GMWFL Autumn 2022 Unbeaten start for over 65’s

The Relics over 65’s kicked off their GMWFL Autumn 2022 season unbeaten on the day from their four games, with one win and three draws which put them into second place in the league table.
The Relics had the majority of the play in all the games and, on another day, could have finished with four wins.

First game of the day was against Manchester Corinthians. The game started well for the Relics with a five-pass move from their own half that fizzled out on the edge of the Corinthians area. Corinthians were passing the ball around too, but one back-pass was very nearly intercepted by Graham W but he was judged to have been running by the ref.

Corinthians had the next chance when a cross-field pass from the right found a player free on the left, he took a touch and blasted a shot that Eddie in the Relics goal managed to divert onto the post and out for a corner.
The Relics had a glorious chance when Alan, just inside the Relics half on the left hand side passed to John W who was moving down the left, John was free, he had space in front and carried the ball, his shot was heading for the keepers bottom left-hand corner of the goal, the keeper anticipated John’s shot and was diving to his right, the crowd on the touchline had the cheer stifled when the keeper managed to stick out his left leg and deflect the shot for a corner.
The corner was well worked by the Relics with Gerry finding Graham wo cut in from the right and fired a left foot shot but the keeper got down well for another good save to turn it for another corner to the Relics.
The Relics hand another breakaway chance shortly after with Tony G finding Graham with his pass from defence, bursting through from the back to collect the return pass from Graham, but his shot was saved by the Corinthians keeper.
Corinthians threaten a few times but could get through the defensive trio of Alan, Gerry and Tony G. Final Score Corinthians 0 – 0 Relics

Next game was Preston North End, which started with a goal from Graham W in the first few minutes.
Relics won a corner on their right which was well worked by Gerry L and Alan B, while Graham W lost his marker and moved to the far side of the goal area. Gerry spotted Graham on the far side of the area and passed the ball across the area, the Preston keeper tried to intercept but failed and the ball reached Graham.

The keeper tried to close down Graham and went down anticipating Grahams shot but was left flapping at fresh air as Graham calmly took a left foot touch and gently passed the ball into the net with his right leaving the keeper sitting dejected at the edge of his area.

The Relics were two goals up within minutes, a good interchange of passing and moving between Gerry, Graham W and JoMo ended with a left foot shot from Gerry giving the keeper no chance. A really great move and finish.

The Relics were steady and on top with Eddie in the Relics goal and Pete Shev at the back not really having much to do. However, Preston managed to work an opening and pulled a goal back. Final Score Preston 1 – 2 Relics

Third game was a tough one against Kingsmaid. The Relics were still hurting from a defeat by Kingsmaid in the National Cup Regional Final so knew what to expect and who were the danger men.
Kingsmaid started with a period of possession which resulted in a shot from the left just missing Eddies near post

Relics were pinned in their own half for a while until poor control from a Kingsmaid player just in the Relics half allowed JoMo to tackle and John W to come away with the loose ball, he set Graham off who held the ball well on the edge of the Kingsmaid area then rolled a pass to Tony G who had a great shot from distance which the keeper managed to turn for a corner. I think his hands are still stinging from the shot. A good period of ply followed for the Relics with another shot getting deflected for a corner, but the ref had spotted soething and had given a free kick to the Relics which came to nothing.
The next passage of play saw a Relics player stray into the goal area resulting in a penalty for Kingsmaid. Up stepped Kingsmaid number 55 to face Eddie in the Relics goal. As number 55 stepped up Eddie did a quick shuffle to his left, the striker hit it high to Eddies right, Eddies shuffle to his left was his springboard to dive to his right and pull off one of the best penalty saves you will ever see. Cheers and shouts of ‘well done Eddie’ and ‘great save Eddie’ could be heard from the Relics contingent on the touchline.
The next Relics attack saw the roles reversed with Kingsmaid 69 running into across the edge of the area, penalty to Relics, could they get the goal they so much deserved?
Graham stepped up to face the keeper with the Kingsmaid 55 looking closely at Grahams action. As Graham steps up the keeper anticipates and dives to his left, but Graham’s shot is more central and is saved by the keeper knee as he dives left and goes out for a corner. Frustration all round for the Relics. Relics continued to pile on the pressure from the corner, keeping the ball and passing and moving resulting in a shot from Pete Shev getting blocked then a shot from Graham saved by the keepers’ legs again. The Relics were on top now and another shot from JoMo just went wide of the post. Kingsmaid were trying to get their danger man striker 77 into the game but Pete Shev had him covered every time. No other chances of note. Final score Kingsmaid 0 – 0 Relics.

