Special report: Behind the scenes at Bury and Bolton - seven days that shook the football world

6 September 2019

Photo: Getty Images A supporter seen at Bury's Gigg Lane following a decision by C&N Sporting Risk not to continue its takeover of Bury which eventually meant an expulsion from the Football League. The picture has been the most used when reporting about the seven days that shook English football

In this special report offthepitch.com's correspondent, James Corbett, unravels the mess and intrigue at the Lancastrian neighbours.

In this story you will meet a Brazilian pastor, the son of Tony Blair's former director of communications, the Earl of Derby, two members of King George V's privy council...

... an Italian-American businessman called Joseph Cala, a legal representative with ties to the extreme right political activist, Tommy Robinson, a former Pink Floyd drummer, and many more - including, of course, a few fans.

James Corbett, Senior Correspondent corbett@offthepitch.com

At the family home in Little Lever, three kilometres outside of Bolton last Tuesday morning, the Willans prepared to say goodbye to the family's matriarch, Iris.

Over glasses of Kir Royale ahead of a visit to the crematorium, they remembered the 94-year-old, who had brought up two sons and a stepson, a score of grandchildren and, more recently, seen the birth of several great-grandchildren.

Do you want to read this article?

Get instant access by signing up for a 7-day free trial

No credit card, no commitments and it will expire automatically.

You will receive a link that activates your trial in an email.