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Bradford – Monday, May 11 marks the 30th anniversary of the Bradford City AFC fire disaster at Valley Parade.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford Coun Mike Gibbons will attend the memorial service on Monday, 11 May to remember the 56 people who died the disaster in 1985.

Lord Mayor 2014 Cllr GibbonsThe Lincoln Mayor and Mayoress, Coun Brent Charlesworth and Coun Kathleen Brothwell, will represent the city of Lincoln at the event. Bradford City were playing Lincoln City in their last home match of the season in 1985 when the fire ripped through the ground killing 54 Bradford City fans, two Lincoln City fans and injuring many more.

The service which starts at 11am will be conducted by the chaplain to Bradford City AFC, the Revd Andy Grieff and the Lord Mayor’s chaplain Revd Canon Philip Gray supported by the Rt Revd Dr Toby Howarth, Area Bishop for Bradford in the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. The event, which is attended by the relatives and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured, as well as local people, takes place at the memorial sculpture in Centenary Square.

images0CQKALWMAs part of the commemoration, the bells of the City Hall clock will toll once for each person who lost their life in the tragedy and their names will also be read out. Reading out the names will be John Helm, who commentated on the match 30 years ago, Shaun Harvey, the chief executive of The Football League, Phil Parkinson, the manager Bradford City AFC and Stephen Darby the captain of Bradford City AFC.

There will be a minute silence will be followed by ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ played by The City of Bradford Brass Band and sung by Opera North soprano, Victoria Sharp.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford will lead a wreath laying ceremony by laying a wreath on behalf of the city and the district. Wreaths laid by the Mayor and the Sheriff of Lincoln and the Oberbürgermeister of Hamm will follow this. Bereaved families will then lay their tributes and a Bradford City AFC representative and officers from the emergency services will also lay wreaths. Once these wreaths have been laid, others who wish to lay their own wreaths or floral tributes are welcome to do so.

Following the laying of floral tributes The City of Bradford Brass Band will accompany the singing of ‘Abide with Me’.

Fire engines will be parked on Centenary Square for the duration of the service and before it a garland of flowers will be placed on the “Memorial Bell” at the top of the civic staircase in City Hall. The bell was donated to the city by the fire service as it came from the first fire engine to arrive on the scene on the 11 May 1985.

The Lord Mayor, Coun Mike Gibbons, said: “The Bradford City fire lives long in the memories of the people of Bradford. I feel it is very important that we as a city take time each year on May 11, to remember those who lost their lives or were injured by this tragic event, which continues to touch the lives of so many in our district.”

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by Urban Echo reporter

The Gunners’ faithful have been divided on the issue of whether Arsene Wenger is still the right man for Arsenal. Having been in charge of the north London side since 1996, there are many Arsenal fans who feel the club needs to move on from Wenger in order to win trophies consistently once again.

arsene-wenger_1ud8qn7nlonyd1auj7ezapd9woArsene Wenger always happens to be the subject to criticism when Arsenal face a dip in form by a minority of Arsenal fans and football pundits around the world. But does he really deserve criticism? Not to discredit the group of Arsenal fans who still believe Wenger is the right man to lead Arsenal.

The 65-year-old, whose contract at the Emirates Stadium expires in 2017, helped his team end a 10 year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup last season and recruited names such as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. Considering their huge financial cost which they faced after the move to the Emirates, Arsenal were forced to operate on a limited budget compared to their Premier League rivals, which contributed towards their lack of success between 2005 and 2014. However, within them seasons the lowest Arsenal finished was a respectful fourth position. It is worth mentioning that the only clubs that Arsenal have finished below are those with a superior spending power.

Moving to the Emirates and still finishing within the top four is some achievement by the French manager. Although it may be overlooked many times and overshadowed by performances on the pitch, if it was so easy the question arises as to why no one else has followed in his footsteps? Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham, even Chelsea could arguably do with larger stadiums.

CS73516585WEST-BROMWICH-ENGSince Wenger’s appointment on 30th September, 1996, 153 managers have taken charge of Premier League clubs and eighteen years on, he’s still fighting for the top positions in world football. The retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson left Wenger as English football’s longest-serving manager. It is also worth noting that Jose Mourinho has spent more money, in just under two years, than Wenger had spent in ten years at Arsenal. Wenger has never enjoyed the long-term, endless financial resources that Ferguson had, or Mourinho has at Chelsea, or Manuel Pellegrini has enjoyed at the Etihad Stadium, yet he has consistently finished in the top end of the table.

