Match Preview :- Bury - Saturday July 31st, 2004 (3:00PM)
On Saturday the 31st of July, at 3pm, a mainly first team Bury will make up Celtic's last English league pre-season opponents. After the previous three losses conceding 14 goals, and scoring none, Celtic will hopefully be looking for a goal at least against this league side.

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The current Bury Squad

Celtic have been trialling two Bury players, Lee Connell and Paul O?Shaughnessy, and it will be interesting to see if they start against their former club.

With only three friendlies left before the start of the season, Celtic need to start looking at getting the squad together that will start the season.

Bury were formed in 1885, but didn't play a competitive game until 1889, and didn't join the league until 1894. They won it at the first time of asking, and ousted Liverpool from the top flight, taking their place. Fifteen years later they dropped out again, though in their time in the top flight, Bury won the FA Cup twice, the second of which stands as a record to this day, a 6-0 victory over Derby County (and not conceding a goal throughout the campaign).

1924 saw Bury re-enter division one, but five years later they dropped out and never returned. Division 2 suited Bury, they remained there for nearly thirty years, before being relegated into Division 3 North in 1957 (the year after the league was shaken up Bury were put in Division 3). 1961 saw them back in division 2, but by the end of the 60's relegation into 3, and then the seventies saw division 4 football being played. During the 70's and 80's Bury bounced between 3 and 4, but by 1997 they went on an amazing run with 29 wins, and back to back promotions to Division 1.

They were demoted back to division 2 in 1999, on goal difference (1 goal!), and financial difficulties worsened. 2002 saw Bury placed into administration and Division 3, by now the basement division.

Thanks to the efforts of the supporters, Bury was saved, and they continue to play at Gigg Lane, a ground they have occupied since the club's formation.
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The impressive South stand

Celtic should welcome back the services of Andy Hayward and Phil Eastwood, players sorely missed over the past fortnight. Paul O?Shaughnessy, Lee Connell and Lee Connor will probably also be given further chances to impress, and there may well be one or two others in the starting line up.

It will be Bury's first team that plays (though inevitable substitutions will bring new faces in the second half, as always!), including their summer signings Dave Challinor previously with Tranmere, Dwayne Mattis and Jon Newby from Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday's Brian Barry-Murphy.

Pictures courtesy of Y3KShakers
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