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Opposition Profile: Bury

4 June 2017

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A new feature where we take a closer look at who Rovers will face in League One next season.

Founded: 1885 
Nickname: The Shakers 
Founded in 1885, Bury F.C became members of the Football League in 1894. The Shakers have played league football ever since, having never been relegated from the Football League - the third longest ongoing run after league founders Preston North End and Notts County. 
Bury were the first FA Cup winners of the 20th Century, as they put four past Southampton in a convincing 4-0 victory in the 1900 Cup Final. The Lancashire side reclaimed their FA Cup crown in 1903 in emphatic fashion. A 6-0 demolition of Derby County in the final remains the highest ever victory in an FA Cup Final. 
Bury achieved their highest ever league position in 1926, finishing fourth in the First Division. The Shakers were relegated two seasons later and have not played top-flight football since. 
The Manager: Lee Clark 
Wallsend-born Lee Clark began his career with his boyhood club Newcastle United where he made nearly 200 appearances. The tenacious midfielder helped the Magpies win promotion to the Premier League and finish runners-up in the top-tier two seasons in a row. 
Clark moved to Newcastle’s archrivals, First Divison Sunderland, in 1997, and played a key role in their promotion winning side of 1999. 
However, Clark made a swift exit from Sunderland and joined Division One side Fulham, where he collected another Division One winners medal, when they were promoted alongside Rovers in 2001. 
Clark finished his playing career where it began on Tyneside with Newcastle, before moving into a coaching role at the club under manager Glenn Roeder. 
Roeder appointed Clark as his assistant when he joined Norwich City and it wasn’t long before Clark was taking up the position as manager of Huddersfield Town. 
He guided the Terriers to consecutive play-off appearances in 2010 and 2011; however, they failed to win promotion on either occasion. 
At the beginning of the 2011-12 season, Clark’s men broke a Football League record for the longest unbeaten run in domestic regular-season league fixtures, avoiding defeat in 43 consecutive games. 
Following his dismissal from the John Smith’s stadium later that season, Clark joined Birmingham City in the summer of 2012. He enjoyed little success in his two full seasons at the helm of the Blues before his dismissal in October 2014, with his side sitting just one point above the drop zone. 

A swift return to employment followed as Championship rivals Blackpool named Clark their manager, however, Clark could not prevent the Tangerines from relegation to League One. 
He moved north across the border to take the reins at Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock, and helped Killie avoid relegation thanks to a 4-1 play-off final victory over Falkirk. 
Clark joined Bury exactly a year after his appointment at Kilmarnock, and helped guide the Shakers away from League One relegation last season. 
The Ground:
 Gigg Lane 
Bury have played at their current home Gigg Lane since the formation of the club in 1885. 
In 1887 the first shed was built at Gigg Lane at a cost of £50, the same year Bury recorded their record defeat after Rovers put ten past the Shakers in an FA Cup first round tie. 
The stadium’s current capacity is 11,840 (all seated). However, in 1960, 35,000 supporters packed terracing to watch an FA Cup third round tie against local rivals Bolton Wanderers. 
Bury will be Rovers’ nearest local derby this season - with just 14 miles between Ewood Park and Gigg Lane. 
Last season: 19th, League One 
Last season proved to be a tale of two halves for Bury, as they consolidated their place in the third tier to secure League One football for a third successive campaign. 
An impressive run of results at the beginning of the campaign saw the Shakers battling for top spot in late September. An impressive 3-1 victory at MK Dons, thanks to a brace from top-scorer James Vaughan, had the Gigg Lane faithful dreaming of a return to the second tier for the first time since 1999. 
However, then manager David Flitcroft and subsequently Chris Brass oversaw a 16-game winless run that saw Bury flirting with relegation, until Clark’s appointment sparked a recovery that saw Bury secure their League One status on the final day by one point despite defeat, thanks to results elsewhere. 
Last Meeting:
 May 3rd, 1980 
Bury ran out 2-1 winners at Ewood Park the last time the two sides met in competitive action, a young Simon Garner bagged Rovers’ goal that day. 
However, the blue-and-white halves maybe forgiven for the defeat as just four days prior the two sides met at Gigg Lane, a 2-1 victory saw Rovers promoted to Division Two. Striker Andy Crawford’s brace was enough to send Howard Kendall’s men back to the Second Division at the first time of asking.

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