Arsenal have been known for their distinctive style of football similar to that of Barcelona and Spain and one can argue that this is solely down to Wenger’s strong idea about how football is to be played. He possesses a special vision which cannot be said about many managers, who simply mistake formations for the substance of the game.

The magnitude of managing a club like Arsenal comes with many responsibilities. Therefore there is understandable pressure on Wenger to deliver. But has it really got to that stage? Has it got to a stage where players, pundits and fans are looking for a reason to sack the man who has been a part of Arsenal in his name? For all his weaknesses, the argument that he has yet produced a sackable set of results – even in the more difficult later years of his reign – remains unconvincing.

The end will eventually come in the next few years; Arsene Wenger’s eighteen year reign in charge of Arsenal has brought more than just success. From 1996 to 2005, there were Premier League titles, FA Cups and history with the ‘Invincibles.’ But a whole season unbeaten? What an achievement. Surely building the greatest and best team in Premier League history deserves some credit!

Arsenal supporters and the rest of the footballing world might not realise it at this time but we are currently helping to write the final chapter in the reign of the most important individual in Arsenal club’s history. At some stage in the future, books will be written and documentaries will be made about Arsene Wenger’s tenure as Arsenal manager. Let’s appreciate him and credit him whilst he’s still doing his business on and off the pitch.

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By Urban Echo reporter

aroosa@urban-echo.co.uk

It is very easy to forget that Manchester United have never really done this before. Between and around the two long reigns of Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson, there have mostly been low-profile appointments.

rvp-wayne-rooneyAmongst those low profile appointments came David Moyes. Unfortunately he was unable to recreate what Sir Alex Ferguson magically created over the years. So, United have now done, what they perhaps should have done a year ago and gone for the type of coach who can easily slot into a big club in a new country.

Louis Van Gaal has achieved many accolades before arriving at Old Trafford. He was previously successful with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and as he proudly boasted at his Old Trafford unveiling, together with his time at Ajax, he now reckons he has worked at the number one club in each of the four strongest leagues in Europe. That is no mean feat!

Van Gaal began his career in England with the total respect from all of United’s big-name players and supporters, an advantage Moyes never enjoyed. And, unlike his predecessor, he is a big enough name in the game to attract new players of the highest calibre.

Curing Manchester United after Ferguson’s ‘golden era’ is going to take time and that is clearly evident after spending £150 million on new players in the summer. Whether the new additions will gel as a team in years to come is a different debate but one need patience and you need a man like Van Gaal whose self-confidence knows no limits.

wayne-rooney_2996581bUnited’s performances this season thus far have been sporadic and uncertain. Their defence seem bewildered by the movement of strikers, although, having seen both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand exit in the summer, it was bound to be a season of adjustment at the back for United. The list of injuries have also not helped the cause. At the moment, their opponents seem to be unlucky not to get more out of games. This seems to be a familiar trend under Van Gaal, however, pinning the blame solely on him, seems unfair.

It isn’t his fault that the expensive signings were rushed into the team and expected to adapt immediately to each other. Or that United had failed to fill the void of authority in central midfield by the time he arrived and that, in the absence of the injured Michael Carrick. Using their star man Wayne Rooney as their only creative option is wearing a little thin with the pundits and the fans. It is also not his fault that Falcao has been a shadow of the predatory, prolific striker he once was or that Robin Van Persie is having another poor season. In saying that, Van Gaal has actually done a remarkable job of using his resources wisely and keeping United in the top four consistently.

Win, lose or draw, Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal continues to exhibit the strong personality that makes him the right man to lead the Red Devils out of the dark era of David Moyes and emerge from the tall shadows cast by Sir Alex Ferguson. Despite playing mediocre football, United still remains alive in the FA Cup and sit comfortably in the Premier League.

Ultimately, Van Gaal is a boss in every sense of the word, and that is exactly the calibre of leader United require at the moment. If Van Gaal’s given the right time, support and some luck, Manchester United won’t be far off from climbing back to the summit of the Premier League.

