Urban Echo News 

District shows its support for England

Flags will fly and lights will sparkle as excitement builds across the Bradford district in advance of England’s quarter-final match in the World Cup against Sweden on Saturday, 7 July.

Lights across Bradford city centre will shine in the England kit colours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from dusk. The lights on City Hall’s clock tower, City Park mirror pool, Forster Square Station arches and Bradford Council’s Margaret McMillan Tower building will all be lit up in support of our sporting heroes.

Bradford Council has handed out England flags to staff to display in Council vehicles driving around on Saturday, so that drivers can show support for their team. Flags have also been given to many of our district’s taxi drivers so they can join in the pre-match fever as they ferry their passengers to all corners of the district.

England flags will be hung from the Council’s Margaret McMillan Tower building, as well as the flags already hoisted up in Centenary Square.

Football fans can enjoy the match in some superb locations. Businesses, clubs and organisations across the district are showing the match on screens large and small, providing an exhilarating atmosphere for footie fans.

Visit Bradford’s tourism experts have suggested some of the best places in the district to watch the match – and why:

  1. Bradford Bulls RLFC Provident Stadium, Odsal. “This is the biggest venue in the district to be showing the match. It can comfortably accommodate hundreds of supporters young and old, with a marquee to provide a bit of shade, family fun zone, free kids ice creams and much more.It’s free to enter – you just need to book in advance – absolutely first class!”
  2. Sunbridgewells, Bradford. “A unique underground venue with a range of bars, including a dedicated Sports Bar, and a characterful vintage feel. If you haven’t visited Sunbridgewells yet, maybe this is the time to take a peek inside.”
  3. The Sparrow, North Parade, Bradford. “This is Bradford’s original independent café bar. There will be sure to be lots of atmosphere in this quality independent venue. Get there early if you want a seat!”
  4. City Vaults, Hustlergate, Bradford. “A traditional pub in the heart of the city centre. Known for its great food, the perfect spot for a pre-match feed, then sit back and enjoy the game.”
  5. Windhill Cricket & Athletics Club, Thackley Old Road, Shipley. “A super community venue for families and sports fans. Stick around for a barbeque after the game.”
  6. Toby Carvery, Bradford Road, Keighley. “Great for the whole family with the chain’s reliable selection of tasty food. Handy location near Keighley town centre and all the public transport links.”
  7. Red Lion, Kirkgate, Silsden. “Enjoy a slice of history in this CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) award winning country pub, which has origins going back hundreds of years. Sure to be very popular with locals, but visitors from further afield can easily reach it by train.
  8. Ilkley Rugby Club, Denton Road, Ilkley. “Saturday’s Ilkley Sevens rugby tournament will take a break for the England game at 3pm, which will be shown on ‘the biggest screens for miles around’. Perfect for locals and anyone who likes their World Cup portion served with a generous dollop of live action rugby on the side.

Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “Reaching the quarter-finals is already a great achievement for England and we want to show our support. Our city centre will shine with our team colours and we’re willing the team to score and get one step closer to the final. Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed for a win on Saturday – and see England go through!”

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “The World Cup is one of the most popular events in the international sporting calendar and for many of our younger sports fans this could be the first time they are truly experiencing World Cup excitement. With England reaching the quarter-finals, this could even be the inspiration to get involved in the sport themselves, and create new aspirations for sporting careers in the future. Whatever our age, let’s not also forget that watching football is great fun. So let’s all enjoy the match wherever we are watching, and spur on our team!”

Kersten England, Bradford Council’s Chief Executive, said: “It’s at times like this when communities get together to get behind their team. Our local businesses and organisations are doing us proud, with venues to suit every taste and budget. Like most people across the District I can’t wait for Saturday and will be glued to the screen with friends and family. And with the news that Fabian Delph has returned to the squad after his daughter’s birth I really hope the Bradford boy gets a chance to shine for his country. Come on England!”

Zulfi Karim, General Secretary, Bradford Council for Mosques, said: “We all want England to succeed on the world stage and this team with their energy, skill and determination have really captured the imagination of everyone across all our communities. Football can unite us all regardless of our backgrounds or club allegiances.  So let’s fly the flag, believe in the side and dream the dream. Who knows, maybe this really is going to be our year.”

Bishop Toby Howarth, Bishop of Bradford, said: “The efforts of the England team are bringing out the patriot in everyone across the District. They are living proof of the power of sport to unite people of all backgrounds with people coming together in common cause and shared pride and living and breathing every minute of the match with the players.  The sense of anticipation and excitement about Saturday’s match is tangible and along with everyone else I’ll be willing the team to win and keep this wonderfully compelling journey going.”

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