The last game of the ay for the Relics was against Rochdale. Relics started well with a ten-pass move that ended witha shot from Graham going wide of the Rochdale post. The game was a much slower pace that the Kingsmaid game. Relics continued to play the passing and moving game, and a 11-pass move started by Gerry just inside the Rochdale half on the Relics right was ended by Gerry on the left hand side of the Rochdale area with a shot that was wide.

Another seven-pass move started by Eddie in the Relics goal went the whole length of the pitch but was snuffed out by the Rochdale defence on the edge of their area. A quicker move by the Relics ended with a JoMo shot going wide. Relics continue to press and Graham was tackled from behind on the edge of the Rochdale area, the resultant free kick was eventually struck wide by John W. Another shot from Gerry was also wide. A quick one-two between Gerry and John W brought a fine save from Gerry’s shot that was heading into the bottom right hand corner. Another chance created by the Relics a sharp turn and shot from Graham was saved well by the Rochdale keeper. Relics kept pressing but couldn’t get the elusive goal. Final Score Rochdale 0 – 0 Relics

Well done to all the Relics players Eddie (gk), Pete Shev, Gerry L, Tony G, JoMo, John W, Graham W. and to Manager Ken. Thanks to Kodak Keith & Keith B for the photos. Thanks to the support from the touchline.

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

A Tough Start For The Stripes New Sept 2022 Season

A new season for the Stripes awaited in Heywood. A scratch team was scrambled together, that included the super utility over 70s player in Goal, Bob Cat and the Parkinson’s England team centre forward, Keith B. When I arrived, they were warming up, by performing a “piggy in the middle” type approach, with Mark T running around like a crazy, drunken fly, trying to get the ball as it was passed around a ring of Bury team members. I have to assume the other players had a turn before I arrived.  For a change, today had good playing conditions, and after the usual obligatory league speech preceding all league fixtures, Bury Relics got their season underway against Wakefield. As the team marched onto the pitch, the management were giving encouragement and geeing the Bury troops up, with added instruction. One Relics player replied, “will give it a go”; a good sentiment, always try your best. So here we go…