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By Aroosa Munir aroosa@urban-echo.co.uk
By Aroosa Munir
aroosa@urban-echo.co.uk

Since Cristiano Ronaldo arrived in Real Madrid for £80million in 2009, it has been the eternal question: who is better – Messi or Ronaldo? Years have gone by and more than five years later we still don’t have a definite answer, a preference for one or the other largely comes down to personal opinion.

As Real Madrid’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or world footballer of the year award for the second year in a row. The “who is the greatest of all time” debate began again. The Portuguese captain beat Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to the award taking him to three Ballon d’Or’s compared to Messi’s four.

Messi and Ronaldo are the figureheads of Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, and the comparison between the two is far too often used as just another battleground to continue one of football’s most historical rivalries.

hi-res-e79d53cbe3fd32af2319d289f1271ce7_crop_northIt is the greatest rivalry between two players the game of football has ever produced and 2014 saw Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo inspire one another to even greater heights. The goals flowed and the records tumbled as the Portuguese and the Argentinian rampaged through defences all around the world.

But would they be where they are today without one and another? Ronaldo is the epitome of sports entertainment – good-looking and refined physique. Messi though, is about one thing: football – and only football. However, taking the show-biz out of the footballing world and primarily looking at statistics, both players are very similar. You Messi-Getafehave to question whether their statistics would be so unbelievable if one was playing in another league. Their rivalry keeps them going, for example, when Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Getafe in March 2014, Messi scored four past Osasuna the night after Ronaldo’s hat-trick. Just as a “whatever you can do, I can do better”.

Looking at the breakdown of Messi’s 300 goals, the first 80 goals came in 161 games before Ronaldo graced the La Liga. However, after Ronaldo arrived in Bernabeu, Messi scored an incredible 221 goals in 204 matches. Just to dissolve the doubts and cement the idea that he is the best in the world.

Ronaldo, of course, would never acknowledge Messi’s talent, nor would he say that trying to outplay Messi has taken his game to another level – he scored 118 goals for Manchester United in 292 appearances but, for Madrid, his astonishing tally is 183 goals Cristiano-Ronaldo-5in 182 matches; a sweet ratio of one goal per match.

There is however, one area where Messi has been more successful than his opposite number: trophies. In those five seasons, Messi, part of arguably the greatest club team of all time, won La Liga three times compared to just one for Ronaldo in 2011-12.

However, the tide could be turning in Ronaldo’s favour. Winning La Decima made it 1-1 in Champions League wins since 2009 and the Copa del Rey triumph made it two for Ronaldo to Messi’s one. With Real Madrid currently top of La Liga and victorious in the last El Clasico in October, it may be Ronaldo who is edging ahead in the head-to-head. But as Messi has shown, responding to Ronaldo’s hat-trick’s with his own, there is still a long way to go in this great rivalry.

The argument will continue for decades to come, and we may never reach one answer. Rivalry in sport is nothing new. But who truly deserves to be recognised as the most talented footballer on the planet? Looking over every aspect of each star’s game, the truth is, it is almost too close to call. But what is definitely true is that at the moment, Messi and Ronaldo are playing a different game to everyone else.

Following their amazing win at Chelsea at the weekend, Phil Parkinson’s Bantams have been given a home tie with either Premier League side Sunderland or Championship club Fulham following Monday’s F.A Cup Fifth Round draw.

854772_heroaSunderland and Fulham will meet again at Craven Cottage a week on Tuesday after drawing 0-0 in their original fourth round tie at Stadium of Light on Saturday.

The draw was shown live in the club’s 1911 Club in front of join-chairman Mark Lawn, a selection of players and supporters, plus members of the media.

Fifth round ties are scheduled for the weekend 14/15 February 2015.

Bradford City delivered a five star performance last night to demolish 10 man Millwall FC 4-0 in their FA Cup third round replay at Valley Parade.

City, League Cup finalists in 2013, dominated their Championship visitors, scoring three first-half goals after defender Mark Beevers was sent off.

_80276411_bradfordcityAn estimated crowd of 12,000 were in for a special treat by Phil Parkinson’s men who started the match with confidence and a desire to quickly overcome their opponents.

Millwall were reduced to ten men after only five minutes when Mark Beevers was given a red card for bringing down James Hanson as he looked to race through, latching onto a long pass by Rory McArdle. It didn’t take long for the Bantams to capitalise and it was James Hanson who found the opening goal.

