Published On: Sun, Apr 20th, 2014 on 6:00 am

Bradford football tournament marks Valley Parade fire

Bradford City Fire Memorial

A memorial located at the Valley Parade Stadium in Bradford

On the 11th of May 1985, 11,076 fans filed into Valley Parade.

Bradford City fans were in a triumphant mood, having clinched the Division 2 title thanks to a 2-0 win over the Bolton Wanderers in the penultimate game of the season, allowing City to return to Division 2 for the first time in 37 years.

The game against Lincoln was to be a coronation for the all-conquering Bradford City team. The fans were in a celebratory mood as Peter Jackson lifted the Division 3 championship trophy before kick off.

At approximately 3:40, a spectator dropped a match, lit cigarette or tobacco, which fell through one of the holes in the stands and onto rubbish, which had accumulated under the stands. The resulting fire saw 256 fans suffering from injuries, and 56 who never returned home to their loved ones.

The 29th Valley Parade Memorial Tournament which concludes today at Bradford Council’s Marley Activities and Coaching Centre marks the start of the annual commemorations to remember the 56 people who lost their lives.

Local under 12’s and under 14’s teams from Bradford City, Bradford Park Avenue, Campion, Queensbury, BD3 United and Silsden have competed.

Teams from Lincoln and Hamm in Germany, which is twinned with Bradford, have also taken part.

About the Author

Akif Waseem

- Management Committee Member of the Spen Valley Football League and the Bradford and District FA

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