Morecambe, 1st January 2020


Published in the Bradford City AFC match day programme for the above fixture

This is the seventh season in which we have competed at the same level as Morecambe FC who gained membership of the Football League as recently as 2007. In fact, games with Morecambe have been synonymous with the Bantams playing in the basement division between 2007-13 and again this season. Previously it was Bradford Park Avenue who had competed with Morecambe FC (as members of the Northern Premier League between 1970-74) and in December 1973 the Shrimps had visited Valley Parade to fulfil a fixture with Avenue in that competition.

Scan_20190702 (26).jpg

Like many other (admittedly older) Bradfordians I spent a number of childhood holidays in Morecambe, a destination once known as ‘Bradford by the Sea’. I was not alone in having relatives who had retired to Morecambe and so cannot deny having a softspot for the town.

Morecambe is also a decent ride from Bradford. Last October I took advantage of the weather and travelled on my motorbike via the likes of Skipton, Helliwell, Clapham and Bentham. Carlisle aside, I can’t think of a better excursion.

Not surprisingly Morecambe has always been an enjoyable away destination, notwithstanding the fact that in the three League fixtures between Morecambe and Bradford City at Christie Park, the Bantams were defeated twice and the best performance was a 0-0 draw on the last visit in September, 2009. In fact, our solitary win at the ground was in November, 2005 when a last minute goal secured a 1-0 victory in an LDV Vans Trophy tie. (In that season a number of non-League clubs were allowed to enter the competition and despite City being two levels higher than Morecambe, the Bantams struggled to get the win.)

Morecambe FC moved to the Globe Arena for the start of the 2010/11 season and the first fixture there with Bradford City was in March, 2011 that resulted in a City victory. Of four League games at the Globe Arena, City have been undefeated with two wins and two draws (the last win being twelve weeks ago). In cup competition, City beat Morecambe at the Globe Arena in a League Cup tie in August, 2014 (featured) but were defeated in a FL Trophy tie in March 2016.

Scan_20190628 (5).jpg

At Valley Parade, City have won four and lost only once in the previous six games. In aggregate we have won six, drawn four and lost three of the 13 League games between the sides.

Morecambe FC celebrates its centenary in May, 2020 and with luck the anniversary will not be tarnished by relegation back to the Conference. I can’t think of a friendlier club and genuinely hope that the Shrimps can avoid the drop.


You can find other features about the history of Bradford City AFC on this blog as well as links to other content that I have published previously. The menu provides links to archive images featuring historic photographs of Valley Parade as well as old programmes.

Details of my books.

Tweets: @jpdewhirst