Millwall’s defence quickly conceded a second as a set piece again proved their undoing when Filipe Morais’s free-kick was headed down by Andrew Davies for Stead to sweep home.

The away side’s frustrations bubbled over soon after as a foul by Millwall skipper Alan Dunne prompted a melee between both sets of players that also resulted in Bradford manager Phil Parkinson and his assistant Steve Parkin being sent to the stands for their reaction to the initial challenge.

_80276341_bradfordcityBut, even without the presence of their manager on the touchline, Bradford continued to dominate a sorry Millwall side, who did not muster a shot on goal until the 85th minute.

The hosts added a third through Halliday’s close-range finish before the break before Knott capitalised on poor defending to seal victory in the second half.

Four goals was more than enough for The Bantams and the full time whistle confirmed a very comprehensive victory against Ian Holloway’s out of sorts’ side. The victory confirms that it will be Phil Parkinson and his team of players who will make the trip to Stamford Bridge a week on Saturday to take on the ‘special one’ Jose Mourinho and the likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Oscar. This is what the FA Cup is all about!

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson:

“There was a big prize at stake, to get the club into the fourth round for the first time in 15 years, so the tie at Stamford Bridge, we wanted to achieve that and we focused on the factors that would help us.

“I said to the lads at half-time I had to apologise for that [being sent to the stands] because I had to ask them to keep their cool and stay on the pitch.

“But I’m glad it didn’t ruin a great night. The lads didn’t need us on the touchline anyway. It was nice and quiet for us in the stands.”

 

 

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gerrard1998cutBy Aroosa Munir

As Liverpool fans wake up to the news that Steven Gerrard will no longer be a player at the Merseyside club next season, Urban Echo asked the question last month… Could the unthinkable happen? Is Steven Gerrard not good enough for his boyhood club anymore?

As the superpowers of Steven Gerrard which Liverpool fans grew up watching are slowly disappearing with age, the criticism is mounting, but when it comes to truly pivotal Stivens-Dzerards-1moments in matches, Steven Gerrard is still the right man for the big occasion.

It’s fair to say Liverpool haven’t started their campaign as well as they did last year, and in addition to that, Steven Gerrard has had a tough time so far this season. The 34-year-old, arguably the best player in the clubs history has been written off by many, with some people questioning whether Gerrard should even be in the team. The Liverpool talisman definitely splits opinion, there are those who have grown up idolising the English midfielder and find it difficult to criticise him, but there are others who followed Liverpool before Steven Gerrard burst onto the scene and would be happy to see him play very little football. Regardless of your personal opinion on him, it’s hard to argue that there is a better player currently in the Liverpool squad to drag them through this rough patch.

de4061ccf8edf1f5643456d044fc707aSeven months ago Gerrard was on the verge of leading Liverpool to their first Premier League title in 24 years, now there’s a queue of ‘experts’ telling Brendan Rodgers that his team are better off without him. On the contrary the stats show us that Gerrard’s passing and chances created this season have improved, creating 2.2 chances every game in comparison to last season, 2.0 chances created. The only difference is the players around him have changed, last season he had Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, the world’s most in-form striking partnership in front of him slotting every assist into the back of the net. However, although Gerrard is still doing his bit this season, the men in front of him are not. Instead of mounting the blame and criticism on Gerrard, maybe Liverpool should question the poor transfer window and the men in front of him.

Gerrard’s passion, commitment and determination have been second to none. Whether it’s a nerve-jangling Champions League knockout game, domestic cup final or a Premier League weekend clash, the skipper has produced in some of the biggest matches, more than any other Liverpool player in the club’s renowned history. He still remains the only footballer in history to score in every final he’s played in; Champions League, UEFA Cup, steven-gerrard-liverpool-captainFA Cup and the League Cup. Although some may argue that those days are long gone and he hasn’t been that player for years, you only have to look at the last couple of years to prove that theory wrong. Gerrard has scored a hat-trick against the Merseyside rivals Everton, two doubles at Old Trafford against arch competitors Manchester United and endless amount of penalties in their last ‘oh so close to the Premier League’ campaign last year.