Bury Relics vs. Wakefield
Keith H gets the game underway and Bury try to get into a passing rhythm. However, the move breaks down, for Wakefield to set free their #6, who weaves in and out between a couple of Bury players, only to shoot wide. Bob Cat was not needed this time but their Messi #6 is a danger. Bury again pass the ball around but by now, Wakefield are pressing hard. Despite the pressing, Keith H, receives the ball from a ricochet, who turns well and shoots just wide. That was a good chance. Then it’s Keith H again, profiting from a Wakefield mistake that gives him possession. He’s not one on one as a defender is between him and the goal, but he has the opportunity to shoot, but the defender just gets a toe to the shot to block it. This is good attacking play by Keith, shooting early when the chance arises. Wakefield now go on the attack, which produces some good defending by both Wayne and Pete, who stand firm against the Wakefield offence. This first involved Pete, doggedly tracking their Messi like #6, who is pushed back, but he hits a good pass to a player further forward, that Wayne tackles well. Then it’s a bit of delicious play by Bury.  John H is coming out of the Bury defence and he plays the ball up to Keith H, who has a marker behind him; Keith then spots the movement of Wayne, who has joined the attack, and lays a perfect ball into his path, for Wayne to strike hard. It’s on target, to the keepers left, and the keeper has to get down quickly to make a good save and prevent 1-0 to Bury. Great move, shot and save. It’s a corner to the Relics but Wakefield breakaway and get it to their Messi, #6. He tries to take on Pete S using his guile, speed and skill but Pete was equal to it, and makes a good tackle with one of his telescopic legs; excellent defending. Bury go down the other end and Mark T takes a powerful shot and wins a corner via a deflection. The corner comes to nothing and Wakefield attack and get a shot away. Bob stands firmly behind the ball to make the save. In the subsequent Bury attack, Mark T, or should I say Cantona, superbly sets up a chance for the Relics. The ball is played up to Mark, who facing away from goal. In the corner of his eye, he sees Keith H make a move to be free of his marker. Mark T reacts and plays a delicate ball right into Keith H’s path, a perfect pass to give Keith a clear shotting chance. His shot is just wide but the move was awesome. Well done Mark T and Keith, a great move, which had the Bury management and supporters purring. Then the phantom attacker takes Mark T out; he seemed happy jogging around, but suddenly, out of nowhere, he’s flies onto the floor. To be fair, I did not see exactly what happened, and maybe he was tripped off the ball. In any case, good news, he was OK to continue, and could rest as it was half time. One funny moment at half time, was the comment made one of the staff; he said that before his last holiday, one player was fit and like a highly tuned athlete, but on his return from vacation, now looked like Michelin man 😊. The second half gets underway and it becomes apparent that the game has become a bit scrappy, with neither team making shooting opportunities, well, not without running anyway. Eventually, a good attempt by the Relics. The ball is played forward, and the attacker sees Wayne advancing forward and lays off an inviting pass for Wayne to shoot. It’s a great effort, low and powerful, but unfortunately, it just speeds wide of the left-hand post. If on target, that’s a goal. Then Wakefield nearly score; a player advances quickly down the right-hand side, and toe bungs a low and direct shot to Bob’s left-hand side. It’s very close as the ball seems to trap against both post and against Bob’s hand. The result is a corner to Wakefield but that was close, and it’s close again from the corner, and again, it’s Bob who makes the save. Great resilience from Bob Cat the keeper. Keith B gets in on the act, as he receives the ball up front and lays off a perfect ball to Mark T, who shoots well but just wide. A good chance to snatch a victory for the Relics but the Ref blows the whistle for full time.
Bury Relics 0 – 0 Wakefield

Bury Relics vs. Bolton
Both teams have a blue kit, so Bury put on Orange Bibs, to visually differentiate the teams. I made the very funny joke that a Bib was very appropriate for Keith B 😊. Not to be outdone by the superb whit and humour, Nikon Nev then announced this should be called a “Lancashire Hot Pot” of a derby. OK, so it was. The Relics get the game underway, with a good number of passes, until Bolton tackle the ball out of play. Keith B plays a nice kick-in, finds Mark T and he plays in Wayne for a shot, who hits it low and hard, but the keeper makes the save. Then disaster strikes, as their #7 scores a quality goal, the finish that is. From a Relics perspective, it was poor as possession was lost in midfield and their #7 had enough space, about 5 yards outside the area, to be unchallenged in the shot. However, at this distance, only a quality hit would beat Bob, and it was a great strike, low and across the goal, just out of reach of Bob’s agile dive and into the far corner. A great goal for Bolton, who were now ahead 1-0. Then a chance for the Relics, Keith B moves into space by side-stepping his marker and takes a snap shot that just goes wide. A nice effort. Then it’s the Relics knocking on the door again; this time Keith B receives the ball from a smart Pete S pass, and he crosses to Keith H, who makes half a yard of space, to hit a shot that just goes wide of the left-hand post. Another good Relics effort. Now a trench warfare develops between both teams, and they both try and deny either team time and space, with quick closing down, with a couple of free-kicks won by ricochets that when overhead. Bolton were beginning to dominate this battle, and were making some long-range powerful shots. These were potentially dangerous shots, but luckily not on target. Relics players were putting their bodies on the line, by blocking Bolton shots. One excellent block was executed by Pete S, who swiftly closed down the striker, who was set up to shoot from a Bolton free-kick. Then there came the second disaster of the game. At first, I thought Bob had played superbly, by denying two shots on goal by Bolton. Bob bravely put his body in the way of a howitzer of a shot, that rebounded out for the striker to follow up. He did so, but all of a sudden, the Ref blew his whistle as he had spotted a Relics foot had strayed into the area; it was a penalty to Bolton. The #7 striker stepped up and hit the penalty pretty centrally, to see the ball ripple the net as Bob had gambled and dived to his right. There was good power on the penalty, so Bob had little chance and it was 2-0 to Bolton. From the centre, Relics win a kick-in, which Mark T takes to perfection, playing the ball over to Keith B, who takes a pace forward and hits it firs time. Unfortunately, the connection is not clean and the ball spins up and harmlessly away. On another day, that could have been a great goal, and the set up by Mark was quick and incisive, and Keith had moved and gained a bit of space to smartly finish. Unlucky, and concluded the first half. Bolton try and catch the Relics out, with a shot from the second half start, but it’s well blocked. Then from the resulting play, Bob makes a good save from their striker, who hits a hard shot that Bob gets behind. Then a good bit of play by Keith H, who gets the ball and cleverly bamboozles and turns away from the defender to get a shot away but it is saved and out for a corner. Keith B then does a good bit of play, by anticipating a Bolton pass out of defence and intercepting it. There appears a chance to shoot but he elects to pass and the opportunity fizzles out. However, it was an alert interception. Then it’s a hard shot from Bolton in midfield, that Bob nearly breaks his wrist on, and the save takes it out for a corner to Bolton. The attack breaks down when Mark T makes a tackle that normally is not allowed, by poking the ball from between an opponents legs. This gives Mark a chance to shoot, which he does and wins a corner off the keepers save. From then on, Bolton manage the game by passing around and by minimizing any Bury possession. The games finishes in a 2-0 loss.
Bury Relics 0 – 2 Bolton

