‘A Terrace Culture’
Photos by Ross Cooke
England is the cradle of modern professional football, and the north is where its heart began to beat.
It is impossible to understand both this part of the world, and the beautiful game’s early life, without a knowledge of northern England’s astonishingly rich and complex football heritage—a history that weaves itself through countless aspects of this region’s culture, from its industrial past to its artistic exports.
To much of the world, this is a part of England known for its red and blue ‘halves’—but Greater Manchester’s football culture extends far beyond United and City. Proud clubs like Oldham and Rochdale, over a century old, carry on tradition and rivalry as strong as their more well-known neighbours.
Just up the road from all of them is Bury Football Club, 131 years young and a member of England’s third tier.
The Shakers still play at Gigg Lane, which they have called home since forming in 1885. They lifted the FA Cup 15 years later, and again in 1903, and haven’t won much since. Indeed, entire generations have come and gone without seeing the club hoist silverware of any consequence.
But, that doesn’t change the roar on Saturdays. It doesn’t change the love that Bury has for its own.
Local photographer Ross Cooke has documented the character of this community and its club in a series called ‘A Terrace Culture’. Cooke’s raw and expressive lens captures a slice of football’s remarkable history as it still lives and breathes today.
Photos like these remind us that not far away from the gloss and glitz of Old Trafford is the grit and gusto of Gigg Lane—and it’s an incredible sight.
You can find more of Ross’s work on his website, here.