Or even more recently, Liverpool’s clash against Basel on 9th December 2014 which deemed to be a “must-win” game, although they didn’t win, their saviour struck again. Gerrard’s 80th minute free-kick from outside the penalty area drew them level and gave the Anfield crowd something to passionately sing about. Not only that but also the idea that he is still Liverpool’s glory boy when it really matters

As the legend Thierry Henry once said: “I can’t think of a striker in the world who has scored as many important goals, never mind a midfielder.”

untitled (2)Every trophy won so far in their modern history since Gerrard made his debut would be depressing without him, and they possibly wouldn’t have won at least two of them – Istanbul ’05 and Cardiff ’06.

No one’s suggesting that Gerrard should start every Premier league game as the 34 year-old may not be the force he once was, but if there was one Liverpool player you would bank on being the difference, to turn to for a moment of inspiration, it would still be Liverpool’s born and bred ‘Captain fantastic’.

Since this article was written, Gerrard has today announced the unthinkable for any Liverpool fan. But deep down, they (the fans) are not disappointed with his decision. They are only disappointed that their club could not deliver the Premier League medal their Captain Fantastic so desperately yearned and deserved.

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Aroosa

By Aroosa Munir

Chelsea spearhead the football headlines once again by dominating the Premier League with their four-point lead at the top, and it is sure making them look like a fine bet to win the title. Chelsea have won ten and drawn two of their first 12 league matches. The win against West Brom was their 18th unbeaten game since the start of the season in all competitions.

They’ve taken 32 points from a possible 36, ironically had it not been for Frank Lampard’s untimely equaliser at the Etihad and 2 dropped points at Old Trafford, Chelsea’s record would have been faultless. So what has changed from last season? Where has the fire and re-emergence come from for Chelsea? The gaps last season were clearly evident in Chelsea’s team. Manchester City won the title, but only just.

CHELSEA TRAINING

Chelsea, however, could not get over the final hurdles due to their lack of a “killer instinct.” But that’s where the ‘special one’ came in. Jose Mourinho made his grand return to the club he adored in 2013, took a look around and realised instantly that changes needed to be made. He improved the midfield immediately with Nemanja Matic, and Cesc Fabregas, who was an obvious and available replacement for the Chelsea ‘icon’ Frank Lampard. To create chances and goals, Andre Schurrle and Willian were additions that were never going to be gambles, whilst Eden Hazard and Oscar can pass as well as any number 10 in the game. The Blues seem to have finally found the perfect blend of players, and just the right balance.

Chelsea-fans-welcome-back-Jose-Mourinho

However, snatching Diego Costa at £32million is about the greatest value for money deal anyone in football has ever done. Costa seems to be the solution to that missing jigsaw puzzle from last season which made Chelsea look mediocre, he’s now Chelsea’s top scorer with 11 goals and the 2nd Premier league top scorer just behind Sergio Aguero. When Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 he transformed them overnight into a European heavyweight. We all know money talks in football today as big players like big contracts.

Many people argue that without the money, Chelsea probably wouldn’t be where they are now, which is true, but without Mourinho’s uncanny eye for what makes a great team, they definitely wouldn’t be. That unique eye for genuine talent is what sets the current Chelsea team apart from the rest of the tactically aware.

jose-mourinho

Although it may be premature to say, but the purchase of Diego Costa and some tactical genius touches from Mourinho, a fifth Premier League title could be coming back to Stamford Bridge and Jose Mourinho could be on his way to winning a third Premier League medal at Chelsea football club. The performance against West Bromwich Albion meant Jose Mourinho’s side remained unbeaten, but more ominously, sent out a message about just how superior they are to the sides who profess to be their title rivals.

Chelsea look stronger, more organised and more determined in comparison to last season. However, with only twelve games played, is it too early to call the title Chelsea’s already?

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BCAFC

By Ansar Javed

For a true footy fan, the war between the Roses that took place centuries ago in the medieval times is very important. The milestone that marks the territory in between them is territorially marked with dirty water by the hound supporters of both sides. Such a bitter following can also be seen at a match in a local Derby, where neighbours living in one street, become martyrs or traitors just by wearing a different coloured scarf.