Bury Relics vs. Ribble Valley
Bury kick off and manage a seven or eight pass move before Ribble intercept, they move forward and create a chance to shoot; Bob is alert and makes the save by getting his body behind it, a good save. Then, what is becoming a signature Relics move for the day, the ball is played up-front by John H, who finds Keith H. He bides his time and waits for Wayne to move forward into space. Keith plays the pass and Wayne whacks it first time, that the Ribble goalie has to save down to his left-hand post. Then comes an impressive goal by Ribble. From an interception by their #10, the ball is crossed to their #7 striker, who has his back to goal and is marked by a Relics defender. As the ball comes to him, he flicks the ball up, does 3 keepie uppies, and moves the ball wide of his defender, then to volley, low passed a diving Bob. What an exquisite goal that was! If that was in the premier league, it will be a contender for goal of the season. Mark T is in the wars again, as he’s pushed into the Relics area; there was no question of it being a penalty but fans were wondering if that was a foul count against the Ribble. Nice play by the Relics, keeping possession whilst being harassed by the Ribble players. This ends with a good shot from a long way out by Pete S, but it’s just too high. Then out of nothing, the ball is quickly played forward to the edge of the Relics area, with plenty of pace on it. It looks like their #7 can’t reach it, but he puts his afterburners on with big strides and manages to reach the ball. He toe-pokes a shot passed an on-rushing Bob into the net, to make it 2-0 to the Ribble. The second half gets underway as in the Bolton game, with the opposition trying to catch Bury asleep, by taking a shot straight from the kick-off. Bob makes the save but the shot was overhead in any case. Then, its superb battling by Mark T as the game resumes, he wins the ball in midfield and feeds Wayne for a shot, who shoots but it’s saved. Then it’s sensational play by the Relics; Mark T takes a precision corner, perfectly finding Keith B in a bit of space. He takes a step forwards, adjusts his sights and lets fly with a hard and low shot to the keepers right. The keeper gets a hand on it, but the shot is powerful and accurate enough to score; the Relics are back in it at 2-1. An awesome goal for Keith B and the Relics. Nikon Nev was so amazed, he had stopped taking photographs so that he could take in the small moment of history. However, back to reality as we were still tailing. More good Relics passing finds Mark T up front, and he decides to start to playing chess with the Ribble defence. He holds onto the ball for about thirty seconds but without moving more than a foot in any direction, waiting for a defender to commit.  Eventually, Mark T elects to turn and shoot, but it’s a hair’s breadth wide. That was close, and the best chance Relics had to score in the final moments of the game.
Bury Relics 1 – 2 Ribble Valley

