BURY were on the hunt for a new boss in 2011 – and the shortlist had been narrowed down to two names.

The popular choice within the dressing room was Richie Barker, the man who had stepped into the job temporarily following Alan Knill’s resignation in April and won his first six games to help guide the club to promotion from League Two.

But Barker had a rival in ex-Bolton Wanderers coach Neil McDonald, who had been a successful part of Sam Allardyce’s backroom staff in the Premier League.

Tyneside-born McDonald did have experience of the division, having led Carlisle United to eighth place during the 2006-07 campaign – their highest league placing for 20 years.

And he had apparently made a big impression on Bury chairman, Brian Fenton, who had been leading the interviews.

The Shakers were looking for a permanent boss after Knill had quit for Scunthorpe United.

“Following a series of interviews with various exceptional candidates, the board of directors have met to discuss their options,” a club statement read.

“A new manager had been identified. Until such time that contracts are agreed, there will be no further comment from the club.”

Flashback photo

The Bolton News:

The sight of MFI on Moorgate Retail Park dates this picture a little bit, long since replaced by Home Bargains. In fact, it was taken 20 years ago to celebrate the opening of the Bury branch of the home furnishings store. But can you name the three Bury stars – centre in the picture – showing off their skills in January 1997? Send your answers in to burysport@nqnw.co.uk.

This week in Shakers history

1938: Bill Gorman won his ninth Ireland cap as a Bury player but ended up on the wrong end of a 6-0 trouncing against Poland in Warsaw.

1969: Blackpool had requested the chance to speak with Shakers boss Les Shannon, leaving Bury filtering through 40 different managerial applications for the post. A decision was not made until July, when the club turned to ex-Sheffield Wednesday boss Jack Marshall.

1978: Bob Stokoe resigned to take over at Blackpool (again), leaving Shakers chairman Bill Allen with some big boots to fill. After a meeting with the senior professionals in the dressing room he turned quickly to Dave Hatton as player/manager. But after being snubbed for the job, coach Billy Rudd also handed in his resignation.

1989: Sam Ellis announced his intention to get tough with the Shakers by investing in Swansea City defender Alan Knill. Capped once by Wales, he would go on to become a popular player among the Gigg Lane faithful.