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Wednesday, 24 April, 2002, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Bury release Bhutia
Baichung Bhutia is the first India player to play in the Football League
Bhutia has been battling a long-term knee injury
Cash-strapped Bury, relegated from Division Two after a final-day defeat by Peterborough, have released India captain Baichung Bhutia.

The striker was the first player from the Asian sub-continent to play League football in England.

This season he was restricted to only three games, all in August, because of a persistent knee injury.

He aggravated the injury attempting a comeback in November and had to have a further operation on the knee.

There were doubts at the time that Bhutia would ever pull on a Bury shirt again.

Final appearance

And, with the club needing to cut costs after being placed in administration, the Indian's Bury career is now over.

Bhutia made his debut for the Shakers in October 1999 in the 3-2 win against Cardiff.

In total he made 46 appearances for the Lancashire club, including 20 as substitute, and scored three goals.

His last appearance in a Bury shirt came in the 3-0 home defeat by Swindon on 27 August 2001.

Bhutia heads a list of eight players released by the club, including experienced midfielder Paul Reid.

The 34-year-old former Bradford and Huddersfield player moved to Gigg Lane three years ago.

He started 23 League games for the Shakers this season and made over 100 appearances for the club in total.

Youngsters released

Reid is joined by defender Sam Collins, who has played close to 100 games for the club.

Youngsters Matt Murphy, Nicky Thomson, Adam Martin, James Morris and Marc Whiteman have also been released.

Goalkeeper Glyn Garner and young defender Gary Evans, who made his League debut this season, have signed new, two-year contracts.

Manager Andy Preece has also offered new deals to Matty Barrass, Nicky Hill and Lee Connel, who have all figured in the first-team this season.

Veteran defender Steve Redmond has also agreed a three-month contract.

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13 Nov 01 | Bury
25 Sep 01 | Bury
23 Jul 01 | Football
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