Official statement from The Remembrance Panel, Bradford City Supporters Board:
The 30th Anniversary of the Bradford City Fire Disaster occurs on Monday May 11th 2015. Fifty-six supporters lost their lives in the fire, of whom two were supporters of Lincoln City, Bradford City’s opponents in 1985. 258 other supporters were injured on that day, many with serious burns.
The official Commemoration will take the customary forms, with a service of civic remembrance in Centenary Square, Bradford, on the Monday (May 11th). A minute’s silence will be observed at the Coral Windows Stadium before the last home game of the regular season against Barnsley on Saturday April 25th 2015.
A bucket collection will be taken on behalf of the University of Bradford Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PBSRU) at the same game. The annual Memorial Football Tournament for young people will be held in Bradford on Easter weekend, April 5-6th. Other memorial events and activities are planned, leading up to May 2015 and beyond.
It is recognised that many individuals and groups around the country and further afield will wish to join in the Commemoration of the tragic events of May 11th 1985, and this participation is welcomed by Bradford City FC and its supporters.
The Football Association, the Football League and the Premier League are inviting clubs to observe a minute’s silence before all games played in the four English leagues on the weekend of April 25th 2015. They are also inviting clubs and their supporters to consider appropriate ways of fundraising for the PSBRU.
Whilst Bradford City FC is not in a position to provide any formal endorsement of commemorative activities or events organised by others, the following guidelines may prove helpful to those planning such events:
- The established tone for commemorative observance of the Fire Disaster is dignified and restrained;
- The Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) at the University of Bradford was founded in the aftermath of the Fire by Professor David Sharpe, and has become a lasting memorial to all those who suffered there. It is currently led by plastic surgeon Ajay L Mahajan. The continued existence of the PSBRU depends heavily on donations from the public, and contributions to its funds are welcomed from individuals, families, organisations or commercial companies. Anyone who wishes to make a financial contribution to the 30th Anniversary Commemoration is encouraged to make a donation to the PSBRU;
- Anniversary Commemoration, and to forward details of planned events to Bradford City FC via the website. The target for the Commemorative fund-raising has been set at £300,000. The launch total for the fund, which reflects fund-raising efforts during this season to date within the Bradford District, together with a most generous donation from the Premier League, stands at £37,537.31thBradford City FC does not wish to place any undue restriction on the possible variety of fund-raising activities or events, although organisers should bear in mind their primary commemorative purpose. Anyone planning such an event is invited to consult the full guidelines provided on the dedicated website for the 30
Statements of Support
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Mike Gibbons, said: "The 30th commemoration of the Bradford City Fire is a major milestone in the history of this city.
"It is heartwarming to know that it is so much a part of the consciousness of people nationally too and it will be really appreciated by all the fans and the families affected to hear that the FA, the Football League and the Premier League will be supporting the commemoration.
"We ask that people join us in our memorial activities and hope that the fundraising goes well for the Bradford University Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit, a cause very much taken to heart by Bradford people."
Mark Lawn, Co-chairman, Bradford City FC said “I would like to remind people that the PSBRU is solely reliant on charitable donations by the public, charitable organisations and businesses, and has no funding from the Government.
I am extremely pleased that Bradford City FC has helped to fund the PSBRU through the supporters raising money. This has been enough over the years to help maintain and exceed the standards coming from the Unit.
“I am personally delighted that the FA, Football League and Premier League have got involved, and I would like to thank in advance other football clubs and their supporters who raise funds for the PSBRU”
Mike Thompson, Chair, Bradford City Supporters Trust“ said This terrible tragedy took the lives of 56 football fans, injured hundreds more and deeply affected countless others throughout the whole of the community in ways that can hardly be imagined. People recall the events of that day and the subsequent physical, mental and spiritual healing in their own way. Many people gather together in memory of those lost and affected at an annual commemoration service each year on 11th May in the City Centre.
