Valley Parade Disaster Appeal Fundraising, 1985

Disaster appeal memorabilia

During the summer of 1985 there were numerous fund raising initiatives undertaken to help raise funds for the Bradford City Disaster Fund in support of victims of the fire at Valley Parade. There was awareness of the tragedy among supporters worldwide and not surprisingly it received considerable coverage in soccer publications. It was the release of a recording by Gerry Marsden – ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – that is perhaps best remembered but so too there were numerous fund-raising fixtures arranged across the United Kingdom.


These images testify to the goodwill that was extended to the club and possibly the most high-profile game was the restaging of the 1966 World Cup Final at Elland Road in July, 1985. The game between Bradford City and Manchester United the following month was played at Leeds Road, Huddersfield.

Read also my feature about remembering the 1985 disaster published on Width of a Post.

Elsewhere on this blog you will find features about the history of football in Bradford – in particular about Bradford City AFC – a number of which have been published in the BCAFC matchday programme. Scroll down for recent articles about the 20th anniversary of promotion to the Premier League and Glorious 1911.

The menu above provides links for free, accessible history about BCAFC based on substance rather than soundbites. During the course of researching the origins of sport in the Bradford district I have discovered the extent to which there have been inaccurate and superficial narratives about what happened. I’d go so far as to say that the history has been done an injustice. Hence the intention is that this blog will be developed as a reliable source of historical reference and complements what I have written in my books as well as on VINCIT, the online journal of Bradford Sport History.

I am also uploading an irregular series of online albums recording various themes, typically archive photographs (the majority of which taken by myself) or Bradford City and Bradford Park Avenue memorabilia from my own collection. On this occasion the images are taken from my book, A HISTORY OF BRADFORD CITY AFC IN OBJECTS (pub BANTAMSPAST, 2014).

John Dewhirst

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My book A HISTORY OF BCAFC IN OBJECTS provides a comprehensive record of City memorabilia and artefacts. This was the first volume in the BANTAMSPAST HISTORY REVISITED series of books and I am currently writing another about the City / Park Avenue rivalry.

Links here to my online articles about the history of sport in Bradford

Recent articles on VINCIT include:

Published on PLAYING PASTS in Feb-19: Football clubs and how they fail. (I am presenting a paper on the same theme at the International Football History Conference in Manchester on 7th June, 2019.)

Details of other BCAFC themed albums on this blog from here

Updates to this site will be tweeted: @jpdewhirst