From three games, the Relics earned a point but in my small opinion, that did not reflect the moments of good play the Relics produced. The Relics did have shots but aside from Keith B’s goal, many of them were either off target or not powerful enough to put the opponent’s keeper in trouble. All the games were pretty even, with the critical difference being the finishing by other teams. I have heard people say, it’s not easy to score in the Heywood league, and I agree with that. On another day, with better shots, Bury Relics could easily have gained more than a point. As a fan and spectator, I enjoyed the games, a positive and competitive spirit from the team and staff. Well done, Relics.

Thanks, and well done to all the players: Bob Cat (gk), Keith H, John H, Peter S, Mark T, Keith B and Wayne G. And to the manager and all the staff: Ken and Keith S. Thanks to Nikon Nev for his photos. Report by Dr. John.

A Steady Start From Bury, Sept over 60s

Bury Relics over 60’s team come into the new season fresh from competing in the Martin Dawson Trophy competition at the weekend. There they reached the semi-finals of the Plate Trophy, and most of that team were the same players as in todays team. In a small quirk of fate, the team to knock out the Relics at the weekend, were the first opponents for today; could the Relics reap revenge? So not to disappoint anyone reading this report, I can say the weather for this set of fixtures was overcast, and it rained part way through the second game against Preston but it was not for long. The traffic was also clear, so getting to Heywood Sports Village was smooth. Can the Relics win promotion back into the first division? Here is the report of the first round of fixtures.

Bury vs. Bolton
Prior to KO, there was a discussion regarding the firmness of the match ball, and after some deliberation, Bury’s own match ball was used. From the kick-off, Bolton were keeping possession, passing around the team but all in their own half. They were passing cautiously and measured, before passing the ball forward, with the ball just evading the Bolton forward and through to Eddy. Bury then passed around themselves before Bolton managed to intercept it. A lightening pass, across the pitch, is intercepted by Keith S, but there is a gasp from the Bury players, as he makes a hefty slice contact and it goes out for a corner. He will say, “simmer down lads, I had it all under control”, but the power in the pass meant his clearance would have been difficult to save if on target. Bolton, from the resulting corner, play it across the box and the striker shoots and Eddy makes a smart save, low down to his left. Bury then string some passes together, involving Terry, Ian and Alan, with the latter taking a shot at the end of the move, but for the Bolton keeper to save. Then it’s the Relics again, as they attack and pass around the Bolton area, to force a corner. From the corner evolves a nice, multiple passing move that crescendos in a Terry shot from a long way out on the right. The keeper makes the save and the Relics have another corner. That was excellent football. Bolton try and reply, by taking the ball down the other end, and feeding their #9. He tries to bamboozle Ian, but he stands firm, refusing to commit or give up any space for a Bolton shot. In the end, #9 does get a shot away, but all the power is absorbed by both Terry and Ian, and the ball runs harmlessly away to Eddy in goal. Bury now attack, with Graham getting the ball from a long Eddy throw-out, who passes out left to Terry, who quickly returns the pass in a 1-2 move, and Graham takes a shot, but it’s just too high. Nice try though. Now, Bolton enjoy a spell of attacking pressure, and only good blocks by Alan, Keith S and Terry prevent clear shots from Bolton. Then comes the spectacular moment of the game, from a Bury point of view; more specifically, it was an awesome save by Eddy. Their striker takes on a Bury defender and finds enough space to hit a low and powerful shot across the goal, from right to left looking at the goal. It’s a certain goal, that is until a flash of Orange, like a Patriot missile intercepting a Skud, Eddy flies across the goal and with a strong hand, diverts the ball wide of the goal to give a corner. A great save at any level of football. From the corner, Bolton create another chance but this time it’s off target. Keith S then showcases his drag back skills, to get himself out of trouble, and play the ball to Alan, who feeds Ian, who is now one-on-one and just outside the area. The Bolton keeper had read the danger and had sped to the edge of the area, skidding on his side, just in front of Ian. Ian shoots against the keeper, and the ball goes wide and for a corner. That was a big chance for the Relics. Another Relics move finds Graham with his back to goal, and a smart turn gives him the opportunity to shoot, but it lacked the power to beat the keeper. Then the decisive moment. From a Bolton free-kick, the defense is not organized enough, and a Bolton player receives the ball, and pushes it passed the last Relics defender, he then chases the ball, and toe-bungs it passed a stranded Eddy, who made a good effort to save it. It all happened in a flash and it could be the defence was not properly ready from the free-kick. In any case, there was no revenge and the result was a 1 – 0 win to Bolton.
Result; Bury Relics 0 – 1 Bolton