Cities such as Manchester become two nation footballing arenas in their rivalry. Such peculiar are the loyalties, that no disrespect to those who wear the red and never wish to walk alone. The Reds know pretty well that Mancunians from the City become United at the same time when they clash either one of them. They both join hands and wish that Liverpool would perish in the Mersey and be extinct like their stupid Liver birds. It is a must for every blue blooded fan to be at such a Derby between two local teams whenever it happens. Your steel is tested when you are a season ticket holder and have been also travelling to the away matches sitting in the falling sleet on your knees that feel cold as the carcases in the butcher’s fridge by the time the final whistle blows. In my case, according to a younger British born Pakistani friend of mine,

I fit the category of an aging coconut! They say that miserable people wallow in the company of those who are equally as miserable! For me being a Bantam has been nothing more depressing then supporting a team that has been historically losing week in, week out for decades. Drinking after the game must help I bet, right? Fred! But I wouldn’t know. Where does that leave me, a Pakistani Muslim supporter of an imbalanced mind and of an imbalanced team? ‘God help you.’ I hear you say, ‘God help him!’ Actually dealing with it, is a bit like being a terminal patient, who knows the reality of his destiny. Mortal blows below the belt become mere nudges of the passers-by. You really have no choice but not give up till the game is up. You get used to putting your head down and walking alone with thousands of other illogical thinkers that walk the sidewalks with you, avoiding eye contact, sharing the same fate and hoping for a miracle that never takes place. At home, the comforts of your home taunt you no less.

I remember the clockwork conversation that used to take place between myself and my youngest teenager. ‘Lost again?’ He used to ask, ‘Why do you support these losers?’ Why, oh why? He was no different to any other Premiership armchair supporter wrapped in the luxury of unreal success possessions and pride. I tell my long suffering heart that one day, one day our turn will come, I should say re-turn will come. In the meantime, empathy won most of the matches and was well and truly settled in. It had now for years made its home in the well of miserable Manningham, at the Valley Parade. Was there in reality any hope of this team ever getting any better? It certainly provided comedy material to the pundits of the day.

2011-10-03_001

A laughing stock for the insensitive individuals who made fools of us especially on the small screen in HD no less, for which we had bloody paid for through our noses. In the past, in the good times of the bygone era, we had seen the giddy days of Premiership and like the poor England hopeful national team; it had had some proper heavy silver wear in its cabinet. As it happened such a long time ago, you were forgiven if your visits to the club shop made you feel you were visiting a museum. In football, in the lower rungs of the league, you have to be a hardy soul. As another season ends on a low leaving you drained and empty, you keep looking to see if there is a light at the end of a tunnel.

Same old questions keep getting repeated, same old answers are regurgitated but nothing of any comfort takes shape. Nothing really clicks! Then out of the blue like the super characters of a fairy stories, lighting and thunder arrive in tandem. Yes our fortunes were to turn. Those that cackled at our sorry souls were forced to join the unfamiliar queues to get in that sodding stadium with us. This time there was an uncanny hush before this thunderous bang snapped, no different to an appearance or an occurrence of a minor miracle I imagine. Phil Parkinson had slipped in the shadows unnoticed.

A wafer thin figure, an unknown name was in the ground. He did not enter as a knight in a shining armour; in fact his entrance was questioned. Even the eagle eyed Social Media supporters, who hear whispers with bat ears, see with sharpness of the eyes of a Tibetan mountain eagle. The ultimate commentators, the ruthless critics and bisectors of the beautiful game had also missed the importance of his arrival.

They had missed an important entrance of a man that was to change their fortunes once again. This time more dramatically than ever. A man of the moment with a mammoth task that the likes of their blue eyed golden boys such as Captain Stewart McCall, the legendary Bryan Robson and England U-21 manager Peter Taylor had failed to achieve.

To say that we had lost our direction would be an understatement. We went bankrupt. How City survived the fall is significant for the supporters of this ancient club. We needed someone to steer us out the rot we had come to settle in. We needed a man that would follow the roller coaster careers of Chris Kamara and his successor Paul Jewell of the late Eighties, a novice manager but who produced some magical sleight of hand and showed the determination that took Bradford club to the peak in its heydays.

Parkinson must have impressed the Directors, yet we had lost faith in the system. When you do that you become cynical and negative. We thought in their desperation yet again they had made a mistake in picking this one out of the hat.

Once here, slowly but surely Parkinson started to re build Bradford. Not in a flashy way like Peter Taylor before him or emotionally like McCall.

He was smart, steady, clinical, cool, calm, methodical and very different. Oh boy how we needed someone like that.

Yes he must be the chosen one!

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