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A Very Special Visit!

25 November 2016

Visit, England, Norway, Fans, Supporters

Today, we had two Norwegian Bury FC fans, Kenneth and Ole, visit the Carrington Training Complex. 
Ben - the Supporter Liaison Officer - and I caught up with them over a coffee to find out what they’ve been up to. 

When did you arrive? What have you been up to?
We arrived yesterday, and went to the Manchester United game last night. It was a very good game, with them winning 4-0. They have a very nice stadium; we’ve been a number of times over the past few years. 

How did you get to know Bury, and how did you become involved with the club as a fan? 
It was around six years ago. I have travelled for around twenty years, going to Old Trafford to see United.  A lot of people asked us when we were there, what is your local club, who do you support? At that time, we picked a Bury match to attend that fitted into our programme during our visit. The match was against Bournemouth and it was a League 2 game, at Gigg Lane. We got to the ground two – three hours early, and ended up in the Social Club. We got beer and sat down, which is when a gentleman called John Raftery introduced himself to us. He heard that we were not from England, found out where we were from, that we were here to also see Manchester United and wanted to choose a local Club, like Bury. That afternoon, we had a meet and greet with the players, we watched the game with John.
We keep in touch with the Club via John, and follow all of the activity on the website and social media accounts. It’s nice to have the link with John directly, as with Manchester United you don’t get the direct access like this, you don’t get to see them train, of meet the players, so to us, it’s really special, and it feels like we’re in the heart of the club. 

How many times have you visited Bury?
Four times for me (Kenneth) six times for me (Ole). We try and come every year, but we like to have a weekend where we will see Manchester United at Old Trafford and Bury at Gigg Lane. This weekend is ideal, as Manchester United was at home last night, and they’re also at home on Sunday, which means that we can see Bury at Gigg Lane on Saturday, a great weekend of football! 
When we come, we normally stay in Manchester, however this time, we have stayed in Bury. It’s been great, as our accommodation is right next to the Metro Station. We are having the hospitality off John, so we’ve been meeting in the evening, catching up with him and having a few beers. It’s nice to be in and around the Bury community. 

After having your tour of Carrington, what do you think of the facilities? 
When Manchester City was here before, I thought it was very big. However, when you look at it from a Norwegian perspective, we have a local Club in our home town, like Bury, and the scale of this and the quality is so much bigger. The only swimming pool that we have is the lake, so this, it very special. I like the way in which they’re doing it, the having the Youth Team work with the First Team on a daily basis. It’s nice that the First Team look after and lead the scholars, keeping them safe and guiding them in the early stages of their career. The scholars will know what is expected of them and they have role models to look up to.  

When do you go home? 
We fly back Monday, we’re going to watch Manchester United at Old Trafford again on Sunday. 

Kenneth – how many members of staff does Bury FC have? 
Ben - Bury FC have between 220-230 members of staff. This includes all of our match day staff including the stewards, programme sellers and turnstile operators.

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