The founders of the club were the fathers of two church teams who sought a merger to create one club for the town. The two clubs were Bury Unitarians and Bury Wesleyans and they met in the Wagon and Horses Hotel in 1885. At a second meeting in the Old White Horse Hotel in Fleet Street on 24 April, 1885 Bury FC were born. Strange perhaps that two church teams held their meetings in local public houses.
Gigg Lane has been Bury FC’s only home since its foundation. Initially it was a plot of land, rented from the Earl of Derby, who owned the surrounding estate. Their first stand was built here in 1887 at a cost of £50 11s 8d.
Bury FC are called the Shakers because, when back in 1896 still being a relatively unknown club, the Chairman at the time – a certain Mr John T Ingham – decreed at one match against a team that was supposedly much better than Bury, “We shall give them a good shaking. Indeed we are the Shakers!” That team was Everton, when Bury was still not a Football LeagueTeam. It is understood that the local press and fans heard his remark and the nickname “The Shakers” has stuck ever since.
Their traditional uniform of white shirts and dark blue shorts, taken from the civic colours, has hardly changed over more than 100 years of football. Maybe the white was chosen as a symbol of purity. After all, the club was formed from the amalgamation of two church sides. The team however did display a little less than purity for the 1903 Cup Final when they employed some gamesmanship. Due to play Derby who also wore white shirts and dark shorts the FA ordered both teams to change their kits. Derby duly did change to red shirts – but Bury? They wore blue, pale blue, in fact a blue so pale they looked just like their normal white shirts. And the result? A record 6-0 win for Bury!
Apart from two periods in the 1970s and 1980s when the club used a badge of a V (inspired by American baseball) with a Lancashire rose inside, they have used the town coat of arms.It consists of a quite sharply angled shield with blue and white vertical and horizontal stripes woven together in the centre to represent the local cotton weaving industry. In the top left square is an anvil for engineering; the top right square features a fleece for the wool trade.
John Kay, who was born in Bury, invented the two crossed flying shuttles in the bottom left corner that revolutionized the cotton industry. The three culms of papyrus plants bottom right represent Bury’s paper industry. The helmet symbolises the former military significance of the town and the bee surmounting it symbolises the spirit of the industry, as well as being a pun on the initial letter of the town’s name. The motto ‘Vincit omnia industria ’ translates as ‘Industry conquers all things’.