Bury vs. Preston
The first action of the game is some smart skills by their #7, who zig-zags around a couple of Relics players in midfield, he shows good skill but then loses the ball. Graham retrieves possession but is then tackled from behind by the same #7 player. Preston regain possession after Bury’s free-kick and from the back, make a cracker of a shot. The ball is struck from just past the halfway line by Ray, who catches it nicely and the thunderbolt of a shot hits the top corner of cross-bar and post, making the goal shake (see pics below). That was very close to Relics conceding a goal. The Relics reply by playing the ball to Graham, who does his trademark turn and shot, but this time with not enough power to beat the keeper, but a decent effort nonetheless. Preston, like Bolton in the previous game, are playing measured and accurately out from the back, but without being too dangerous. Ian and Graham are interchanging passes, and Graham plays Ian in, but the pass is just a bit too hard, and that means Ian has to put on the turbos to reach the ball, and shoots wide. The ref decided it was running in any case. Their midfielder tries a Robina type pass after dispossessing Graham, and though it looks good to the eye, his bearings are wrong and it just goes straight out of play. From the kick-in, Relics win a free-kick but this comes to nothing. On the next Preston attack, Relics manage to intercept and play in Ian on a break-away move, but alas, Ian had been adjudged to have run. Bury then create a chance for Terry, who comes forward from the back and connects powerfully with Grahams set up pass, but the ball flies past the left-hand post. Nice effort and great power on the shot. Then the Relics produce another good attacking move, this time Graham showing great tenacity by winning the ball from a Preston defender, holding him off, and then passing the ball to Alan, who meets the ball first time and shoots; it’s a high and dipping shot, that just clears the bar. Their keeper probably would not have saved that, and it would have been on goal of the month if this was the premier league; a great effort by Alan. Preston then win a free-kick just passed the halfway line, which was played to Ray, who takes a sharp and low shot, just wide of the left-hand post; that was a close chance for Preston. Ian then comes out of defence on the left side and passes cross-field to Alan, but unfortunately, there is too much on the pass and it evades Alan. A couple more chances for the Relics, the ball comes to Ian, who dummies a defender and takes it wide of him, and shoots. The keeper saves but the rebound comes out to Graham, but it is just out of his reach, so he has to put some speed on to reach it. The ref is OK with it, and Graham takes a shot that whistles wide. The game ends all square at 0–0.
Result; Bury Relics 0 – 0 Preston

