On this day...
Easter Saturday, 7th April 2007, exactly three years ago on Wednesday, FC United were embarking on the prospect of a second successive promotion and possible league title as more than 300 of the FC faithful turned the East Lancs Railway red, white and black, journeying in style on the 'Rammy Rattler' from Heywood to Ramsbottom to join a record crowd of 1,653 at the Riverside Stadium.
The name of the ground was to become centrepiece of the latest chant in the FC repertoire, as by the time the full-time whistle blew, United were 'going to the Unibond, down by the Riverside.'
A quick reminder of the match stats shows that a first-half goal from Jerome Wright cancelled out an early Ramsbottom lead, and with half an hour to go, Nick Platt converted a penalty to send the travelling FC crowd behind the goal into raptures, so much so that the game underwent a brief stoppage as the ref assessed the damage that had been caused to the front of the stand.
Fast forward three years, and of that promotion clinching squad, only five remain: Sam Ashton, David Chadwick, Rob Nugent, Simon Carden and Jerome Wright.
Aside from that, the team has seen many a coming and going since the likes of Matty Taylor, Alex Mortimer, Dave Brown, Rory Patterson, Stuart Rudd, Rhodri Giggs, Steve Spencer and Nick Platt were regulars on the team sheet.
Now, three years later, Easter time once more heralds the prospect of challenging and exciting times, and although promotion this season has become a fading dream, off the pitch news of a home of our own will surely have provoked the same level of exhilaration and emotion as that day down by the Riverside. VF