Source: Prestwich Advertiser, Thursday, May 25. By Tony Howard
THE pre-season friendly between Gigg Lane ground sharers Bury and FC United will be a strange occasion for Darren Lyons.
The FC player-coach will find himself sat in the away dug out at Gigg Lane for the first time having played for both clubs, including two seasons with the Shakers when he got to run out at Old Trafford in the FA Cup.
This time Daz will be playing for the reds instead of against them, and he will be hoping 'United' can repeat the result of that game back in January 1993.
The 38-year-old winger said: "I had a good couple of years at Gigg Lane and I was made up to find out FC would be playing home games there as I still know a lot of the backroom staff and people at the club.
"It was nice to see them again.
"The obvious highlight for me was when we played Manchester United in the cup. I thought I was being wound up when I was told we had drawn them but it was a great experience.
"From the moment Fergie and Bryan Robson came in the dressing room right through until 15 minutes into the game my knees were knocking. "But after we settled down I managed to get in behind Denis Irwin a couple of times and my claim to fame is I got him substituted for Clayton Blackmore."
Lyons has enjoyed FC United's success and has become a cult hero among the red army. So much so that they sing a version of Tight Fit's 1981 number one hit The Lion Sleeps Tonight in his honour.
"No one expected it to be this successful and I certainly didn't think I'd be playing in front of crowds of 6,000 at this stage of my career," he said. "Hopefully, we can continue next season and the game against Bury will be a real test of our progress out on the pitch."
The match will take place on Wednesday, July 19, kick-off 7.45pm. Admission will be £7 for adults and £2 for under-18s.
FC United will play De La Salle All Stars in a benefit game at Lancaster Road Salford for injured rugby union player Chris McGuirk on Monday, May 29, kick-off 2pm. Admission is ?5 for adults and ?2 for under-18s. Ex-Manchester United winger Ben Thornley and former England midfielder Peter Reid will line up for the all stars and there will be musical entertainment too.
The reds then play Radcliffe Borough away on Saturday, July 15, AFC Wimbledon at home on Saturday, July 22, Altrincham away on Wednesday, July 26, Sheffield FC on Saturday, July 29, Halifax Town away on Tuesday, August 1, and Abbey Hey away on Wednesday, August 9.
FC are holding trials for next season's reserve and youth teams in south Manchester on Saturday, June 24 (youth) and Sunday, June 25 (reserves). Youth players must be aged 16 to 18 and the reserves' age range is 19 to 23. All players must live in Greater Manchester. The deadline for applications is Friday, June 2. For more details call: 0870 6260295.
United are celebrating the signing of Stuart Rudd from Unibond side Skelmersdale. Rudd, aged 28, banged in 47 goals last season and manager Karl Marginson has high hopes for him. He said: "Stuart scores different types of goals like a poor man's Alan Shearer."