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OUR BOBBY - THE PEOPLE'S PLAYER

16 November 2016

Robert McFaul Campbell - 'Our Bobby' - was certainly no ordinary footballer.


He was a hero to many, a player who always wore his heart on his sleeve. 


A true City legend, Campbell made 320 appearances in total for the club during two spells at Valley Parade.


Campbell remains City's all-time top scorer after netting 143 times for the Bantams. 


He made 274 league appearances for City, scoring 121 goals. 


Bobby's average during his time with City was a goal in just over every two games. He was a true goalscorer with the record to prove it. 


Campbell was City's top scorer for every season during his two spells over seven years at Valley Parade.

 

His goals helped the Bantams to two promotions, in 1982 and 1985, playing alongside current City boss Stuart McCall, Head of Recruitment Greg Abbott and John Hendrie.


As impressive as they are though, those stats only tell half the story about Bobby.


On the pitch, Bobby was strong, resolute, fearless and committed, with a true desire to find the back of the net - a match-winner. He really was the definition of the all-action centre forward. 


Off the pitch, he was larger-than-life, a colourful and charismatic character that the fans on the terraces could truly relate to.


Many supporters will have their own favourite memories of the big man but we're sure a few of his trademark thumping headers and bullet finishes would be high on most people's lists.


Get the ball in the box during Bobby's day and you could be sure that City's number nine would be as hungry as anyone to get to it first.


When City needed their Bobby, he was normally there as a leader and a goal-scorer.


The hugely popular centre forward originally joined the Bantams in 1979, leaving briefly in 1983 for Derby County, before returning to the club later that year for a further three-year spell.


During his first period with the club, Campbell netted 76 goals in 148 games.


City were promoted from the old Fourth Division in that time. They also famously beat the mighty Liverpool 1-0 at Valley Parade in the League Cup - Campbell, of course, getting the all-important winning goal.


After a short stay at Derby, Campbell was back in Bradford and back finding the net on a regular basis.


His second spell at Valley Parade saw another healthy goal return for Campbell, and another promotion. 


That promotion was the third division championship of 1984/1985, with Campbell at Valley Parade on the fateful day of 11 May 1985.


Perhaps fittingly, his last goal for City came in a memorable 2-0 victory over near neighbours Leeds United.

 

The Belfast-born striker was capped twice by Northern Ireland, both during the 1982 British Home Championships. He was also named in the Ireland squad for that year's World Cup in Spain.

 

Making his professional debut with Aston Villa, Campbell played for nine different clubs in total, including spells in Canada and Australia with Vancouver Whitecaps and Brisbane City respectively.

 

He also played for three other Yorkshire clubs during his fourteen-year playing career - Huddersfield Town, Halifax Town and Sheffield United.


After leaving City for a second time, Campbel finished his career at Wigan Athletic.


His overall career record was 509 appearances and 198 goals.


It is almost 30 years since Bobby's last game for Bradford City. It says it all about the influential striker, however, that his contribution and legacy live on as strong as ever even to this day.


His efforts in claret and amber will certainly not be forgotten for a very, very long time to come.


RIP BOBBY

 


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