One man – Stuart McCall – dominates the voting for Bradford City greats in a series of polls conducted with the club’s fans as part of The Football League's 125th Anniversary celebrations.
McCall racked up an amazing 85% of the votes to be named as the club’s greatest ever captain – ahead of David Wetherall and Peter Jackson - having taken the armband in 1986 and helped the Bantams become contenders for promotion to Division One.
That never materialised and he moved on to Everton then Glasgow Rangers but he returned to Valley Parade in 1998 and a year later was celebrating a remarkable achievement after leading the club into the Premier League, where they stayed up in their first season before going down in 2001.
McCall also took more than half of the votes to be named the club’s greatest ever player after a Bradford career that took in over 400 games for the club. His votes tally was again dominant Bobby Campbell, John Hendrie, Wetherall and Ces Podd not polling above 18%.
Bradford’s more recent achievements are recognised with the 2012/13 campaign being voted their best ever season – not only did they win promotion to Sky Bet League 1 via the Play-Offs but they were also the first club ever from the fourth tier of English football to reach a major domestic cup final at Wembley.
They saw off Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa in a fairytale run that was only ended at the last hurdle by Swansea City, but the season took 58% of the vote, ahead of their promotion to the Premier League in 1999 and dramatic survival a year later.
The man who masterminded it all, Phil Parkinson, collected 50% of the votes as the club’s greatest manager, ahead of Paul Jewell – who was in charge for that Premier League adventure – Peter O’Rourke and Trevor Cherry. Parkinson also won the vote by Colchester United fans and is one of only four managers to make the list for two different clubs – alongside Alec Stock (Queens Park Rangers & Yeovil Town), Brian Clough (Derby County & Nottingham Forest), and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill (Leicester City & Wycombe Wanderers).
McCall sits alongside legends of the game including Brian Clough, Sir Bobby Robson, Sir Tom Finney, Billy Wright, Sir Stanley Matthews, Trevor Francis, Billy Bremner and Herbert Chapman who have all been named in a list of the greatest contributors to clubs’ league history in a vote as part of The Football League’s 125th Anniversary celebrations.
The names feature in lists for each of the current 72 Football League clubs’ greatest in various categories including managers, players, captains, fan favourites, matches and seasons. The polls were run by The Football League to celebrate each club’s own contribution to the last 125 years of league football. The results have been announced on the anniversary of The Football League’s formation on 17th April 1888 to bring down the curtain on a year of activity celebrating the start of the world’s original league football competition.
Nearly 100,000 votes were cast in the polls after clubs were first invited to compile their own shortlist for each category based on fans’ nominations via social media.
Supporters can find out more about The Football League’s 125th Anniversary at www.FL125.co.uk. Fans also still have a chance to visit a special exhibition called ‘Game Changers’ at the National Football Museum in Manchester celebrating 125 years of The Football League, with contributions from every club. The exhibition is free to enter and open 7 days a week – for more details visit http://po.st/GameChangers.