Bury FC expulsion: Supporter Hannah Monaghan on the Shakers' demise

Hannah Monaghan and other Bury fans
Hannah, wearing the orange shirt, with the rest of her Bury-supporting family

I write this after being sent home from work - in floods of tears - by my boss.

I'd been quietly crying at my desk since the light at the end of the tunnel for my beloved Bury Football Club - in the form of prospective buyers C&N Sporting Risk - disappeared. It feels like the plug to my club's life support machine has been switched off.

This is more than a game to people like me - it's who we are and what we do.

To have 134 years of history (22 years for me) disappear in a heartbeat has floored me. That Bury FC are no longer members of the Football League cuts deep.

I've been supporting my local football team since the 1997-98 season - I guess you could call me a glory hunter, but I'd argue I was bitten by the Bury bug!

Under Stan Ternent, Bury had just been promoted to what is now the Championship and we were a very small fish in a very big pond.

And despite the club enjoying their best spell of sustained success in decades, I was still surrounded by Manchester United and Manchester City fans at school. That's just the way it was in Bury, which is nine miles from Manchester city centre.

Since then, I've been coming to Gigg Lane week in week out, sitting alongside my brother Adam. He's been lucky enough to have a family of his own and both my nephews, Oliver and George, were mascots on the final day of last season.

We made their first tinfoil FA Cup - a rite of passage for any football fan - for them to proudly hold aloft at Bury's first-round match against Dover Athletic last November.

This is a family thing for us and to have it taken away is the ultimate heartbreak.

In my relatively short time as a Bury fan - there are some who have been following the Shakers for 70 years - I have seen a lot.

We were the last team to be relegated based on goals scored, instead of goal difference, in 1999. This rule was swiftly changed.

And, in 2006, we were ejected from the FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player - a paperwork mishap. When Bradford City did the same six years later, they successfully appealed and got to replay their tie.

Fast forward to the present day and we're powerless as fans yet again.

Bury FC fan
Hannah's nephew minutes after news had broken that the club's takeover had fallen through

We can at least take some solace in our memories of this historic club. Nobody can take those away.

There's something about supporting your local club through thick and thin that makes you appreciate the good times even more.

I've seen three promotions from League Two - away at Chesterfield in 2011 plus twice away at Tranmere - in 2015 and four months ago as Ryan Lowe's men, who hadn't been paid in months, got the one point needed to leave League Two behind once again.

We watched on as Bury came from behind to beat Leeds United at Elland Road in November 2007 to reach the northern area semi-final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

And, 10 years later, I spent Valentine's Day at Gigg Lane with my brother while my now-husband went to support Bradford City at Fleetwood. It's the other love in our lives! (We watched a bore draw against MK Dons while Bradford lost.)

Supporting a lower league club is special: you can have a chat with your manager as they leave the ground, have a quick selfie with your favourite player or have a pre-match tour of the ground (especially without forking out for the privilege).

We're happy to be 'little Bury', we always have been. We're happy to be the underdog. We just want to watch our team on a Saturday.

David Squires, cartoonist for the Guardian, summed it up perfectly in his strip today: "If the football pyramid burns, even those at the top will eventually choke."

Who will be next? And where will it end?

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