Dave Greenfield, RIP

The following is a selection of my photographs of The Stranglers from their world tour in 2019-20 including venues in Tokyo (Nov-19), western Europe (Nov/Dec-19), Lisbon (Jan-20) and then Australia / NZ (Feb-20). Collectively they provide a tribute to Dave Greenfield who sadly passed away at the beginning of May, 2020.

I have followed the band since I was a teenager, seen them on most tours since 1979 and in 14 different countries. Dave Greenfield ‘on his massive swelling organ’ was something unique, irreplaceable and I am so grateful for the music that he helped to create which has been such a big part of my life. I met him on a number of occasions and found him to be a really great guy – friendly, unassuming and down to earth. A real hero.

Rest in peace, Dave.

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The encore at the end of Dave’s last gig, Auckland, New Zealand on 15th February 2020.

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Photos from the band’s British Isles tour in March, 2019

Photos from Los Angeles in May, 2019

John Dewhirst

@jpdewhirst

The first football supporters’ publication in Bradford

This year marks the 36th anniversary of the launch of The City Gent which was released at the end of October, 1984. Yet although it was a pioneering publication it was by no means the first to be produced by football supporters in Bradford. In 1983/84 for example there was the short-lived Bantams Review.

At Park Avenue, the Bradford supporters club published The Kick Off as long ago as September, 1946. The content was relatively bland by today’s standards and the size was modest at only 12 pages. It sold for 3d at a time when the Bradford Park Avenue match programme cost 2d. The poor quality paper attests to the immediate postwar circumstances when supplies were restricted. That a publication of its kind should have emerged at the time is therefore all the more remarkable.

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To my knowledge, no more than nine issues of The Kick Off were produced and it ceased publication midway through the 1947/48 season. Later issues suggested a struggle to find suitable content and it may have proved overly ambitious to publish on a monthly basis.

The publication sought to promote interest in Bradford Park Avenue rather than criticise. Besides, the board of directors at Park Avenue insisted that all editorial content was vetted prior to publication. It was certainly not independent and in later issues there is the suggestion that The Kick Off was exploited by the board as a means to explain, or indeed excuse, club policy.

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I am unsure whether The Kick Off derived its inspiration from existing supporter publications at other clubs but it is equally plausible that the example at Park Avenue inspired others. The most famous title of that era, Gunflash was first produced by the Arsenal Supporters’ Club in the 1949/50 season. If anyone is aware of other such supporter publications I’d be very interested to know.

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At the beginning of the 1967/68 season the Bradford Park Avenue Supporters’ Club repeated the earlier initiative with a new magazine, The Avenue which ran to four issues. The publication was produced by a national company, Supporters Magazines Limited ‘in co-operation’ with the National Federation of Football Supporters Clubs. It came at a time when there was a revival in popular enthusiasm for football (ie post World Cup 1966) and it may not be a coincidence that the style was similar to that of the recently launched Football League Review (then included within club programmes).

Less than 20% of The Avenue was dedicated to Bradford PA affairs and the remainder comprised bland, syndicated content. Notable however is that there was nothing in the editorial that could be described as either contentious or critical of the parent club – this despite its perilous circumstances which warranted independent challenge and scrutiny. As with The Kick Off, the Bradford Park Avenue Supporters’ Club hoped that The Avenue would encourage interest in Bradford PA but it was a half-hearted effort and it seems that the BPASC again struggled to find suitable content. We can also assume from the disappearance of The Avenue that it didn’t sell and presumably that was the case around the country with similar titles at other clubs.

The history of football fanzines has been well documented yet the phenomenon of publications such as The Kick Off, The Avenue and others around the country of the same time has been overlooked. I should be very interested to hear from readers who may be able to cast a light on similar supporters publications elsewhere in the United Kingdom prior to the 1980s. Please DM me on Twitter: @jpdewhirst

John Dewhirst

NB To my knowledge there was nothing like The Kick Off or The Avenue at Valley Parade prior to the 1980s. Launched in 1984 as the publication of the City Travel Club ’73 (Bradford), The City Gent was the first independent magazine to be published by a Bradford City supporters’ group – Link here to background about the origins of The City Gent – whereas Bantams Review that ran to three issues in 1983/84 was a private initiative.

