Bradford Fireplace Catastrophe: Remembering the 56

Every year, 11 Might is a date that sees the football world come collectively and pause to recollect occasions on today in 1985, which noticed 56 followers go to a recreation at Valley Parade however by no means return home.

In what was described because the worst hearth catastrophe within the history of English football, 54 Bradford City supporters and two Lincoln City followers lost their lives, and 265 individuals had been injured.

Followers, young and old, wouldn’t stay to see one other football match, with generations of football-supporting households shedding their lives within the hearth. Mother and father lost kids, husbands lost wives and sisters lost brothers – at a football match.

Those that survived describe it as essentially the most horrendous day of their lives, and one that may stay with them endlessly. It was so very totally different to how the day was meant to have been as every one of many 56 followers left their properties that day to go and cheer on their team.

Bradford City had been alleged to be celebrating. The 1984/85 season had been some of the profitable within the membership’s history and, on what was the final day of the season, 11,076 followers turned as much as Valley Parade to see their side topped Division Three champions – their first trophy in 56 years. As a substitute, it become a day of tragedy. 

Bantams captain Peter Jackson had lifted the Division Three championship trophy earlier than kick-off however the match itself would by no means be finished, with referee Don Shaw stopping play three minutes earlier than half time. The celebration ambiance of the title winning celebrations was to be replaced by considered one of horror as a tragedy that may stay endlessly in football’s memory unfolded.

Accounts of the day element that at 3.40pm the primary indicators of a fireplace within the Foremost Stand had been seen. Inside 4 minutes the flames had been seen, and soon the fireplace had engulfed the stand.

On account of the tragedy, new laws governing security at sports stadia was launched, whereas the Bradford College Burns Analysis Unit was established as an enduring legacy to those that suffered.

It additionally undoubtedly caused an unprecedented united group spirit, buoyed by worldwide messages of condolence and financial contributions from a host of public occasions in the direction of a Bradford Catastrophe Enchantment Fund (83% of the full, amounting to £3.35m, distributed to victims in November 1985) and the singular intention to return to a new Valley Parade stadium after Bradford City needed to play all home league and cup fixtures for everything of the 1985/86 season – and the primary half of the next season – at their adopted grounds of Bradford Northern RLFC (now Bradford Bulls) at Odsal Stadium in Bradford, Huddersfield City (Leeds Highway) and Leeds United (Elland Highway).

The fact got here into fruition on 14 December 1986 with a commemorative fixture against an England XI, in entrance of a 15,000 full-house when Bradford City triumphed, by a 2-1 scoreline.A memorial is in place at Valley Parade itemizing the names and ages of those that lost their lives, reproduced under. Studying the list offers a sign of the vary of ages of individuals concerned and how generations of households had been lost.

As we speak is a day the EFL and the football world remembers the 56, their households and all others affected by the catastrophe. They’ll by no means be forgotten.

The 56

John Douglas Ackroyd (32)
Edmund Anderton (68)
Alexander Shaw Baines (70)
Herbert Bamford (72)
Christopher James Bulmer (11)
Jack Leo Coxon (76)
Leo Anthony Coxon (44)
David James Crabtree (30)
Harry Crabtree (76)
Derek Dempsey (46)
Muriel Firth (56)
Samuel Firth (86)
Andrew Fletcher (11)
Edmond Fletcher (63)
John Fletcher (34)
Peter Fletcher (32)
Nellie Forster (64)
Felix Winspear Greenwood (13)
Peter Greenwood (46)
Rupert Benedict Greenwood (11)
Norman Corridor (71)
Peter Anthony Halliday (34)
Arthur Hartley (79)
Edith Hindle (79)
Frederick Hindle (76)
Moira Helen Hodgson (15)
Eric Hudson (72)
John Hughes (64)
John Hutton (74)
Walter Kerr (76)
Peter Charles Lovell (43)
Jack Ludlam (55)
Gordon Stuart Mcpherson (39)
Irene Mcpherson (28)
Roy Mason (74)
Frederick Norman Middleton (84)
Harold Mitchell (79)
Elizabeth Muhl (21)
Ernest Normington (74)
Gerald Priestley Ormondroyd (40)
Richard John Ormondroyd (12)
Robert Ian Ormondroyd (12)
Sylvia Lund Pollard (69)
Herbert Worth (78)
Amanda Jayne Roberts (20)
Jane Sampson (18)
William Stacey (72)
Craig Albert Stockman (14)
Jane Ashley Stockman (16)
Trevor John Stockman (38)
Howard Malcolm Turner (41)
Sarah Elizabeth Turner (16)
Simon Neil Ward (18)
Robert Wedgeworth (72)
William James West (78)
Adrian Mark Wright (11)


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