“It has also become a tradition for Bradford City fans to hold a one minute silence and contribute to a collection at the last home game each season, the proceeds of which are added to other fund-raising activities in support of the PSBRU at Bradford University, which carries out important research into the treatment of burns injuries. Many of the injured people owe their recovery to the sterling work of the medical staff at local hospitals, supported by the expertise of the Unit at that time and support for its ongoing research work has become a positive legacy throughout the Bradford District and beyond.
"As 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of that awful day, it would be very supportive if the football community could join us in a dignified commemoration. If anyone would like to add to this in a tangible way, there could be no finer tribute than to contribute to fund-raising for the PSBRU".
Ajay L Mahajan, Director, PBSRU, University of Bradford said “
The Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) was founded by Prof. David Sharpe following the fire disaster at the Bradford City football club. We can never forget the 56 people we lost on the day and 258 others who were injured. But the least we can do is to continue our efforts towards improving the delivery of healthcare to any patient with similar or related injuries. Today, the PSBRU is led by Mr Ajay L Mahajan, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, who along with his collaborators and research fellows carry out research activities at the University of Bradford.
"Burn injuries and accidents result in patients being literally scarred for life. Research activities at the PSBRU helps looks at various ways in which wound healing and scarring following wound healing can be improved to deliver the best possible outcome for our patients. It is this research that provides the evidence for practising evidence-based medicine. Research lays down a strong foundation for our young doctors who set out to pursue a career in Plastic Surgery and encourages them to embark on innovative projects. The PSBRU has had 26 research fellows over the years most of whom are established Consultants in the various parts of the UK.
The plastic surgery trainees have studied for a higher research degree via 2-year placements in the PSBRU. MD/MPhils degrees were awarded to sixteen fellows; while four were awarded a PhD, a notable achievement within the short time period. The University of Bradford generously supports these students by waiving their tution fees. The unit currently has two research fellows, “ The Bradford City FC Supporter’s Fellow” and the “The David Sharpe Fellow”. These fellowships have been named after the people who have been affected by the Bradford fire and after the person who helped treat the victims of the Bradford fire. The activities in the University of Bradford and the research fellows are supported by generous donations made by the public. The PSBRU is extremely grateful for this, as it is a unit that the public have helped establish and without their support, it would not exist"! “
Greg Dyke, Chairman, Football Association said "Next May it will be 30 years since the terrible tragedy that cost 56 people their lives when a fire destroyed the main stand at the Bradford City v Lincoln City match at Valley Parade. It is important that football comes together to mark the tragedy and remember those who lost their lives. The Football Association sends its sincere condolences to those families and friends affected by the tragedy.
"The FA welcomes the Football League and Premier League's commitment for other clubs to join Bradford City FC in their minute's silence ahead of their final home game of the season on April 25th. The FA will also mark the anniversary at Wembley where we will also encourage fans to support fundraising for the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit at Bradford University"
Peter McCormick, Chairman of the Premier League
said “The Bradford Fire was one of the most terrible tragedies ever to strike English football. It will be forever remembered by all football fans not only for the loss of the life but also for the many acts of bravery by the emergency services and the fans themselves.
"All Premier League clubs have agreed to observe a minute’s silence on 25 April 2015 in solidarity with Bradford City FC as they prepare to play their last home game of the season.
"In addition the Premier League will help the fundraising for the Club’s chosen charity, the Bradford University Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit, beginning with a donation of £25,000 and continuing with support for Bradford City’s fundraising efforts throughout April. We would also wish to use this occasion to restate our commitment to the safety of fans, who should never again be exposed to the kind of risks that led to the Bradford tragedy.”
For further information or advice, please make contact in writing to The Remembrance Panel, Bradford City FC Supporters Board, Coral Windows Stadium, Valley Parade, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD8 7DY or by email to:firstname.lastname@example.org
A dedicated website for the Commemoration has been established at www.fire-anniversary.brad.ac.uk