*** New book about the Bradford City / Bradford Park Avenue rivalry, volume 7 of the Bantamspast History Revisited series: The Wool City Rivals: A History in Colour by George Chilvers and John Dewhirst – publication in September, 2020.

To join the mailing list for details em books at bantamspast.net or DM on Twitter @jpdewhirst

Further information will be uploaded to www.bantamspast.net in due course.

Glorious 1911 – 26th April, 1911

In 1911 – only eight years after soccer had been launched at Valley Parade – Bradford City AFC won the FA Cup against Newcastle United in the replay at Old Trafford, Manchester on 26th April. It remains the club’s greatest achievement and a defining part of the club’s identity.

1911 FAC Final replay

Until the emergence of the Premier League in 1992 the FA Cup commanded enormous interest both domestically and abroad and prior to World War One the FA Cup overshadowed the Football League Championship in terms of prestige. Numerous commemorative items were produced to capitalise on the interest.

On 27th April, 1911 under the headline ‘Twas a Famous Victory’ the Bradford Daily Telegraph reported: ‘Never in the history of Bradford has such a sporting triumph been consummated… The eyes of the English speaking world are upon Bradford today; the team have brought honour and glory not merely to themselves and to the club, but to the city of their football adoption.’

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WH Smiths published a team card for the final at Crystal Palace and the other example was published by The Sportsman. The latter is notable for the number of adverts evidently aimed at a London based readership. My understanding is that a single, definitive or official programme was not published until the 1920 FA Cup Final at Stamford Bridge. Hence it is quite possible that these team cards were not the only ones available in April, 1911.

1911 final good scan

The following is an account of the achievement published in the club’s own match day programme:

The 1911 FA Cup success followed in a tradition of earlier sporting achievements by the senior Bradford clubs, most notably Bradford FC winning the Yorkshire Challenge Cup in 1884 and Manningham FC the inaugural Northern Union championship in 1896. However what was unprecedented was the assembly of people – estimated to be 100,000 – who greeted the successful team on its successful return from Manchester to Bradford on 26th April, 1911. That same evening there was a celebratory dinner at the Midland Hotel, the first of many.

front cover

We also remember the fact that two members of the FA Cup winning team were killed in World War One: Jimmy Speirs who had scored the winning goal and Bob Torrance, man of the match in the Cup Final replay. 

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John Dewhirst

The drop down menu above provides links to previous programme articles, archive images, book reviews and features on the history of Bradford sport.

Updates to this site are tweeted: @jpdewhirst

winning goal

 

Classic BCAFC car stickers

Another in the series of Bradford City artefacts – featured below are car stickers produced between 1976-2013.

 

You will find other Bradford City archive images by following the links in the drop down menu above. The links provide free, accessible history about BCAFC based on substance rather than soundbites.

Also published on this blog are my features in the BCAFC programme, book reviews and sundry content about the history of Bradford sport. The 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

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Construction of the Midland Road stand (1996) – Part One

Following the demolition of the original Midland Road stand in 1952 the ground remained essentially three-sided until the new stand was constructed in 1996. The shed that existed previously had been ‘upgraded’ in 1986 but remained recognisable to what had stood prior to the fire disaster. The shed was well known for its basic TV gantry.

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The 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.

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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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More photographs of the construction of the Midland Road stand (Part Two).

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)

Valley Parade and the Bradford landscape

Valley Parade: Then and Now

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 parade

Floodlights 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 floodlights

Image dating from 1959-60. Note the telegraph pole floodlight installation.VP 1960

Image believed to be 1963VP 1963

Midland Road c1962

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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 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

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)

Valley Parade and the Bradford landscape

Other galleries to follow with links updated from here.

John Dewhirst

Tweets: @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).
Argyle 1987
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.

1949 VPde v Hull

VP 1988

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)

Valley Parade and the Bradford landscape

Other galleries to follow with links updated from here.

John Dewhirst

Tweets: @jpdewhirst