As part of our Away Fans Series, we interviewed the head of Bury’s Norweigian supporters group Martin, on how Fifa 07 inspired his Bury journey…
Ian: How are you Martin?
Martin: I´m fine thank you! How are you Ian?
Ian: All good over here! What do you make of Bury’s season in League Two so far?
Martin: It has been a good season so far. We are in the top of the league and are in the semi-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy Cup. We play very entertaining football and there is lots of optimism around the club.
Ian: Especially after last season, the turnaround has been immense the way Ryan Lowe has the Shakers playing – is this one of the best times to be a Bury fan in the recent past?
Martin: Yes of course. Ryan Lowe has changed a lot. You can see what the team wants and as a supporter, you can see a game pattern. Bury plays good football, and more dynamically than before. The last couple of seasons have been tough to be a Bury supporter, but this season has been top notch. We turn matches from losing to win and score lots of goals. It creates enthusiasm
Ian: It really is a great time to be a Shaker, How long have you been a fan?
Martin: My interest in Bury dates back to 2006 when the video game FIFA 07 was released and I, together with my friends, used to play with Bury. Bury was one of the poorest rated teams in the game at the time. For us, Bury was the underdog, and we started to follow Bury in League Two gradually.
We did some research around the club; players, home-grown, history etc. Andy Bishop was the big star! If I recall correctly, David Flitcroft and Chris Brass were also in that team. Furthermore, we were really fascinated about the history of the club, especially the fact that Bury was one of the best teams in England a hundred years ago with two FA-Cup titles and some amazing records. At this initial time, we talked about visiting Gigg Lane one time in the future as well. Then, in February 2016, we founded the Bury FC official supporters club of Norway.
Ian: Wow, speaking to a few fans from different countries it seems a lot are influenced through Fifa
Martin: Hehe, yes. The funny part of my interest is that Bury was really poor.
Ian: Did you win anything with them haha?
Martin: Haha, I don’t think so. It was impossible
Ian: How many Bury recruits do you have in the Norway Supporters Club now?
Martin: Members of the Supporter club is 25 at the moment + we have several Norwegian followers on Twitter. In Norway, it is a lot of Norwegians supporters club for English teams. We are very football interest. 2 % of Norway is a member of a supporter group
Ian: What do you do as a supporter club?
Martin: We who sit on the board, are responsible for the Twitter account and pass on information to the world. We do our best to spread the message of Bury to as many people as possible. We publish goals from iFollow so that as many people as possible get the goals. We often receive emails from Norwegians who will watch football in England and provide information about tickets, transport and other useful information. Bury supporters are very friendly and helpful and we get much positive feedback from Norwegians who have been to Bury match.
Ian: Big operation then, how many times have you managed to get to Gigg lane?
Martin: Since we started the supporter club and we started to follow the Bury on a daily basis, I have been in five games. The first match was at Gigg Lane against MK Dons in February 2016. Last season I was in three games and again I was at Bury-Lincoln in January.
Unfortunately, Bury has never won when I have watched, and until the Lincoln match, I had never seen a Bury goal. Fortunately, there were three goals against Lincoln. Hope that it will be a win next time.
Ian: What a game it was too against Lincoln! If any Norweigians want to jump on the Bury train, where can they reach you?
Martin: We have a website called www.bury.no where there are some travel information and the opportunity to join the supporter club. Can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @BuryFcNorway
In the fall, I move almost six weeks to England to follow Bury up close and develop English skills. Encourage Norwegians and English people to make contact.
Ian: Amazing, Get in touch when you’re over and we can meet up, Thank you for time.