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Club News

BRADFORD REMEMBERS

11 May 2015

The football club, the city of Bradford and the wider community came together today to remember those who perished in the Valley Parade Fire Disaster exactly 30 years ago.


Relatives of those lost in the tragedy, Bradford fans and other members of the city were joined by Bradford City players and staff past and present this morning as Bradford's Centenary Square came to a standstill at 11.00am to allow those gathered to pay their respects, pause and reflect on the tragic events of 30 years ago.


Representatives from Lincoln Council, Bradford Council, Lincoln City F.C, the West Yorkshire Police and Fire and Rescue services, The Football League, the Scottish Football League, the Premier League and Hamm - the German city twinned with Bradford - were also at the service.


It is estimated that over a thousand people arrived for the main memorial service in Centenary Square, with former Bantams Peter Jackson, Wayne Jacobs, Stuart McCall, Ian Ormondroyd and Chris Kamara among those gathered.


On May 11, 1985, tragedy struck when Bradford City played Lincoln City. Shortly before half-time a blaze engulfed the main stand. 54 Bradford supporters lost their lives along with 2 fans of Lincoln on that horrific day.


The forty-five minute memorial service in Centenary Square this Monday began with City's first team squad and members of the emergency services forming a guard of honour from City Hall to the memorial sculpture for the various dignitaries present.




Along with words from the Lord Mayor of Bradford Mike Gibbons, club chaplain Revd Andy Grieff, the Bishop of Bradford Rt Revd Dr Toby Howarth, as part of the commemoration, the bells of the City Hall clock tolled once for each person who lost their life in the tragedy. 


The names of each one of the 56 supporters were read out at the same time by Bantams boss Phil Parkinson, City skipper Stephen Darby, John Helm, who commentated on the match 30 years ago and Shaun Harvey, the chief executive of The Football League and one-time chief executive.




A traditional minute's silence was included in the service as well, which was followed by 'You'll Never Walk Alone' played by The City of Bradford Brass Band and sung by Opera North soprano, Victoria Sharp.


The dignified and poignant service ended with the laying of wreaths by the memorial sculpture, started by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, who laid a wreath on behalf of the city and district.


The Mayor and Sheriff of Lincoln, City joint-chairman Mark Lawn, family members of the supporters lost in the tragedy, officers from the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, plus the Oberbürgermeister (Lord Mayor) of Hamm also laid wreaths. 


Following the laying of floral tributes, The City of Bradford Brass Band played out with 'Abide with Me'.


On top of the annual service of remembrance in Centenary Square, the afternoon also saw a brief memorial held at the Coral Windows Stadium.


Led by Revd Andy Grieff, the short service began at 3:00pm outside the Valley Parade fire memorial.


The service was put in place to give those gathered the opportunity to pay their respects at the ground itself.


City fans are invited throughout today to leave floral and/or other tributes by the fire memorial. 


The JCT600 Main Stand will be open between 12noon and 5:00pm today to allow supporters some time for quiet reflection within the stadium on this day of remembrance.


Although parts of the stadium will be open to supporters during the day, all club services - administration offices, reception, ticket office - will be closed throughout today.



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