Sunday 27 February 2011

Sad News

This week has brought the sad news of the deaths of former City players Norman Corner and Dean Richards. Whilst both are to be regretted, the death of Dean Richards is particularly shocking given his young age. Deano was a cultured defender who moved from his humble Rhodesway roots to the very top of the English game. A great talent and a modest man as well. He had been coaching back at Valley Parade prior to his illness. On the day his death was announced three of his former clubs: City, Wolves and Southampton all won (Spurs had no game). Minutes before City's dramatic winner a rainbow appeared over Valley Parade. Perhaps it was Deano smiling down on us one last time? Our thoughts and hearts go out to the families of Norman and Dean.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Bradford City FA Cup Winners 1911 Centenary Celebration Dinner

26 April 2011


Midland Hotel, Bradford

On the evening of 26 April 1911 Bradford City’s FA Cup winning team arrived back in the city following their 1-0 victory over Newcastle United in a replayed FA Cup Final at Old Trafford, Manchester. The scenes which greeted their arrival in Bradford were unprecedented. An estimated 100,000 people were on the streets to welcome their heroes; an incredible third of the entire population of the city.

The team arrived at Bradford Exchange station. Two horse-drawn charabancs took the players across the city centre to the Midland Hotel where they were to celebrate their famous victory. Sat alongside the driver of the first charabanc was Bradford City’s captain, and goalscorer in the FA Cup final Jimmy Speirs. On his lap was the brand new Bradford designed FA Cup. In an astonishing coincidence 1911 was the first year the current FA Cup was used. It had been designed by the Bradford jewellers Fattorini’s. Thanks to a first half header by Jimmy Speirs the FA Cup made a rapid return to the city of its birth.

Speirs held the cup aloft to deafening cheers as the charabancs crawled through the packed streets. Down Bridge Street, around Town Hall Square and along Market Street should have taken only a matter of minutes – the journey took over three quarters of an hour. When the players arrived in the sanctuary of the Midland Hotel, a mass of humanity crammed themselves into the streets outside the hotel. Speirs appeared at an upper window of the hotel to give the crowds a final glimpse of the silver trophy. Speirs must have looked down on a sea of cheering faces. What a moment it must have been. Without doubt the biggest celebration in the city of Bradford’s history.

Exactly one hundred years since those momentous events the FA Cup itself will return to Bradford will be in pride of place during a centenary celebration dinner which will take place at the Midland Hotel. One hundred years to the very hour when Speirs and his players arrived at the Midland Hotel in triumph diners will be raising a glass to their remarkable triumph. During the three course meal speeches made on that unforgettable night will be recreated and a brass band will play tunes from the Edwardian era. The Saltaire Brewery is producing a batch of Glorious 1911 vintage ale based on the same recipe that was drunk by the players in 1911. The real ale will be on sale in the Midland’s bar during the course of the evening.

 The event has been organised by the bantamspast team at Valley Parade comprising Dave Pendleton, John Dewhirst and John Ashton. During the last year there has been fund raising through the sale of enamel badges and a cheque for £5000 will be formally presented to Professor David Sharpe and his staff from the Burns Unit. 

On the night diners will have the opportunity to purchase a number of limited edition collectibles which are being produced to commemorate the evening including a programme, rosette and enamel badges with proceeds donated to the Bradford Burns Unit. Copies of David Pendleton’s book Glorious 1911 will be on sale and the author will be on hand to sign copies. Directors of Bradford City AFC have been invited and several former players have promised to attend.

The evening is close to being a sell out but a few tickets are still available. They are £25 a head and can be ordered by sending a cheque payable to:


PO BOX 307


BD18 9BT

Further details, email and/or from the websites or

Details also available from the bantamspast team in bantamspast museum above the club shop before kick off on match days.

Dress: jacket and tie for gentlemen, dress for ladies.

Sunday 6 February 2011

Glorious 1911 - Visit to France and Belgium 2011 - Itinerary Update

Days after we announced the itinerary for our trip to visit the war graves of the nine City players killed in the Great War, slight changes have been made to the summer rail timetables. Unfortunately, due to required connection times at London we have had to slightly recast our travel plans. The new times are as follows:

Thursday 2 June

Depart Bradford Interchange 1022
Arrive King’s Cross 1345

Depart St Pancras 1434
Arrive Lille 1658

The only significant change is that our arrival time back into Bradford on Sunday 5 June is 1850. Apologies for the alterations which are beyond our control.

Friday 4 February 2011

Glorious 1911 - Visit to France and Belgium 2011 - Itinerary

Our itinerary for the bantamspast trip to visit the war graves of the nine Bradford City players killed during the Great War is now in place. We are waiting to confirm hotel fees before we can announce an overall price for the trip, though it is likely to be in the £350 bracket (this includes all travel and accommodation, but not food and drink).

Places will be restricted to twenty people to make the trip manageable and will be on a strict first-come-first-served basis. Places will only be confirmed once a deposit has been paid. We will shortly announce the amount of the deposit required and how you can contact us. The deposit will be non-refundable; this because we have to pay a non-refundable deposit to the various companies. Please keep watching for updates as we hope to announce a price early next week.

Thursday 2 June

Dep Bradford Interchange 3.22pm
Arr London King’s Cross 6.44pm

Dep London St Pancras 7.34pm
Arr Lillie Europe 10.04pm

Night in Lille

Friday 2 June

Coach: Arras (Harry Potter), Etaples (Ernest Goodwin), Villers-Guislain (George Draycott), Theipval (Evelyn Lintott).

Night in Albert

Saturday 3 June

Coach: Neiuwpoort (Jimmy Conlin), Poperinge (Gerald Kirk), Tyne Cot (Robert Torrance), Dochy Farm (Jimmy Speirs), Ypres (James Comrie).

Night in Lille

Sunday 4 June

Dep Lille Europe 12.56pm
Arr London St Pancras 2.31pm

Dep London King’s Cross 3.57pm
Arr Bradford Interchange 7.09pm