Four fresh-faced young footballers from Bury are captured in an extraordinary press picture taken in semi-darkness in a woodland setting in January 1966.

The photographer was obviously using his imagination as it was the panto season and the image is entitled Babes in the Wood.

What’s remarkable about the photo is who’s peering out from behind the rather large tree trunk!

Babes in the Wood – Bury players Colin Bell and Alec Lindsay, top, with Bob Owen and Jimmy Kerr, January 1966

Babes in the Wood – Bury players Colin Bell and Alec Lindsay, top, with Bob Owen and Jimmy Kerr, January 1966

Standing at the left is none other than 19-year-old midfielder Colin Bell, a future giant of Manchester City and England – the undisputed King of the Kippax.

Joining him is another legend, but this time in the red jersey of Liverpool. It’s Bury-born full-back Alec Lindsay, aged 17, who would go on to become an all-time Kop favourite.

Completing the line-up are 18-year-old forward Bobby Owen, who would also play for Manchester City, and 16-year-old midfielder Jimmy Kerr.

Liverpool players Alec Lindsay, right, and Larry Lloyd sandwich Arsenal’s Ray Kennedy, November 1970

Liverpool players Alec Lindsay, right, and Larry Lloyd sandwich Arsenal’s Ray Kennedy, November 1970

Bell was Bury’s best player for the three years he spent at Gigg Lane from 1963 to 1966. He made 82 league appearances for the Shakers, who were in the Second Division at the time, scoring 25 goals.

Bury were relegated in 1967, the year after Bell signed for City, but bounced back as Third Division runners-up in 1968.

Born in Farnworth, Bolton, Bobby Owen joined Bury in 1964 and made 83 league appearances before signing for City in 1968.

Bury FC take on Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, October 1966

Bury FC take on Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, October 1966

The highlight of his two seasons with the Blues was scoring two goals in the 1968 FA Charity Shield when league champions City beat FA Cup winners West Bromwich Albion 6-1 at Maine Road.

Owen left City in 1970 for Carlisle United and made a brief return to Bury in 1977 when he played four matches and scored one goal.

Scottish midfielder Kerr made 152 league appearances for Bury from 1965 to 1970, scoring 38 times, before moving to Blackburn Rovers.

A young Colin Bell, fourth left, in training with Manchester City, December 1967

A young Colin Bell, fourth left, in training with Manchester City, December 1967

Future Liverpool full-back Alec Lindsay, born in Bury in February 1948, started playing for his hometown club in 1965.

He notched up 127 leagues games, scoring 13 goals, before being snapped up by Reds’ manager Bill Shankly in March 1969 for a transfer fee of £67,000.

Lindsay’s debut for Liverpool in September 1969 was a one-sided affair. The Reds hammered Irish side Dundalk 10-0 in a European Fairs Cup match at Anfield.

Colin Bell in action for Manchester City against Arsenal at Highbury, November 1969

Colin Bell in action for Manchester City against Arsenal at Highbury, November 1969

Lindsay himself got on the scoresheet – along with six other Liverpool players. The return leg was more muted as the Reds only won 4-0.

The UEFA Cup run ended the next match as Liverpool went out 3-3 on aggregate to Portuguese club Vitoria de Setubal on the away goals rule.

Lindsay was Liverpool’s regular left-back for the 1970-71 season which saw Arsenal complete the league and FA Cup double. Liverpool were beaten 2-1 by the Gunners in the FA Cup final.

Manchester City and future England caretaker manager Joe Mercer, April 1969

Manchester City and future England caretaker manager Joe Mercer, April 1969

In 1973, Lindsay was part of the Reds’ team that won both the league championship and the UEFA Cup, defeating Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 on aggregate.

Lindsay was an FA Cup winner in 1974 when Liverpool beat Newcastle 3-0 at Wembley. He even had a goal ruled out for offside.

Competitive matches tailed off for Lindsay when Bob Paisley took over as manager. He preferred playing Phil Neal, with Lindsay left on the subs’ bench.

Manchester United players Jimmy Nicholl, Jimmy Greenhoff and Alex Stepney celebrate winning the win FA Cup against Liverpool, May 1977

Manchester United players Jimmy Nicholl, Jimmy Greenhoff and Alex Stepney celebrate winning the win FA Cup against Liverpool, May 1977

He missed out on the 1997 FA Cup final when Manchester United defeated Liverpool 2-1 with goals from Stuart Pearson and Jimmy Greenhoff.

Lindsay left Anfield in summer 1977 after making 168 league appearances for the Reds and scoring 12 goals. His new club was Stoke City managed by George Eastham.

Once again, the arrival of a new manager – Alan Durban – curbed Lindsay’s first team appearances and he moved on to American team Oakland Stompers.

Goalkeeper Ray Clemence and Alec Lindsay in action for Liverpool, December 1973

Goalkeeper Ray Clemence and Alec Lindsay in action for Liverpool, December 1973

Lindsay was capped four times for England in 1974 under former Manchester City boss Joe Mercer during his seven games as caretaker manager of the national team.

Bury were relegated to Division Four in 1971, but gained promotion in 1974 to spend six seasons in Division Three before being relegated again. The club celebrated its centenary year in 1985 by winning promotion.

In 1997, manager Stan Ternent took Bury back to the second tier of English football for the first time in three decades by winning the Division Two title.

Most recently, Bury were League Two runners-up in the 2018-19 season, but were unable to begin the next season due to long-standing financial problems. They were expelled from the English Football League in August 2019.

*Unmissable images of Manchester and the North West feature in Clive Hardy’s latest hardback book, The Home Front – Britain 1939-45, published by iNostalgia Ltd. It’s on sale at £14.99 including UK postage and packing.

Just go to inostalgia.co.uk/shop to order your copy or call the order hotline on 01928 503777.

Buy three books for just £25 in iNostalgia’s Spring Bonanza!