clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bolton Wanderers' 87 Years of Misery at Bury

Rob scrolls through the history book to explore Wanderers' dreadful track record when visiting Bury

Not a happy hunting ground - Bolton haven't won a league game at Bury in 87 years
Not a happy hunting ground - Bolton haven't won a league game at Bury in 87 years
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

If you're under the age of 30 (or even 40) you'll have very little memory of Bolton Wanderers taking on Bury in a league game. Given the recent history of both sides you'd understandably consider Bolton the bigger club and therefore presume they'd have a great record against their nearest rival.

However, the history book tells us that this could not be further from the truth. In fact, Wanderers have not tasted a league victory at Bury in 13 attempts and more than 87 years - since a 4-3 win way back in May 1929.

Furthermore, in terms of the all-time meetings between the two sides (including cup games) Bury are actually on top, having recorded 30 victories to Bolton's 29, with 17 draws.

Monday night sees Bolton make the short journey to Gigg Lane for a league fixture for the first time in over 17 years. Their last visit, in April 1999, ended in a 2-1 Division One (now The Championship) defeat through goals from Dean West and Chris Swailes, followed by a Neil Cox 90th minute consolation.

Prior to that clash Wanderers hadn't visited Bury in the league in almost eight years, since a 1-1 draw back in November 1991 with Bolton's goal scored by Mickey Brown.

In the years before this, clashes between the two were a regular occurrence and Wanderers' poor form up the road a Bury was equally commonplace. Indeed, Bolton failed to even score a league goal at Bury for four straight seasons between 1986/87 and 1989 - which saw a 2-0 defeat, a 1-0 defeat and two 0-0 draws.

Visits to Bury prior to this weren't much better, with three consecutive 2-1 defeats in 1966, 1969 and 1986. Wanderers had also lost by that scoreline in 1934 and 1964, sandwiched by a couple of 1-1 draws in 1965 and 1933.

Bolton and Bury played each other many times in the early days of the Football League, with both playing in Division One (the then top league) for many years. But even in those days Wanderers typically struggled and only recorded five victories in 16 trips to Bury between 1895 and 1928 - 3-0 in 1895, 3-2 in 1906, 2-1 in 1910, 3-1 in 1911 and a 5-0 hammering of their hosts in 1925.

All this means that Bolton have only ever won five league games at Gigg Lane in 32 attempts, that's less than one win for every six visits to their nearest rival.

So it's clear that the history book favours the home side when the two rivals clash on Monday evening. Bury also knocked Bolton out of the League Cup with a 1-0 win at the Reebok Stadium back in 2001 and went very close to repeating the feat in August 2014, when Wanderers needed a 96th minute Craig Davies penalty to force extra-time before wrapping the game up with a double from Neil Danns.

The good news is that only one player who started that game will likely be picked in Phil Parkinson's starting eleven on Monday evening, the solid David Wheater.