Bury vs. Carlisle
Carlisle win the toss and Kick-off, who immediately go on the attack and carve out a good chance. They manage to find a man free on the edge of the box, and the player tries to take a quick shot, trying to catch Eddy off guard but that quickness means he scuffs the effort weakly and the ball rolls to Eddy. The pass out from Eddy finds Graham up-front, who holds the ball momentarily until support arrives in the form of Ian, on the left. Graham makes the pass to Ian, who hits it first time, the keeper does make the save but in an unorthodox fashion, with his feet. Carlisle reply with an attack of their own, finding their #6 in an advanced position. He shoots and Eddy gets a touch on it, onto the post and away for a corner. The subsequent move from the corner is a good one by Carlisle, incisive. The ball is played quickly from the corner, out to the middle of the goal, and the striker moves quickly towards the ball, hitting it first time, but fortunately for the Relics, it goes way over the bar and clears the back fence. Although off target, that was a sharp corner that could have led to a Carlisle goal. Carlisle continue pressing and win a free-kick, which they play to their #3, who strikes it hard but again too high. Again, Carlisle win back possession and force Eddy into another save, going out for a corner. The corner by Carlisle is again good, quick and leads to a shot but this time wide, and his foot was in the box anyway. The Relics go on the attack down the right-hand side, and a smart pass from Terry finds Alan up ahead. Alan speculatively passes square without looking, hoping that Graham was taking that space, but the ball transversed the pitch and out of play. Alan’s involved again, taking a foul and winning a free-kick, which is laid back to Keith S, who smashes it goalwards but ricochets off a defender, and puts Carlisle back on the attack. This breakaway leads to a Carlisle shot but the dependable Eddy saves with his feet. Carlisle come close again, when the defence plays up to their #3 who sharply turns and hits a crisp shot, that is only millimeters wide. Then a moment of controversy when Graham uses his skill and guile to bamboozle the last defender and get a yard free of him. The defender is tall and starts to fall onto Graham, who sees this in the corner of his eye, and as a consequence, Graham deflects the defender with his palms. However, the final outcome is the chance for the Relics to score has passed and Relics players and supporters are crying “Penalty”. However, the Ref gives a foul against Graham for using his hands in an act of self-preservation. Then the Relics produce some fantastic football in the final moments, by first intercepting Carlisle and then making multiple passes around the team, finally arriving at Terry’s feet, who shoots just wide of the goal. A tough game and probably a fair result, a 0–0 draw.
Result; Bury Relics 0 – 0 Carlisle

Bury vs. Blackpool
Bury get the game underway and put together a 5 pass move that ends up with Ian getting a shot away but it was blocked. Then Blackpool make an all-out attack, with plenty of movement, and lay siege on the Relics goal for a couple of minutes, whilst leaving Graham in space 2 yards past the halfway line. Blackpool get intercepted by a good challenge, and Graham is set free, latching onto a long pass, taking long strides, so not to get caught running. He reaches the ball as it approaches the Blackpool penalty area; the goalie has moved out to the edge of it to confront Graham, making his frame as big as possible. The best place to put the ball is through his open legs, and Graham obliges by toe-poking the ball straight through the goal keepers legs and into the goal. Hooray and clapping are heard from the sidelines, the Relics have scored to make it 1-0, a good early lead in this game. Blackpool, from the kick-off, make good moves forward with nice passing interchanges between 2 players but ends up being intercepted by the Relics. Graham and Ian produce a one-two and move the Relics forward but a last-ditch tackle prevents a Relics shot. Blackpool play the ball forward and win a free-kick from a tackle from behind. Blackpool try to unravel the Relics defence with quick and incisive passing, but they did not count on “The Wall”! No, not the Pink Floyd record but the brick wall that is Keith S; he uses his quick reflexes and sublime anticipation to intercept a Blackpool pass, and then finds himself surrounded by 2 Blackpool attackers. He keeps his cool, like Clint Eastwood in a Spaghetti Western duel, and hammers the ball at full power against one of the Blackpool attackers. So not only does he cleverly intercept and stop dead in its tracks, the Blackpool attack, he also plays the ball out of play, off an opponent, so that the Relics keep possession. Superb play, nobody’s getting pass “The Wall”. Then after that heroic passage of play, disaster nearly strikes. A loose pass back from attack by the Relics is intercepted by their #7, who is quick to push the ball wide of his marking defender, and hit a shot across Eddy’s goal. Luckily for the Relics, it goes past the far post and out for a goal-kick. Then, wow, another let-off! The Relics contrive to loose the ball near the edge of their own area, probably due to fatigue, and Blackpool have a chance to equalize; the Relics ride their luck again as Blackpool end up messing up the chance. That was 2 let-offs in quick succession. Then Graham receives the ball, facing the opponents goal, with a defender in front of him, and decides to try a Messi type run, weaving left and right, trying to bamboozle the defender. He does so for the first few swerves but eventually, the defender toes the ball to another Blackpool player, who promptly plays it forward to an unmarked attacker, who moves forward and shoots wide. Extraordinary! That was now 3x lucky let-offs. Unperturbed, the Relics persist in their attacking, and Ian creates some space for himself on the left-hand side and crosses, trying to find Graham, but alas, it is not close enough to Graham to be dangerous. The game ends with Bury winning 1-0, a good result from a great game to watch. Blackpool will probably think they should have won it, as they had 3 or 4 good chances to score, and missed all of them, whereas the Relics had 1 really good chance, and they scored. A thoroughly entertaining game.
Result; Bury Relics 1 – 0 Blackpool

