Hysteria past: The Great Debate

Back in 1986 there was frustration among Bradford City supporters about life at Odsal. The club made a poor start to the 1986/87 season and found itself struggling at the foot of the second division.

Complaints that the club lacked ambition were heightened by Terry Yorath’s decision to leave Valley Parade where he had been assistant manager to Trevor Cherry since 1982 and join Swansea City as manager. (The Swans had been relegated to Division Four at the end of 1985/86 and the recruitment of Cardiff-born Yorath had been part of a relaunch of the club.)

The directors of Bradford City AFC, and Chairman Stafford Heginbotham in particular, were subject to a fairly intensive and rancorous campaign of criticism that was co-ordinated by Patsy Hollinger, a longstanding supporter and terrace personality. That campaign involved correspondence to the local press, graffiti on walls and flyposting but in particular a series of fanzine publications.

I found the following whilst clearing out old memorabilia, a stapled two page handout that questioned the leadership of Mr Heginbotham…

I will upload copies of the fanzine published by Patsy Hollinger’s Star Travel Club (based at The Star Hotel on Westgate) in due course. Apart from being pretty amusing they are a timely reminder of times past.