible this season can be as exciting as the last? Let’s see.

Blackpool Senior Seasider’s versus Bury Relics Over 70’s
To watch extended highlights of this game, click-here.
The final result was a 0-0 draw.
Goals: no goals in this game.
Result; Blackpool Senior Seasider’s 0 – 0 Bury Relics Over 70’s

Bury Relics Over 70’s versus Tameside
To watch extended highlights of this game, click-here.
The final result was a 2-0 win to Bury.
Goal: anticipation, a quick interception and a smart finish by Jomo to make it 1-0, click-here.
Goal: Jomo passes to Wayne in space, who then fires a low shot to score for 2-0, click-here.
Result; Bury Relics Over 70’s 2 – 0 Tameside

Bury Relics Over 70’s versus Manchester Corinthians
To watch extended highlights of this game, click-here.
The final result was a 0-0 draw.
Goal: no goals in this game.
Result; Bury Relics Over 70’s 0 – 0 Manchester Corinthians

Bury Relics Over 70’s versus Rochdale AFC Strollers
To watch extended highlights of this game, click-here.
The final result was a 0-0 draw.
Goal: no goals in this game.
Result; Bury Relics Over 70’s 0 – 0 Rochdale AFC Strollers

All of the games from today’s fixtures finished goalless, except for Bury’s and Blackpool’s wins against Tameside. Bury scored twice and Blackpool only once, meaning Bury are currently top of the league on goal difference. Although some of the players came off saying their play had been rubbish, watching the videos showed that Bury battled competitively and tried to play good football. Of note, in the first game versus Blackpool, Bury went from 0 to 4 fouls within a few minutes! Also in the Blackpool game, John W had a great shot, where he moved from left to right across the area, some distance out, and arrows a shot heading right towards the top corner. Alas, their keeper makes an equally spectacular high/diving save. And Eddy makes 2 good saves himself: one against Blackpool, and another against Rochdale. The goals are also good, and all can be seen on the videos above. Ken provided a comedy moment, insisting Eddy needed to put on an orange bib for the Rochdale game, despite him already sporting a bright orange goalie top (to be fair to Ken, it was hidden under his coat at the time). Thanks to the squad and staff on the day: Players Eddy (GK), Dave M, Bob, Tex (C), Wayne D, John M (Jomo) and John W. Staff: Ken, Sir Pat and Keith S. The Relics were backed up by good supporters: Keith H, Keith B and his friend Jack. Report and drunken camera work by Dr. John.

Tex gets England call up

Following a successful trial at Redditch United’s ground on 19th February, Relics player Tex O’Rourke has capped off a fantastic 12 months with a call up to the England Walking Football Community (EWFC) over 70’s squad.

In the past 12 months Tex has captained the Relics over 70’s team to back-to-back league titles, winning the Greater Manchester Walking Football League (GMWFL) over 70’s title in both the spring season (March to June) and autumn season (September to December). Tex also captained the Relics over 70’s to the Walking Football League Alliance (WFLA) Champions Cup win on 11th June, and was voted Bury Relics Player of the year for 2022.

Chris Christian, the England (EWFC) over 70’s manager commented on Tex’s performance in the trial game, “From my point of view I saw many positive aspects of the game you carried out to a very high standard and I would love to work with you at our future sessions and know you will be a real asset to the squad.

Tex said
“Being a Farnworthian l would like to mention how proud I am to follow the foot steps of Tommy Banks, and Alan Ball.” “Also, I would like to thank everybody at the Relics for their support, encouragement, and friendship”

Tex becomes the second player from the Relics to be selected for England following Keith Bibby’s selection for the England Parkinson’s Walking Football squad in July 2022

Jerry Shuttleworth

We are sad to report the death of Relics player Jerry Shuttleworth on 21st February 2023.

Jerry was a respected and admired member of the Relics squad and was a key member of the Relics over 70’s team that had such a successful Spring 2022 season, winning the Greater Manchester Walking Football League (GMWFL) over 70’s title on 2nd June 2022 and the Walking Football League Alliance (WFLA) Champions Cup on 11 June 2022.

Jerry’s last appearance for the Relics was in the GMWFL over 74’s tournament on 18th July 2022.

GMWFL Over 70’s Champions.
Jerry front right

WFLA Champions League Winners
Jerry front left

Relics President Keiran Tilley summed up the feelings within the club ..

Jerry was not only a good footballer but a thoroughly decent guy and will be sadly missed by all connected to Bury Relics.

Relics President Keiran Tilley

Our sincere condolences go to Jerry’s wife Margaret, his family and friends.

Presentation Night 2023

Six trophies, England call-ups, and a Commonwealth Games Baton carrier. There was a lot for the Relics to celebrate from 2022, the first full year of league action since the COVID outbreak.
Over 50 people, (players, family, and friends) attended the 2023 Presentation Night on Friday 27th January 2023 at Radcliffe Boro FC to celebrate the two GMWFL 2022 seasons and the other successes throughout the year.
It was the usual entertaining evening, with music from the Relics trio ‘Hat Trick’ comprising JoMo, Dr John, and Norman Moot aka Iain D, good food, and good company culminating in the award of the trophies.

