Construction of the Midland Road stand (1996)

The former Midland Road shed staged its last game for a friendly between Bradford City and Feyenoord on 28th May, 1996 to celebrate the club’s Wembley Play-Off success two days before.  The new stand was used for the first time on 26th December, 1996 and was formally opened by HM The Queen on 27th March, 1997 who was visiting Bradford for the city’s centenary celebrations.

Pictured below the shed during its final game and on the occasion of an earlier fixture with the improvised TV gantry facilities on its roof.

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The construction of the stand in 1996 compared to that in 1908…

 

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Other archive images of Valley Parade from these links:

The development of Valley Parade, 1886-1908 – includes a history of the early development of the ground.

Valley Parade in the 1960s

Valley Parade photos from the 1970s

Valley Parade photos from the 1980s

Photos of the rebuilding of Valley Parade in 1986 – Part 1

Photos of the rebuilding of Valley Parade in 1986 – Part 2

Valley Parade photos from the 1990s

Valley Parade of today (photos taken by myself at the Stephen Darby Testimonial July, 2019)

More photos of today’s Valley Parade (photos taken by myself at the Salford City fixture in December, 2019)

Other galleries to follow with links updated from here.

The menu above provides links to other features on this website including my features in the BCAFC programme, book reviews and content about the history of Bradford City AFC.

 

Tweets:@jpdewhirst 

Views of Valley Parade in the 1960s

Aerial Photograph from 1966. (Burlington Terrace properties demolished shortly after.)1966 valley paradeFloodlights were installed in 1961 and these images were taken from atop shortly after installation and the roofing of the Bradford End in the same year.view from floodlights 1960s x2view from floodlights 1960s x3view from floodlightsImage dating from 1959-60. Note the telegraph pole floodlight installation.VP 1960Image believed to be 1963VP 1963Midland Road c1962Other archive images of Valley Parade from these links:The development of Valley Parade, 1886-1908 – includes a history of the early development of the ground.Valley Parade photos from the 1970sValley Parade photos from the 1980sPhotos of the rebuilding of Valley Parade in 1986 – Part 1Valley Parade photos from the 1990sValley Parade of today (photos taken by myself at the Stephen Darby Testimonial July, 2019)More photos of today’s Valley Parade (photos taken by myself at the Salford City fixture in December, 2019)Other galleries to follow with links updated from here.John DewhirstTweets: @jpdewhirst

Bradford City AFC programmes from the 1970s

During the 2019/20 season my column in THE PARADER, the BCAFC matchday programme has featured issues of old and those relating to historic fixtures with the opposition of the day. Additionally I have uploaded features to this blog that record changes in the design of the publication in earlier decades.
Featured below are Bradford City AFC programme covers from the 1970s.

You will find other Bradford City archive images by following the links in the drop down menu above. Also published on this blog are my features in the BCAFC programme from previous seasons, book reviews and sundry content about the history of Bradford sport.

On this blog you can find features about the origins of the club identity, crests and nickname.

The drop down menu provides links to other features I have written published elsewhere including on VINCIT, the online journal of Bradford sport history

Updates to this site are tweeted: @jpdewhirst

A visit to Horsfall (14th March, 2020)

With all EFL games postponed I popped across to the south of Bradford to the Horsfall Stadium to watch Bradford Park Avenue AFC take on Curzon Ashton. With EFL games postponed, a good number of supporters from other clubs attended the game boosting the gate to 685.

The Horsfall Stadium was opened in September, 1931 as an athletics facility managed by Bradford Corporation and during the 1930s was regularly used by both City and Avenue for training purposes. The reformed (1988) Bradford Park Avenue AFC has occupied the ground since 1995.

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A gallery of action shots…

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Thanks for visiting my blog. The drop down menu above provides links to archive images of Valley Parade and content on the history of Bradford City as well as book reviews and my features in the BCAFC programme.

Tweets: @jpdewhirst

Plymouth Argyle, 29th February 2020

PROGRAMMES OF OLD

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

Of all our opponents in League Two this season, surely Plymouth Argyle have one of the best records against the Bantams. In 26 seasons we have defeated Argyle on only 14 occasions and lost 23 games. Only in the FA Cup do we have a respectable record – a 100% one at that – following our 3-1 victory in December, 2017 in Bradford.
The sides first met in October, 1930 at Valley Parade which resulted in a 1-0 home victory and in fact Bradford City managed the double over Argyle that season, the first of three times (the others being in 1969/70 and 1994/95). Nevertheless the 1930’s proved a harbinger of things to come and in the three seasons, 1932/33 through to 1934/35 inclusive Argyle managed six successive victories.
After relegation to Division Three (North) in 1937 our paths did not cross until the 1958/59 season when the clubs found themselves in the new national third division. Argyle finished that season as champions and given that City finished in midtable the two draws that season could be considered respectable. The programmes for those two games are featured below.
Our subsequent meetings have been intermittent and it was not until our promotion from the fourth division in 1982 that games with Plymouth became a regular occurrence, in Division Three between 1982-85  (three wins for City and two for Argyle) and then in Division Two between 1986-90 when the jinx reasserted itself (a solitary win for City compared to four for Argyle – the programme for City’s victory in September, 1987 is shown).
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We then had three seasons in the same division between 1992-95 when the two sides were both members of the third tier (two wins for City compared to three for Argyle) before renewing acquaintances in the basement division in 2011.
This is the third season that we have been rivals in the fourth tier with Argyle. Between 2011-13 the sides managed one win apiece and Plymouth secured a victory earlier this season. Of course Plymouth had been relegated with ourselves in 2019 having spent only two seasons back in the third tier but needless to say we never managed to beat them in the league between 2017-19 and suffered two defeats in that period.
Aside from that FA Cup victory, our last home win against Plymouth was in November, 2012 and a victory is thus long overdue. Our record victory at Valley Parade was 4-0 in October, 1982 although it was avenged by a 1-5 defeat at home eleven years later (featured below). At Home Park our record victory was 5-1 in August, 1994 whilst our record defeat was 0-6 in May, 1978 (featured below).

