CRESTFALLEN Bury legend Ryan Lowe says he is “distraught” at The Shakers’ plight and is ready to help fans in any way he can.

The 40-year-old led the Gigg Lane club to promotion from League Two in May, his third after two as a player, despite the mounting financial problems under first Stewart Day and then Steve Dale.

Having moved to Plymouth, Lowe has watched on from afar as a club close to his heart has unravelled in recent weeks, resulting in the EFL’s decision on Tuesday night to end The Shakers’ 125-year stay in the Football League.

“It still hasn’t sunk in,” he told Sky Sports’ The Debate programme.

“I was trying to send a tweet out with just a picture of me with the fans and it was heartbreaking.

“I was numb to the bone. I’ve had a lot of phone calls, I’ve spoken to a lot of people at Bury who are close to me and I’ve become friends with.

“It’s sad. I’m just distraught that it’s got to this stage.

“You think of the heritage and everything that comes with that football club.

“I’ve had promotions there as a player and scored a lot of goals and I’ve met some fantastic people and I still don’t know how we got over the line last season.

“Well I do, because we had a great squad and what we achieved was unbelievable.

“I’m a fan. I support Liverpool but that place holds a special place in my heart.

“When I see things like this happening I’m distraught.”

Lowe first heard the news courtesy of a text from his analyst Jimmy Dickinson, who followed him from Gigg Lane and is a lifelong shakers fan.

The former striker then watched the news develop with his son, the Liverpudlian’s time with Bury having been a real family affair.

“I got home, sat down on the couch and then saw it come up,” Lowe said.

“My little boy, who’s 13 and has a little friend staying over with us, says ‘Dad, it’s sad isn’t it?’.

“I said ‘it is mate’ and then he said ‘it’s been a big part of my life’.

“My little lad’s seen three promotions since he was five, two as a player with me, same thing, on my shoulders in the celebrations, and then the one as a manager last season.”

Lowe believes the club over-reached themselves under Day who had plans for Championship football and a new stadium.

“There were big ambitions, big plans, to try and achieve something that Bury will never achieve,” the former boss said.

“I always wanted Bury to get to the Championship but it was never going to get there.

“It’s a lot of money to get to games, Bury’s a small little town, so there would be four or five thousand on a good day.

“You can’t get to the Championship on gates like that.

“How did it happen? God only knows. You look at things now and alarm bells ringing when you’re there as a player or a manager.

“There’s things I’d like to say which I can’t. But it should never happen to any football club let alone Bury.”

Now as fans come to terms with the devastating news, Lowe says he and is staff, Shakers fans among them, are ready to do all they can to help a phoenix club that could emerge in non-league football next season.

He said: “Would I try and help? Yes, we’ve got plans.”

“Me and my coaching team are mad Bury fans and we’ve got plans to help them as much as we possibly can.

“Whether it’s helping to raise some cash to get a phoenix club started off or some kits. Whatever it may be, we’re going to be there to help them certainly.

“Bury without a football club in that town is not going to be right.

“I’m hoping that if it does go right to the sword, they’re obviously out of the league now, then they can form something and get a lot of good players in and get the fans back which they will and then start paying some players and get up the leagues.

“Chester have done it, one of my old clubs, Salford have risen through the leagues, yes they’ve got a lot of backers and money. There’s AFC Wimbledon too.

“Why can’t Bury get a backer and form a club and rise again? It might take five or six years but I’m sure they can and if I can help in any sort of way I will.

“I maybe can’t be there personally because I’ve got a job to do at Plymouth Argyle but it holds a big place in my heart Bury FC and it always will do.”