Christmas Greetings


Published in the match day programme: Bradford City v Walsall, 15-Dec-18 

It is a modern phenomenon to buy a Christmas card at Valley Parade as opposed to your local newsagent or supermarket. The idea of a Bradford City themed greetings card would have been unheard of in the olden days although before World War One it was not unusual for people to send team postcards in the mail.

xmas 1958.jpg

The current practice, which is consistent with elsewhere in the commercial world, has been for football clubs to adopt bespoke card designs based around that club. Token images, typically a fir tree, holly or a Santa Claus as opposed to Christian symbolism, have then been incorporated. In essence the modern equivalent is a football card issued at Christmas as opposed to what was previously a Christmas card given by a football club.

The adoption of Christmas cards as tools of marketing and promotion to commercial bodies means that the circulation of football Christmas cards is much greater now than was the case historically. Furthermore, Bradford City Christmas cards (in addition to wrapping paper and birthday cards) have also been a regular stock item in the club shop for much of the last thirty years.

Traditionally football clubs used to send regular cards. Other than a printed insert (for example as in 1958) there was little to distinguish them from what could be bought in the shops.

xmas 1981

Featured are cards from 1958 and 1981 both of which display the club crest of the time. That of 1981 shows the crest introduced that year with the revival of the Bantam identity.


John Dewhirst

John’s book A HISTORY OF BCAFC IN OBJECTS (vol 1 in the BANTAMSPAST HISTORY REVISITED series) provides background about City memorabilia. It is available from Waterstones, Wool Exchange or Salts Mill bookshops or follow the link below for BANTAMSPAST HISTORY REVISITED. In future issues of The Parader he will feature objects that tell the history of the club. If you have a City artefact in your possession that you would like him to feature in the programme contact him at johnpdewhirst at gmail dot com or tweets @jpdewhirst

John has written widely about the history of sport in Bradford: Links to his features on the history of Bradford sport

Elsewhere on this blog you can find his programme articles from earlier games this season and last. The drop down menu above provides links to archive images, book reviews and features on the history of Bradford sport that I have written – scroll down for a summary of sundry uploads this year.

Updates to this site are tweeted: @jpdewhirst


Details here about the new bantamspast History Revisited book by Jason McKeown and other volumes in the same series: BANTAMSPAST HISTORY REVISITED BOOKS


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