1885-1887 a l
1888-1890 a l
1894-1900 a l o
1906-1917 l o
1918-1921 a l
1921-1930 a l
1931-1948 a l
1950-1952 a c
1952-1955 a l
1956-1957 a l
1957-1961 la c l
1967-Oct 1969 a e
Nov 1969-1970 a
1973-1974 2 l
1974-1977 a l
1977-1978 a l
1979-1981 a l
1982-1983 a q
1983-1984 l n q
1984-1985 a l
1986-1987 k q
1993-1994 a m
1994-1995 a g
1995-1996 m r
1996-1997 a g
1998-1999 g m
1999-2001 g m
Today Bury are a modest club, struggling to survive in the Manchester metropolitan area against competition from big city clubs but once they were among the aristocrats of Lancashire football. Formed in 1885 at a public meeting in the White Horse Hotel in the centre of the town, the club rose to local prominence very quickly.
Passed over when the Football League was formed, Bury became founder members of the Lancashire League in 1889. Before a Lancashire Senior Cup match against Everton, the club chairman JT Ingham announced, "We'll give 'em a shakin'. In fact, we are the Shakers." This has remained the club's nickname to this day. They started out wearing chocolate and light blue shirts but in 1888, plain white shirts were adopted. A team photograph taken in 1889 reveals that a crest was worn, apparently a version of the town's coat of arms.
In 1894 Bury successfully applied for a place in the expanded Football League Second Division. After winning all 15 of their home games, they won a test match against Liverpool, who had finished bottom of Division One, to secure promotion in their first season in the League. In 1900 the Shakers won the FA Cup, beating Southern League Southampton 4-0 at Crystal Palace. In 1903, they won the cup again, beating Derby County by 6-0, still a record score for a final. In 1912, Bury were relegated and spent the next 12 years in Division Two. Immediately after the First World War, the club was unable to get hold of their traditional white shirts so turned out in red and white hoops for a couple of seasons. Promoted in 1924, they remained for five seasons in Division One, finishing in in fourth place in 1926, before dropping back into the Second Division and they have never returned to the top flight since. For the next twenty-six years, the Shakers stayed in Division Two, generally in or below mid-table.
The town crest appeared again between 1952 and 1955 against a shield.
In 1957 Bury were relegated to Division Three (North) where they played for a single season. The crest reappeared the following season, now without a shield, and was used for the next ten years.
When the regional divisions were scrapped in 1958, the club were placed in the new national Division Three. In 1961, Bury were promoted as champions and remained in the Second division for the next six years. With more clubs now promoted and relegated each season, Bury went up and down with bewildering frequency. Relegated to Division Three in 1967, they were back after only one season only to suffer relegation again immediately and in 1971 they dropped into the Fourth Division.
Between 1967 and 1973 Bury's shirts did not carry a crest and then, for the 1973-74 season a rather curious badge was adopted, consisting of a single star underneath the legend, "Bury FC." This was replaced the following season with the distinctive "V" design that proved both popular and recognisable, surviving until 1982.
1974 brought promotion back to the Third but six years later they were back in the basement. The V crest was dropped and "BFC" was embroidered onto the shirts in cursive script between 1982 and 1986 when the old town crest was revived.
The pattern of promotion and relegation continued with Bury moving between the lowest two division until successive promotions in 1996 and 1997 took them up to Nationwide Division One (the old Second Division).
In 1999 Bury slipped back down to the third tier on goal difference and by 2002 they had dropped into the lowest division where they faced a constant struggle to survive, selling on promising players at the expense of building long-term success.
To mark their 125th anniversary in 2009-10, Bury adopted a home kit based on their original strip from 1885 alongside a change strip based on that from 1892-93. The specially designed crest combined the traditional coat of arms with the iconic V design from the Seventies. The two gold stars represent Bury's FA Cup wins from 1900 and 1903.
The old crest was reinstated the following season with "Bury FC" embroidered underneath and in 2011, the two gold stars appeared again.
In 2014 the association with Bury Metropolitan council ended after 12 years and new shirt sponsorship appeared for a JD Sports brand. The team won automatic promotion at the end of the season and for 2015-16 New Balance became their technical sponsor, the first time that the US sportswear company had supplied a club in the lower divisions.
- (a) Bury FC - Images of Sport (Peter Cullen 1998)
- (b) Gillingham FC - Images of Sport (Roger Triggs 1999)
- (c) Football Focus
- (d) Leyton Orient FC - Images of Sport (Neilson N Kaufman 2001)
- (e) Rotherham United - Images of Sport (Gerry Somerton & Chas Robinson 2000)
- (f) Southend United FC - Images of Sport (Peter Miles & David Goody 2000)
- (g) empics
- (h) Bury FC Official Website
- (i) Pete's Picture Palace
- (j) Mighty Shakers
- (k) Ralph Pomeroy
- (l) The Official History of Bury FC - provided by Greger Lindberg
- (m) David King
- (n) Alick Milne
- (o) Keith Ellis (HFK Research Associate)
- (p) Richard Essen
- (q) Christopher Worrall
- (r) Michael Spokes
Crests are the property of Bury FC.