Friday 13 February 2015

A History of Bradford City AFC in Objects

by John Dewhirst
Published by bantamspast, October 2014

A unique 344, all colour publication which features more than 1,000 items of City memorabilia and historic club artefacts. It includes a 67,000 word definitive history of the club including the story of organised supporter groups at Valley Parade to the present day. The book provides an alternative history of the club as recorded by surviving artefacts and memorabilia and has been well received by football supporters not only in Bradford but across the UK.

Feedback reviews can be read on Amazon but also include the following comments:

Hunter Davies: 'Lucky old Bradford City - this is the best illustrated history of any club I have ever read. I am so envious of all John's football treasures and memorabilia, which will  appeal to and interest and amuse and fascinate all real football fans, not just those of Bradford City'

Simon Parker, Telegraph & Argus: 'a unique way of following the clubís path to the present day. I can't recommend it highly enough'

David Conn, Guardian: 'A History of Bradford City AFC in Objects, a new book by lifelong supporter John Dewhirst, appears not much more promising than a compulsive collection of memorabilia but it is much more than the sum of its badges, pennants and other ephemera which the author admits his wife and three daughters would eagerly de-clutter tomorrow. Any risk of appearing parochial is avoided by the care with which the objects are set out, the clean design and Dewhirst's detailed explanations. It adds up to a labour of love, testament to a cherished institution and the 111 years in which it has played.'

Tom & Dom of BANTAMS BANTER: 'the greatest toilet reading book of all time'

City supporters have also acclaimed it as possibly the best book published ever about the Bantams and it will appeal to fans of all ages.

Available from Waterstones, Wool Exchange and the club shop as well as Amazon, price £30.

Further information email here.

Monday 9 February 2015

bantamspast Annual 1911 Dinner

26 April 2015
The Bradford Club
6.30pm for 7.00pm
£20 two-course meal, a football ground archaeologist as guest speaker and exhibition billiards match featuring the 2011 English national champion.

All profits from the evening will be donated to the Bradford Burns Unit.
On Sunday 26 April, the 104th anniversary of the day that Bradford City became the first winners of the current FA Cup, the annual bantamspast dinner will take place at the historic Bradford Club at Piece Hall Yard in the city centre. Diners are requested to meet in the club’s bar at 6.30pm for a 7.00pm sitting. A guest speaker will follow the two-course dinner. This year’s speaker is football ground archaeologist Jason Wood. He led an exploratory dig at Bradford Park Avenue in the autumn of 2013 and previously worked on the memorialisation of Middlesbrough’s Ayresome Park ground. Jason will attempt to explain what inspired him to swap Roman archaeology for defunct football grounds. He will also show a short film shot at Bradford Park Avenue by Neville Gabie, the lead artist for the London 2012 Olympics.

The dinner also falls close to the 100th anniversary of the death of the first Bradford City player to lose his life in the First World War. Gerald Kirk died on 24 April 1915 at Poperinghe in Belgium. He was a centre half at Valley Parade, but was also a keen billiards player. Reports in the Bradford newspapers suggest that Gerald Kirk played at a high level against some of the best players of the era. To honour his memory an exhibition billiards match will take place in the Bradford Club’s stunning billiards room. It will feature Richard Lodge, the 2011 English national champion and Dave Saxton, the organiser of the Bradford Billiards League. The historic Hey’s billiard trophy will also be on display. The trophy is a solid silver depiction of a billiards match and was played for annually in aid of the Bradford Hospital and Convalescence Fund. The trophy is still in use to this day and is competed for by snooker teams from across Bradford.

Tickets for the dinner are available from The Record Café, North Parade and the Bradford Club at Piece Hall Yard. The evening is strictly non-profit making and, once the modest expenses have been met, all proceeds will be donated to the Bradford Burns Unit. If the event is a success we would expect that amount to be several hundred pounds.