 

Thanks for visiting my blog. The drop down menu above provides links to archive images of Valley Parade and content on the history of Bradford City as well as book reviews and prior programme features.

Tweets: @jpdewhirst

 

 

Going to the match, then and now

A collection of images of Valley Parade, then and now…

From the Bradford End

The first was taken prior to kick-off, Bradford City vs Manchester City on 12th September, 1908, the club’s first hom game in Division One (0-0). The image was created by John Ashton, stitching together two views of the ground to give a composite panorama. That below was taken by myself in December, 2019.

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Burlington Street (nee Terrace).

The first photo was taken in February, 1949 at the sell-out game with Hull City. The view would not have been much different forty years before that. The second was taken by Mark Neale from roughly ten yards nearer Manningham Lane around 40 years later. The third was taken by myself on 29th February, 2020 vs Plymouth Argyle.

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The terraces

The following images are from c1910, 1954, 1988 and 2000 respectively. The first features supporters in the Midland Road stand. Whilst predominantly male, a number of women can be spotted in the crowd. Note that no-one is bah t’at. The other three were taken of supporters on the Kop. That from 1954 is a press photograph, provenance unknown. The one in 1988 was taken by Eamonn McCabe and that from 2000 by Stuart Roy Clarke.

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Other archive images of Valley Parade from these links:

The development of Valley Parade, 1886-1908 – includes a history of the early development of the ground.

Valley Parade in the 1960s

Valley Parade photos from the 1970s

Valley Parade photos from the 1980s

Photos of the rebuilding of Valley Parade in 1986 – Part 1

Valley Parade photos from the 1990s

Construction of Midland Road stand in 1996

Valley Parade of today (photos taken by myself at the Stephen Darby Testimonial July, 2019)

More photos of today’s Valley Parade (photos taken by myself at the Salford City fixture in December, 2019)

Other galleries to follow with links updated from here.

John Dewhirst

Tweets: @jpdewhirst

Und Nun Voll Dampf

I was recently reminded of a football fanzine about East German football in which I was involved with the production. For posterity the 16 page content is provided below.

Entitled UND NUN VOLL DAMPF – translated AND NOW, FULL STEAM – the publication borrowed a slogan used in the 1FC Lok Leipzig programme. In those days the supporters of Lokomotive Leipzig had plenty to be upset about and it was no secret that the DDR authorities did all in their power to prevent the Saxons winning the East German Oberliga. Coming from England it was the equivalent of putting the West Midlands police in charge of the football results (and most people of a certain age will remember how they policed football in the 1980s).

Published in 1987 by The City Gent (of which I was co-founder in 1984 and then editor at the time), UND NUN VOLL DAMPF was a tribute to the glories of 1FC Lokomotive Leipzig and included a feature by Attila the Stockbroker. Notwithstanding the niche interest (!) around 500 copies were sold but a second issue was never produced. (The cover featured a photo of an upside down German Reichsbahn express loco that was in an art installation at the then derelict Anhalter Bahnhof in West-Berlin.)

UND NUN VOLL DAMPF Cover

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Attending games in Leipzig in the late 1980s was quite an experience with unrestrained crowd violence. I suspect that the authorities took the view that the football aggro allowed the local youth to let off steam. On one occasion I was on a rickety tram to the Bruno Place Stadion from the centre of Leipzig that was ambushed near the ground by supporters of Wismut Aue who rocked the lead vehicle from side to side. It made English crowd violence of the time seem tame.

English football in the 1980s was in a pretty sick state but the East German experience put things into a bit of context because DDR football was most certainly in a bad way. At that time football fanzines were a new phenomenon in England but you would not have found a football samizdat in Leipzig or elsewhere in the German Democratic Republic. The irony in the pages of UND NUN VOLL DAMPF back in 1987 was not accidental and dare I say that it was intended as a spoof fanzine.

1FC Lokomotive Leipzig were in their prime when the tribute was released but the club did not fare well with the falling of the Wall two years later and reunification the year after that. The club was reformed in 2003 and has adopted the distinctive iconography of the original organisation. At the bottom of this page is a poster advertising a fixture at the Bruno Plache Stadion that I obtained in 1987 and it is amusing to see that exactly the same design has been retained.

Somewhere deep in the archives of the Stasi are / were copies of The City Gent from 1985-89. Copies were posted to a couple of addresses in Leipzig from England but the vast majority never reached their destination. Around that time I was offered work in East Germany. It seemed suspicious and I turned it down, discovering shortly after that it was not a regular job and that a Stasi operative had tried to sign me up in the service of the DDR.

On this blog you will find content about the history of Bradford City, my features in the BCAFC match day magazine as well as book reviews. Refer to the drop down menu at the top.

Tweets: @jpdewhirst

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