Origins & history of Bradford sport

I have written a number of articles about the origins of Bradford sport which have been published variously on the following websites:  PLAYING PASTS and VINCIT (an online journal of Bradford Sport History) as well as The World Rugby Museum website These, as well as planned future articles, are summarised as below.

Published on PLAYING PASTS

How football clubs fail

The role of social networks on the early development of football 

The case of Bradford FC and the origins of football as a business

The origins of professional football in Bradford

Reconsidering 1895 – a Bradford perspective


Published on the World Rugby Museum website…

Bradford’s contribution to rugby history 


Published on VINCIT (

The role of the railways in the development of Bradford sport

The story of Shipley FC and Bradford’s other c19th junior rugby clubs

The origins of women’s football in Bradford 

The significance of sport in shaping a Bradford identity 

History of the Bradford Charity Cup

Compendium of Bradford sports club names  

The late development of soccer in Bradford 

What’s in a name? Semantics about Bradford City and Park Avenue  

John Nunn, Bradford physical aesthete

The story of the Belle Vue Hotel, a nineteenth century pub adopted as a sports headquarters in Bradford 

150th anniversary of football in Bradford, 1867-2017

The history of Bradford rugby and the case to reassess the split in English rugby in 1895  My findings from investigation of the origins and development of Bradford football provide sufficient evidence to challenge the orthodox view that the split in English rugby was driven by social class as opposed to the economics of sport.

Bradford’s rugby heritage  

The myth that the City – Avenue rivalry was based on class politics

The political origins of Bradford Cricket Club in 1836: Blaming the Tories

Cricket: the DNA of Bradford sport

Bradford football: the long view

Other articles are scheduled in coming months on the following subjects:

  • the origins of soccer in Bradford;
  • the history of sports journalism in Bradford;
  • the political history of Odsal Stadium; and
  • the influence of the railways on Bradford sport.


The following features are published on this blog, WOOL CITY RIVALS:

Bradford City AFC & the Boar’s Head identity

Application of the Bradford civic crest

How Bradford City became known as the Bantams

The ‘bc’ logo of 1974-81

Bantam identity of the 1980s

(Other features about the various Bradford City crests will be published in the BCAFC programme 2018/19 – refer menu links above.) 

The visit of Portsmouth and Chelsea supporters to Bradford, February 1912

Situations Wanted – Player adverts

The first Germans at Valley Parade

The development of Valley Parade, 1886-1908

The origins of the stand that burned down at Valley Parade

Harry Garnett’s jug

Odsal Stadium – an unwelcome home for soccer

Harry Hanger ex BCAFC – war casualty?

Talk at Bradford Library 19th May, 2018

Talk at International Conference of Football History, 7th June 2018


Books by John Dewhirst in the BANTAMSPAST HISTORY REVISITED series can be ORDERED HERE