Player of the year for the over 60’s Stripes went to goalkeeper Eddie Ford, Over 60’s Whites went to Keith Swain, over 65’s also went to a goalkeeper, this time Gaz Sweeny, and the over 70’s award went to President Keiran Tilley. A special Unsung Hero award went to Keith Swain for all that he does in the background.

Overall Player of the Year went to Tex O’Rourke who has had a terrific season captaining the over 70’s team to back-to-back GMWFL leagues titles in 2022 winning both the Spring Season, and the Autumn Season over 70’s league titles. Tex’s year culminating in a call up for England trials to take place in February 2023.
Congratulation Tex.

Read the 2022 Yearly review here

Synopsis of 2022 from President Keiran Tilley

As I look back on the season 2022 it is with a great amount of pride in what we have all achieved at Bury Relics Walking Football Club.

We have had a terrific first full season since 2019 due to Covid. Results wise we’ve collected an amazing 6 trophies between the teams which is no mean feat, but I think it’s a lot more than that. We have a really good set of lads who get on well in the main but also who look after each other both on and off the pitch which is great to see.

We are really well respected by the officials of ( GMWFL) and I have been told by them several times this year that we are the best run club in the league. Also our opponents respect us for the way we conduct ourselves and the way we play the game itself. We have used over 36 players in league matches this season as we now have four teams in all.

What we do is of course about walking football but I believe it’s much more than that. We socialise together and have several well attended events such as Golf days, curry nights and of course our brilliant presentation evening. All these events bring us closer together and I must say the comradery is brilliant, please keep it going guys.

Other things I definitely feel deserve a mention are:

  • Keith Bibby’s selection for the England Parkinson’s Walking Football team in July.
  • Sir Pat’s selection to carry the commonwealth games Baton in Bolton in July
  • Also Tex being recently selected to go for trials for the England over 70’s walking football team in February 2023 an excellent and deserved recognition.

So things are looking good for the Relics. Let’s all work hard together to keep up the standards and keep improving Bury Relics for us all.

I’m looking forward to the 2023 season together.

Tex selected for England trials

Congratulations to Relics over 70’s Captain, Tex O’Rourke, who has been selected to take part in trials for the England over 70’s walking football team.

Tex has had an excellent 2022, leading the Relics over 70’s to back-to-back League titles in the Greater Manchester Walking Football League winning the Spring 2022 and Autumn 2022 titles.

Best wishes go to Tex from all at the Relics for the trials, which take place at Redditch United Football Club on Sunday 19th February 2023.

GMWFL – Autumn 2022. Relics 65’s finish on a high

12th January 2023. The GMWFL Over 65’s Autumn season was extended from December 2022 to 12th January due to frozen pitches in December. However the weather today was atrocious, more suited to fish than football, with dull grey clouds and heavy rain, not enjoyable for players or spectators.
The Relics started the day in second spot in the table, unable to catch unbeaten Kingsmaid who had dominated the season. Relics were in a strong position to finish as runners up being 5 points ahead of 3rd place Corinthians.

The first game was against Corinthians, and the weather took its toll as both teams struggled to get control of the ball and play with any rhythm. Bothe teams had chances but none were put away. Final score 0 – 0

The second game saw the Relics come to terms with the weather a bit better and dominate opponents Preston with some good pass and move play and plenty of shots, which, on another day, could have resulted in at least one hat trick from the Relics team. However Preston managed to keep the Relics out. Final score 0 – 0

Next came unbeaten, champions elect, Kingsmaid. the Relics had an early set back when the ref deemed that Gaz had strayed out of his area and awarded a penalty to Kingsmaid. The penalty was struck hard and low down to Gaz’s right hand post, but Gaz had the shot covered as it sped past the outside of the post.
As the weather got clearer for a short while, the football improved. With Tony G keeping the dangerous Kinsmaid number 77 quiet, and the Relics having the majority of possession it looked like the game was going to end without any goals, however following a skirmish on the edge of the Kingsmaid area the Relics were awarded a penalty as a Kingsmaid player had stepped into the area. As JoMo stepped up to take the spot kick the ref stopped the game for Kingsmaid to make a substitution. Was this gamesmanship to try to put JoMo off his task? If it was, it failed because JoMo fired the ball into the roof of the net. 1 – 0 to the Relics. Relics were playing keep-ball now and as Graham was tackled about halfway inside the Kingsmaid half, he came out with the ball and fired a right foot shot into the bottom corner to make the final score 2 – 0 to the Relics. A great performance from the Relics inflicting the first defeat of the season on Kingsmaid.

Final game of the season was against struggling Rochdale, but Bury v Rochdale games are never easy. The Relics had a number of chances and broke the deadlock following a great cross field pass from Tex in the right back position to Alan B on the left who took one touch and fired a right foot shot into the bottom right hand corner.
Final score Relics 1 – Rochdale 0

The Relics 8 point haul on the day ensures a runner up spot in the league and another addition to the trophy cabinet.

A massive “well played” to everyone, Gaz in goal, making some fine saves Pete Shev, Tex, and Tony G solid at the back, Alan B and JoMo linking up well with Graham up front. Also well done to team manager “Sir” Pat. And thanks to the supporters that turned up in horrible conditions.

For all the Greater Manchester Walking Football League Autumn fixtures and results see the Match Centre page here …