English Football’s Forgotten Tragedy: The Valley Parade Fire Revisited


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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3 Responses

  1. Dr Bob says:

    In your first paragraph, you ask why this tragedy has received so much less attention than Heysel and Hillsborough. Surely you give the most plausible possible answer in your second paragraph – that in this case it was impossible to blame the events on those who died (albeit, in the Hillsborough case, via a cover-up of monumental proportions) but was instead unambiguously the result of the (in)actions of The Authorities, in particular those most closely involved with the club at the time.

    Not long ago I attended a fire-training course and part of it involved watching footage from that day, to show just how quickly fire spreads. All these years later, and with no direct connection to BCFC or LCFC, it still reduced me to tears.

    Have a great day today at Wembley. What BCFC has achieved already this season is truly immense. Let this be a fitting tribute to those who never had a chance to share in it.


  2. alex says:

    Fantastic article. My great uncle was at the fire and, for him, it was as awful as anything he had witnessed during WWII. I was one of the 38,000 Bradford City fans at Wembley, and witnessed the incredible flag which was passed around by the fans lower down, with its reference to the fire visible for all to see.

    Off-topic, we may have been trounced in the final but I have never seen so many Bradford fans in one place – still singing and celebrating when we were 4-0 down. It was a wonderful sight to behold and my great uncle would have been truly proud. Those Welsh boys sure can sing though; at times it was like listening to 38,000 inebriated angels.

  3. Jacqui says:

    I was working in a bookies when we first heard of this, then the pictures came up on our monitors. All of us ‘staff’ froze. Something unimaginable was unfolding before our eyes, totally unbelievable that the fire took only minutes to engulf the terrace and the terrible loss of life it claimed. This should never be a ‘quiet’ remembrance, ‘ life lost is life lost’ none should be above this. 11th of May is just around the corner, please shout out for those who cannot do so themselves! R.I.P- The 56, never forgotten !

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