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IS 'AUNT JANE' CITY'S OLDEST FAN?

7 August 2015

The club were delighted to be able to welcome their oldest-known fan to the Coral Windows Stadium earlier this week.


Long-term City supporter Jane Raby was born just after the Titanic Disaster.


That was just a year after the Valley Parade club won the FA Cup back in 1911.


Yet Jane, now 103 years old, is still going strong – and still hoping to see the Bantams “back up there where they belong” during her lifetime. No pressure there then?


This week, she was given a conducted tour of the ground by Chief Operating Officer James Mason, who was delighted to welcome her on behalf of the club.


Jane was accompanied by her Bradford-born nephew Lindsay Sutton, a football reporter and travel writer for Trinity Mirror Group newspapers. A lifelong City fan, Lindsay co-wrote the definitive book: “The Bradford City Story: the Pain and the Glory” with former Telegraph and Argus sports reporter David Markham.


Jane, who was born and brought up in Micklethwaite, near Bingley, was married to commercial artist Norman Raby, and had three children, living in their family home in Southlands Grove, Thornton, before she moved into Crossley House Care Home in nearby Fairweather Green last year.


She was a nurse and midwife for more than forty years, working at the old Bradford Infirmary, before moving to the Bradford Royal Infirmary, where she was a ward sister for much of her working life.

She first took an interest in Bradford City during the 1920s and remembers the club being in the top flight, before relegation to the second tier, and their many later years in the lower divisions.


She can remember seeing her first ‘talkie’ film in the mid-1920s at the Myrtle Cinema in Bingley and has not only lived through two world wars – caring for wounded soldiers for much of the Second World War - but also witnessed the transition from horse and cart to motor vehicles in her youth.


She puts her long life down to “simple living and hard work,” adding: “I also think it’s important to keep your mind active – and have a nip of whisky before bedtime.” Up to her hundredth year, she still walked at least a mile a day – “up to Thornton School and back home;” did her own weekly shopping at Morrisons – “I knew Ken as a lad who lived nearby;” pulled up her own potatoes from her garden; and did all her own cleaning, until engaging some help for a few hours a week.


She feels that this season might just be City’s year for promotion, saying: “I’m glad they’ve been able to bring in some good players, and I was pleased to see that the pitch has been sorted out and re-laid. It certainly needed to be done.”


birthday next May. The club have said she can come again if they make it.”thHer nephew Lindsay added: “She really appreciated being shown round the ground before the new season. If City do make it to the top-six, it will be a nice present for her 104

 


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