Tag: Bradford City

1985/86 Week: The Morning After – Bradford City After The Fire

By the midsummer of 1985, the press had begun to roll back out of town and the people of the city of Bradford were left to reflect. When fire spread through the main stand at Valley Parade during the final match of the previous league season, it took with it not only fifty-six lives but also much of a feeling that football in England could ever quite be the same again. Had this one particular stand really been that much more of a safety than many others, the length and breadth of the nation? Hastily convened safety checks seemed,...

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Feel The Love: The Return Of Bradford City

Three years ago, Bradford City supporter Jason McKeown told us the story of his club’s lost decade. Last season, however, the Bantams came back, and here’s Jason again on a most extraordinary season for his club.

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The 2012 Football League Cup Final Marks A New High For Swansea City

This afternoon’s Football League Cup Final proved to be a game too far for Bradford City. This was a match that proved to be as one-sided as we might have expected their epic wins against Wigan Athletic, Arsenal or Aston Villa to be, but the Yorkshire club’s supporters can return home this evening proud of the way that they and their team carried themselves today. Amid the many eulogies that will be offered for their efforts this afternoon, however, one aspect of this match might well be relatively under-represented, and that is just how polished Swansea City’s performance was. This afternoon, the Wembley crowd witnessed a display of consummate professionalism from the Premier League club which demonstrated – as if we haven’t seen enough of that in the Premier League over the last couple of years or so – the extent to which Swansea City Football Club has transformed itself over the last decade or so. For all of the talk of Bradford City’s achievement in reaching this stage of the competition, though, we should probably pause this evening to consider just how far Swansea City have come over the last few years or so. This is a club which has consistently made great decisions in every aspect of how it is managed in recent years. At any stage over the last three or four years or so, the...

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

When the Bradford City team takes to the pitch on Sunday afternoon for the 2013 League Cup final, there will be many for whom thoughts turn to the horrific events that unfolded on the eleventh of May 1985. Tonight, on the eve of a match that surely no-one could have seen at the start of this season, we take a look back at that day, the events that led up to it and the aftermath of a disaster that claimed fifty-six lives. Perhaps it was because it was dwarfed by or the Heysel Stadium disaster, which came just two and a half weeks after it, and by Hillsborough, which followed just four years later and began a quest for truth and justice which remains only half. Perhaps it was just because it occurred at a match between two of English football’s less glamorous clubs. Perhaps, just perhaps, it was because there was an implicit understanding amongst many that something like this was bound to happen at one of the decaying, rotten football grounds of England in the fullness of time. Whatever the reasons for it may be, Bradford fire feels like one of British football’s more concealed tragedies. Yet the events of Valley Parade on the eleventh of May 1985 marked the first major loss of life at a football ground in this country in fourteen years (and the...

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Bradford City’s Triumph Eclipses Aston Villa’s Disastrous Night

Just when he thought that things couldn’t possibly get any worse, they did for Paul Lambert at Villa Park last night. A place in the League Cup final was his one shot at redemption, an opportunity to be able to lift the spirits of his seemingly psychologically shattered team and turn around one of the most alarming collapses in form that the Premier League had seen in recent years. For any Premier League club overturning a two goal deficit from the first leg of a tie such of this should have been eminently achievable, but Bradford City dug deep, scored another set piece goal and, in spite of a tense finish brought about by a second Villa goal, held on without too much difficulty to achieve something quite unprecedented in, perhaps, the entire history of English football. Much was said last night of the 1962 League Cup, when Rochdale of the Fourth Division reached the final of the competition before being beaten by Norwich City. To compare the League Cup finals of 1962 and 2013, however, is not to compare like with like. In its nascent years, it frequently looked as if the League Cup wouldn’t survive as a competition with the biggest clubs opting not to take part in it. Furthermore, the final of 1962 was not a Wembley occasion but a two legged affair shoehorned into the...

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