Sunday 26 July 2009

Jimmy's Coming Home

After a two year loan to Belgium the bantamspast museum’s life sized figure of Jimmy Speirs will be returning to Bradford in time for the new season. We loaned the cut out of Speirs and a framed picture of the 1911 FA Cup winning team to the Passchendaele Museum to mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele in which 300,000 British and Commonwealth troops died – including City’s FA Cup winning captain Jimmy Speirs.
bantamspast’s David Pendleton is travelling to Belgium this week and will bring the Speirs figure home by train. We’d like to acknowledge Eurostar, National Express East Coast and Northern Rail for their support in getting the near six foot figure back to Bradford.
It is hoped that the graves of Jimmy Speirs and Gerald Kirk will be visited. As well as the inscriptions to Robert Torrance and James Comrie who have no known grave. Pictures of the trip to Belgium will appear here next week.
Picture shows Jimmy outside the museum before he set off nearly two years ago.

Saturday 11 July 2009

City v Avenue - Playing for the Tom Banks Trophy?

In his programme notes for the first home game of the season last year against Notts County (ironically our first league opponents this year, this time away), Dave Pendleton wrote: 'The Bradford derbies have a rich history, one that raged across all four divisions of the Football League. Given that friendlies against Halifax, Huddersfield and Leeds are now non-starters, thanks to policing bills and the like, I would like to see the Avenue game expanded into a mini-Bradford Championship involving a City XI, Avenue, Eccleshill United and Thackley. We have the Tom Banks Trophy, formerly played for between City and Avenue, in the museum and we would be delighted to make it available as the Bradford Championship trophy.'
As the Bantams are due to play Avenue again on Wednesday next at Horsefall (k.o. 19.45), we are making the trophy available once more. In the hope that it's taken up, we've given it a much needed clean.

Thursday 9 July 2009

Harry McIlvenny Passes Away

The former Bradford Park Avenue player, and Yorkshire CCC Vice-President, Harry McIlvenny has died aged 86. A centre forward, he played for Avenue between 1946-50.
His father Jimmy McIlvenny was a centre forward for Bradford City during the club's golden age. Contemporary commentators felt that Jimmy's best years were lost when league football was suspended for the duration of the Great War.
Jimmy joined City from South Shields in 1911 and during an eleven year spell he scored 26 goals in 132 appearances. He left for Blackpool following City's relegation from the top flight in 1922. He spent one season at Bloomfield Road scoring 4 goals in sixteen games.
When City meet Avenue at Horsfall on Wednesday it would be fitting for both sets of fans to pause for a moment to remember the McIlvenny's who served Bradford football so well.