Bury Town Football Club were saddened to hear of the recent passing of former goal scoring sensation Bobby Knights.
Bobby Knights joined Bury Town from neighbours Sudbury Town at the commencement of the 1978-1979 season. His goal scoring exploits during the season saw him finish both Bury Town’s and the League’s leading scorer for the season. What made the achievement even more remarkable was that Bobby did not play in a particularly successful Bury Town team, although a fourth position in the league was achieved. The team only played four cup matches during the season being knocked out of the FA Cup, League Cup, East Anglian Cup and the Suffolk Premier Cup at the first hurdle. Knights opened his account for the season on Wednesday 30th August 1978, scoring on four occasions against Soham Town Rangers. Knights scored three further hat-tricks during the season against Brantham Athletic on 23rd September, Thetford Town on 7th October and Braintree & Crittall Athletic on 3rd February. By 23rd December he had found the back of the net on twenty occasions. He reached thirty goals for the season against Wisbech Town on 3rd March and hit goal number forty against Cambridge United Reserves on 1st May. Knights completed his scoring against Clacton Town in the final match of the season to finish with an amazing goal tally of forty-three goals of which forty-two were scored in the Town and Country League, the other goal being scored in the FA Cup.
Only two players have ever managed to score more goals for Bury Town during a season. In 1965-1966 the legendary Doug Tooley found the back of the net on forty-six occasions and in 1938-1939 D Walker scored an incredible fifty goals.
The following season saw Bury Town finish fifth in the Town and Country League and make very little progress in the three cup competitions they entered. The relatively modest achievements of the team were once again eclipsed by the performance of Bobby Knights who found the back of the net on twenty-six occasions. Surprisingly Knights with his impressive goal scoring exploits was not the club’s penalty taker. Had he been given the responsibility to take the six spot kicks awarded during the season, his goal tally would have been even higher.
Bobby Knights did not play his football at Ram Meadow during the 1980-1981 season, deciding to return to Ipswich side Ransomes. The loss of such a talented player was a major blow to the football club but his outstanding contribution made over the previous two seasons would not be forgotten by those supporters who followed the fortunes of their local football team.
In October 1982, Bobby Knights who was still one of the most prolific non-league goalscorers in Suffolk and had been the scourge of defenders in the Eastern Counties League and Suffolk and Ipswich League for over ten years decided to hang up his boots. He became disillusioned at the aggression and foul play he endured on the football field and consequently lost his enthusiasm for the game.
Every player who dons the football shirt of Bury Town contributes to the history of our club but few can match the success that Bobby attained during his first season at the club, which made him one of the greatest goal scorers in the history of Bury Town Football Club.