Origins & history of Bradford sport

Bradford shield

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. I also contribute to the Bradford City supporters’ website. WIDTH OF A POST. 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 (

Social networks and the historic development of sport in c19th Bradford

The nicknames of Bradford City and Bradford Park Avenue

Bradford’s England RU internationals of the 19th century

The story of Tony Fattorini and his contribution to sport

Lost sports grounds of Bradford: Usher Street

Historic Bradford pubs with links to early football in the district

The history of the Bradford City programme

The construction of Park Avenue, Bradford in 1879-80

Aborigine cricketers in Bradford, 1868

Harry Briggs: the benefactor of Bradford Park Avenue

How social networks were significant in the early development of Bradford sport in the nineteenth century

Bradford’s military heritage and the links with sport: the story of the Bradford Rifles.

Victorian athletic festivals in Bradford

Origins of cycling in Bradford, 1869

Bradford City’s record-breaking championship season of 1928/29

Centenary of the Bradford Rugby revival in 1919 and the Scholemoor ground at Lidget Green, Bradford

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
  • Bradford’s forgotten sports grounds.

Published on WIDTH OF A POST:

The issue of Odsal – the historic context of the Bradford RL Ground Question

Prospects of Bradford Bulls finding a new ground in Bradford

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

About the evolution of BCAFC crests and identities…

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

The BSA Bantam character

The origins of the City Gent identity

Traditional BCAFC shirt designs

Claret, amber and WHITE. The traditional third colour.

Other features…

Pioneering black footballers in Bradford

The origins of The City Gent magazine

Other Bradford football fanzines

The first football supporters magazine in Bradford

The early development of Valley Parade, 1886-1908

Celebration of Glorious 1911

The origins of the stand that burned down at Valley Parade

The last game at Odsal Stadium , 1st September 2019

Back to the Future: Changes at Horsfall Stadium / Bradford Park Avenue

Remembrance Day Reflections

No Pushball in Bradford

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

Situations Wanted – Player adverts

The first Germans 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