Bradford City’s fortunes in the FA Cup have got everyone hooked. Having already beaten Chelsea and Sunderland along the way, the Bantams will now play Reading for a place in a Wembley semi-final. But the match at Valley Parade will be important for another reason, as the footballing world stops the remember the awful scenes at the same ground, nearly 30 years ago.
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On May 11th 1985, 56 fans lost their lives whilst watching Bradford clinch the old Third Division title, against Lincoln City, as a fire engulfed an entire stand, also leaving over 200 supporters injured.
As CaughtOffside report, Martin Preston was a police offer on that day, and noted how the shocking events helped bring the divided footballing world together, as he was aided by a supporter who would normally be branded as a hooligan.
“I remember it as a silent episode.
“It was like a scene you see in Hollywood,” Preston explained.
The events of that day have been subsequently somewhat overshadowed by the later tragedies at Heysel and Hillsborough, but today’s game may be the perfect opportunity for the entirety of English football to finally pay tribute to all those who were affected by the fire.