Worth the wait: Bury FC beat FC Isle of Man after fog delayed kick off by 17 hours

1802 Bury FC airport
Bury FC finally arrived on the Isle of Man. Credit: Bury FC

For the Bury FC fans who travel to see their side in action, this weekend's victory against FC Isle of Man will be one to remember, after fog led to kick-off being delayed by 17 hours.

Travel to away games always has its challenges, no matter what league your side is in, and this one was particularly challenging.

Kick off was scheduled for 6pm on Saturday 17 February, cue 800 Shakers fans making the trip over to the Isle of Man by ferry on the Friday night, hoping to see their side pick up three points.

The squad was due to fly over on Saturday morning and boarded the Loganair flight at Manchester Airport.

But, thick fog on the Isle of Man, known as the "Manannan’s Cloak" meant landing was impossible.

The travel chaos led to a flurry of updates on social media Credit: X: BuryFC

According to FlightRadar24, the pilot attempted to land the plane nine times, and it was diverted back to Manchester, meaning the game was postponed and re-scheduled for 11am on Sunday.

That led Bury FC to put out a plea for fans who had seats on a flight leaving Manchester Airport on Saturday evening, to give them to players and staff, with the promise of VIP travel on the Steam Packet ferry in return.

But, the players left Manchester Airport at 3:30pm after being told there was "no way" they would be able to board the flight.

This led to a war of words between the two sides, with FC Isle of Man saying the game would "not be played this weekend".

The club posted on X (formerly Twitter) that Bury FC were "not making any attempt to get the players back" to Manchester Airport.

FC Isle of Man posted this on social media Credit: X: @FCIsleOfMan

Bury FC hit back with their own statement which said: "The players were told definitively at 3.30pm today at Manchester Airport that there was no way they would be able to board the last flight to the Isle of Man at 6.10pm tonight. If there was the slightest chance of flying they would have stayed.

"FC Isle of Man issued a statement suggesting there was room on the flight and the players refused to return and board it.

"This is misleading as there was no realistic chance of the players returning to the airport and onto the plane in time to fly when requested.

Tracking site Flight Radar 24 shows the player's plane stuck in air for over an hour before returning to Manchester Credit: Flight Radar 24

"We are disappointed with the approach they have taken, given it serves only to further frustrate the supporters who have travelled in their numbers to the island.

"The players care deeply about playing, and having spent many hours waiting at the airport would not have left if they thought there was any opportunity to get on a flight.

"Many live a good distance away from Manchester Airport and travelled by public transport to get there.

We are acutely aware of how frustrated our supporters will be having spent time and money travelling to the Isle of Man.

"We want to reassure them that the players and management team did and are doing everything possible to play this fixture."

The players finally boarded a flight to the Isle of Man at Liverpool John Lennon Airport at 7am on Sunday 18 February, touching down at Ronaldsway Airport just over 30 minutes later, in time for the 11am kick off.

FC Isle of Man club captain Frank Jones said: "I am just glad that both teams got to the game.

"They have a massive following and we have a massive following so it's really good to get the game on"

For Bury FC and Shakers fans, it was worth the wait.

They won the game 2-nil meaning they fly straight back to the top of the league, with 71 points.

FC Isle of Man are in twelfth spot.

After the result both clubs thanked the fans for their support, with the Bury players going over to the away end of the Bowl ground to applaud their traveling supporters.

The Shakers posted on social media: "Thanks to our hosts and the whole of the Isle Of Man for welcoming us. Good luck with the rest of your campaign."

Bury FC were expelled from the Football League in 2020, but the club was revived by fans to bring action back to Gigg Lane in 2022.

So far this season, they've been docked three points due to fielding an ineligible player, but are now sitting at the top of the North West Counties League Premier Division.

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