Young Bury fan Dan to be Cobblers' match day mascot for Crawley Town clash
It's been a tough few months for young Bury FC fan Dan Milner, but on Saturday he will be a special guest at the Cobblers - and help lead the team out as a match day mascot.
The seven-year-old was born in Northampton and lives in the town, but is a Shakers fan due to family loyalty, with father Nigel being born in Bury and being a supporter of the club before he moved to the area.
The Greater Manchester club were in the news last month when they were expelled from the Football League due to financial mismanagement, and that has left Dan, and his dad, without a club to support.
Prior to the club's expulsion, the Milner family had still made trips Gigg Lane to support their team, and also went to a lot of away games nearer their Northampton home, but that is no longer an option.
Once the news of Bury's demise was confirmed, Dan opted to watch the Cobblers take on Plymouth Argyle, although he made sure he was still decked out in his Bury kit!
He was chosen to wave a flag on the pitch for that game, and after the match he met former Bury playmaker Nicky Adams.
Now, as part of the Cobblers' Community Day events on Saturday, the club have announced young Dan will be a mascot.
Dan's dad Nigel, said: "Dan is seven and goes to school at Quinton House, obviously very close to the ground.
"He was born in Northampton, but I’m from Bury so when he wanted to start watching football a couple of years ago I took him to Bury games, mainly away.
"Last year was great as Bury were playing some good football and we enjoyed going to games at Swindon, Cambridge, Grimsby, Forest Green, Notts County, Stevenage, Newport and a couple at Bury.
"We were really looking forward to plenty more good days out this year, although aware of Bury’s problems and likely relegation, and it’s a real shame the way it has turned out.
"It’s obviously the fans that suffer, and I feel most sorry for the Gigg Lane season ticket holders who are feeling totally bereft this year.
"It’s also terrible for the staff at the club who have either lost their jobs or have worked without pay to desperately try and keep the club going.
"The reception Northampton Town and the club's staff gave us at the Plymouth game was brilliant and really cheered Dan up, and we are really looking forward to Dan being one of the mascots on Saturday."
A club statement read: "We understand the last few weeks have been difficult for Dan and his family, but we hope they will enjoy a good day by helping to lead the Cobblers out against Crawley Town on Community Day."
Communuity Day is being staged to celebrate the work the Cobblers do to support and deliver projects that help improve people’s health, build stronger, connected communities and enhance life opportunities.
The fun starts outside the stadium ahead of kick off on Saturday.
From noon onwards, supporters arriving can take part in fun activities that include a bouncy castle, football on the club's inflatable pitch, head tennis games, facepainting and a chance to meet the emergency services.
Meanwhile, over in the Grange Mortgages family area, the usual fun and games will be taking place, which includes a penalty shoot out, table tennis, basketball, free fruit, art and craft and the chance to meet some of the players.
The 'bring a pound to the ground' collection will be taking place, while keep an ear out for Hari and Ollie from out disability team who will be helping matchday announcer Neil read the teams out!
Pitchside before kick off, we will be handing over a cheque to Mustafa El-Bayati, which will be the proceeds of the fundraising appeal to help Muzzy secure a new wheelchair, while as the teams come out, some players from the Cobblers girls' teams will be forming the guard of honour and waving flags around the centre circle.
At half time, there will be demonstration of walking football on the pitch with the Cobblers Walking Football team, with a lap of honour from the Cobblers' girls and disability teams.
For more details about the club's community work, please visit ntfccommunity.co.uk