That was a good and steady start for the Relics team, they fought hard on the day. It is noteworthy that Bury are now competing in division 2 this season, but the difference between the quality of teams between divisions 1 and 2 is minimal. All the teams had good players and all produced good football during todays games. So well done Bury.

Thanks, and well done to all the players: Eddie (gk), Keith S, Alan, Ian, Graham, Terry and Tony G (sub). And to the manager and all the staff: Ken, Keith S and Keiren. Thanks to Kodak Keith for the photos. Report by Dr. John.

Photos

GMWFL Autumn 2022 – Good start for Relics over 70’s

The Relics made a solid start in the defence of their GMWFL Over 70’s title. The Division has been reduced to 4 teams this season so there are only 3 games each match day for the teams.
Although heavy showers were predicted, the players enjoyed a mild sunny day for the opening day of the season, I’m sure there won’t be many of those this autumn.

On to the action and first up was Blackpool. The Relics dominated possession early on in the game but went behind when a Relics defender strayed into the area and gave away a penalty. The penalty was hit with precision and pace and gave Eddie in the Relics net no chance. Relics 1 – 0 down, against the run of play, that wasn’t in the script.

The Relics kept pressing and we’re rewarded with a penalty of their own for under the four offence rule, which John W put away nicely sending the keeper the wrong way. 1 – 1.
The Relics continued to dominate the game and went ahead from a superb goal from JoMo,. relics 2 – 1. Another strike from John W secured the comeback win 3 – 1

Next came newly promoted Tameside, who proved a tough test for the Relics. Relics went behind early on when a shot from the Tameside left was deflected into the Relics net at Eddie’s near post, he got his hand to it but couldn’t keep it out.
The second half was a similar affair with Relics not really getting going and eventually giving away a penalty under the four offence rule. The penalty was well struck but Eddie was equal to it and pulled off a great save to keep the Relics in the game.
Innthe last 5 mins the Relics pushed forward for the equaliser but were left exposed at the back and went 2 – 0 down from a breakaway goal. Final score Relics 0 Tameside 2.

The Relics we’re expecting a tough encounter from the final game of the day against Rochdale who are always well organised and competitive.
The first half was a tight game with the Relics having a number of shots but none beating the keeper.
The Relics got going in the second half against a tiring Rochdale side with 2 goals from John W, one from JoMo and one from Keith B from a superb through ball by Keiran. Not forgetting another four offence penalty save from Eddie, that’s two penalty saves on the day and some great saves in all the games.
Final score Relics 4 – 0 Rochdale.

Well done to all the Players Eddie (gk), Bob D, Dave M, JoMo, John W, Keiran, Keith B and to Manager Keith S. Thanks to Kodak Keith for the photos.

Relics 60’s lose on penalties in Plate semi-final

The Relics over 60’s lost on penalties in the Martin Dawson Memorial Trophy Plate semi-final.
Having won the Plate in the same competition last season, the Relics were looking to try to better that performance if possible.
However, on the day the Relics didn’t seem to be firing on all cylinders and, although dominating some games, they failed to get the results.
The last group game was decisive, The Relics needed to beat Corinthians to finish second in the group and qualify for the Plate semi final. Goals from Alan and Graham W secured the 2-0 win for The Relics.

The semi final against Bolton ended 0 – 0, and in a tense penalty shoot out the Relics failed to score and went down 0 – 1.

Group Stage
Relics0 – 1Carlisle
Relics0 – 0Sheffield
Relics2 – 0Corunthians
Plate Semi Final
Relics0 – 0*Bolton
*Relics lost 0 – 1 on penalties

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.