Wednesday 26 August 2009

Intertoto Cup Reunion

After the Torquay game on Saturday 29 August there will be a reunion of all those supporters who travelled to Lithuania for City’s European debut in the Intertoto Cup. The reunion is in particular aimed at those who travelled independently to Lithuania. The trip was by common consent one of the most memorable undertaken by City fans in recent years. Next year it will be ten years since the trip, there is tentative talk of a return to Lithuania in the summer of 2010. The reunion will therefore be part social and part a pre-planning meeting.
The reunion will be in the City Vaults pub on Hustlergate in the city centre from 5.30pm. Doubtless, the reunion will go on for some hours, so feel free to call in later in the evening if the start time is not convenient.

Friday 7 August 2009

Bits of News

Thanks to a helpful bantamspast reader, we now have names for the upcoming season's team picture. We've also got most of them for last season's now, although there are still one or two question marks. Any help would be gratefully accepted.
David Pendleton mentioned how Jimmy Speirs' now has a new headstone on his grave at Dochy Farm Cemetery, complete with the correct spelling of his name. As you can see, it looks very smart.

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Team Group for the New Season

Once again, the club has provided us with a team image for the coming season. Many thanks to Jon Pollard. It completes the decade in our team groups gallery. bantamspast would be grateful if anyone could provide names to go alongside the image. In fact, for some reason we never got round to providing them last season, so names for 2008-09 would also be welcome.
We know this image doesn't feature the current squad. Right year and decade - wrong century!

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Jimmy's Return - More Pictures 3

David Pendleton with Jimmy at Forster Square Station, Bradford

Jimmy's Return - More Pictures 2

David Pendleton with Frank. Frank is wearing his Kortrijk scarf.

Jimmy's Return - More Pictures

's David Pendleton with Jimmy and fellow traveller Glyn Watkins.

Monday 3 August 2009

Jimmy's Return - More details

The museum’s full size figure of FA Cup legend Jimmy Speirs returned to Valley Parade following a two year loan to the Passchendaele Museum in Belgium. We loaned the figure to help the Museum commemorate the ninetieth anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele in which Speirs was killed along with 300,000 British and Commonwealth troops.

Last week bantamspast’s David Pendleton travelled to Belgium to visit the Passchendaele Museum and bring the figure of Speirs back to Valley Parade in time for the new football season. On Saturday David, along with his daughter Rosie and fellow City fan Glyn Watkins met Frank at the Passchendaele Museum. Frank kindly drove our small party to Dochy Farm New British Cemetery where Jimmy Speirs is buried. We were pleased to note that Jimmy has received a new headstone and for the first time in ninety years his name is now spelt correctly on his grave – it had been spelt Spiers, an error that had been made on Jimmy’s enrolment form when he first joined the army.

Frank then drove us to the Passchendaele Museum, where we were given a guided tour. The museum is well worth a visit and has an impressive reconstruction of a British dug out. We later visited Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest British war cemetery in the world, where we viewed the memorial to that other great FA Cup winner – Robert Torrance. Sadly, he has no known grave and is commemorated on Tyne Cot’s Memorial to the Missing.

Frank gave our party a lift to Kortrijk railway station – sadly as we had the cut-out figure of Speirs booked on a London bound Eurostar that evening, we had to turn down Frank’s offer to watch his beloved Kortrijk play Anderlecht on the opening day of the Belgian football season. We received a few bemused looks as we boarded a Ghent bound train with the large cut-out. After a short stop at Ghent we arrived in good time at Brussels to place the figure on a Eurostar bound for London. We followed two days later and picked Jimmy up from St Pancras. It was quite a challenge to get the cut-out, its base and a large framed photograph from there to King’s Cross. By now the group was down to David and Rosie, so the short distance was a bit of a struggle. However, the helpful National Express staff soon had our items stowed in the guard's van and we were soon heading north. At Leeds it was an easy hop to a Forster Square bound train and bantamspast’s John Ashton met us at the station for the short journey to Valley Parade.

The cut-out figure of Jimmy Speirs will be on display once more when City open their home campaign against Port Vale on Saturday 15 August. Our thanks to Frank at the Passchendaele Museum for his hospitality. The staff of SNCB, Eurostar, National Express East Coast and Northern Trains for their assistance in getting Jimmy Speirs back to Valley Parade in time for the new season. A fuller account of the journey will appear in a forthcoming City Gent.

Jimmy Returns

Just to allay all fears, bantamspast can confirm that the life-sized figure of Jimmy Speirs is now safely back in the museum after its long stay in Belgium. Here it is with fellow traveller, Dave Pendleton, still in its protective wrapping, outside the museum this afternoon. More details of the trip to follow.