3 Cup Finals in 371 Days - The Bacup Borough Story

Published on 8 May 2024 at 18:40

Why did Mason Walker never go to the bank? Because he always preferred to save his pennies on the field.

Two years on from play-off disappointment, ‘The Boro’ are getting the glory they deserve, with Mason Walker’s penalty heroics leading Bacup to the Edward Case cup final in hope of retaining their crown.

The talk of the 2022/23 season may have been Manchester United winning one cup final before eventually going on to lose their next. Just 45 minutes north of the Red Devils another side suffered the same fate.


The players salute the traveling fans following their cup loss away to Southport

You may be wondering what is a Bacup Borough? Who is Brent Peters? Why is this such a big achievement for the club?

Bacup Borough Football Club are based in Bacup, Lancashire. The team currently plays at The Brian Boys Stadium and is a part of the North West Counties League Division One North.

Following a spell as assistant manager at Doncaster Rovers the chairman of Bacup Borough FC,

approached Brent Peters while he was having drinks with friends and asked if he would take over

the financially troubled club.
He had no idea that more than twenty years later, he would still be emptying the bins and mowing the grass.

Manager Brent Peters watches on

During the 2021/2022 season the North West Counties forced the club to play six games in just over 3 weeks (five league games and one cup match). With the club pushing for play offs but also wanting to have a cup run the lack of recovery time between games and the players commitments off the pitch it all became too much for the club as they finished the season in seventh place just two points away from a play off spot.

“It’s tough working all week, along with training and a game on Saturday - while balancing it all with family life.

‘Adding extra fixtures doesn’t really help either - everyone thinks it’s harsh but we just have to get on with it” Veteran centre-back Gareth wager said

The summer transfer window was a big one for Borough. The club lost some big names with the likes of first team goalkeeper Harry Turner to Ramsbottom United and other players such as; Brad Hancock and Ross Mallinson taking a step back and wanting to play less minutes in the upcoming season. This left ‘The Boro’ needing to bring in replacements who could not only fill the void but also players who can push the club to the next level.


The main incoming was new goalkeeper Mason Walker. The former FC United shot stopper would go onto to play a pivotal part during the course of the upcoming season.

Mason Walker celebrates following his penalty heroics

2022-23 Season

Brent Peters men had a strong start to the season picking up big wins at home including a 6-1 triumph against Holker Old Boys. Everything seemed to be going well for the Lancashire based side. Maybe just all too well for Bacup……


It’s a well known fact that in the North West counites division games come thick and fast which often catches up to teams with the work load becoming too much, costing clubs in long run. Once again, the adverse weather had disrupted the club’s momentum.


As the February fixtures rolled around the club sat in 10th place with their play off hopes looking bleak. Thankfully for the club they had a chance to play their football with freedom in the coming weeks as ‘The Brian Boys Stadium’ welcomed the Edward Case Cup and the League Challenge Cup.

The quarter finals of the Edward Case Cup finally rolls around. Pilkington were the visitors. After a fairly even game between the sides, Bacup looked like they were on their way to the semi finals until Callum Preston equalised in the 89th minute for the away side taking the game straight to penalties. With both sides scoring their penalties taking the game to sudden death. Bacup score their fifth penalty. Pilkington also score. Bacup step up again and score, leaving the pressure on the Pilkington man.  This is where the hero of the story first steps in. Mason Walker makes himself big in goal. The defender steps up and hits the ball with a lot of power. Not enough power to put it past Walker as he SAVES IT. The keeper sends Borough to the semi final.

The players celebrate with Walker following his penalty save

On May bank holiday weekend Bacup would face Ellesmere Rangers. Thanks to an early goal from captain Michael Gervin in the 10th minute they were heading for cup glory. With sides going back and forth making a fairly even game it would take Borough up until the 80th minute to get that reassuring second goal thanks to another Toby Wright penalty. Bacup were Edward Case Cup champions. With one eye on the League Challenge Cup a week later the celebrations were short lived.

The players celebrate winning the Edward Case Cup

Bacup faced Congleton Town. With the score level at 1-1, Bacup give away a penalty in the 80th minute which striker Lewis Short converts into the bottom corner. As it looked like all hope was lost ‘the Boro’ had one final chance to push for an equaliser. The ball gets whipped into the box and striker Toby Wright beats his man to the ball and flicks it into far corner giving Brent’s men hope of another penalty win. This time it wasn’t their day as they lose 4-3 on penalties.

Although they didn’t win both finals it was still a successful season for the club.

The Edward Case Cup started again in the 2023-24 season and the club were more motivated then ever. The club were relentless in games, dominating teams all the way up to the semi- finals. Bacup dominated South Liverpool gaining a two goal lead in the early stages. In the 80th minute Bacup give away another penalty, it could change the course of the match if this goes in. The away striker steps up but Walker saves again !

Sending Borough to the final once again to face Euxton Villa on 6th May

A big thanks to Jacob Reader for giving us the permission to use some of his photos for this article.

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