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Thoughts With Bradford City Today

25 years ago today 56 football fans went out for the game and never returned. 265 more were sent to hospital with burns and other injuries. The majority of those who died were children or the elderly, who struggled to beat the crush to get out of the stadium.

Valley Parade, the home of Bradford City, started that day with celebration, as they had just secured promotion to Division 2.

However, just before half time, flames were noticed in the stands and they spread rapidly. Within four minutes the whole of the roof and the wood stands below had caught fire.

The cause of the fire is thought to have been the accidental dropping of a match or a cigarette stubbed out in a polystyrene cup and the resulting fire was fuelled by rubbish underneath the wooden stand.

The Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Bradford are set to hold a memorial service today in the city to remember those who lost their lives.

Our thoughts are with Bradford City today.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. FeZ14 says:

    That is such a tragedy. May their souls continue to rest in peace..

  2. loughie21 says:

    Horrible to see tragedies like this… 25 years on but the hurt is probably still as raw as ever for most. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones. And those who had to witness it. As Fez said, may they continue to RIP.

  3. bigphil2003 says:

    Incredible that a match or cigarette could have caused such carnage. Terrible tragedy :(

  4. Gorse Hill Red says:

    I seen some of the footage on Youtube and it is shocking. Brings a tear to the eye, especially when some of the same family members died in the tragedy. Just awfull.
    Rest in Peace.

  5. MG says:


    At the end it’s a game that we all go to to support our teams

    And no matter what the outcome it should not equate to life or death

    To those that went that day in celebration – you’ll never be forgotten

    We are all the same – we may all have our different choices but our passion is equal

  6. YesRed says:

    My thoughts also to the families of those lost that day.

  7. BrianBL says:

    R.I.P. It is devastating to see how vicious and fast the fire progressed, my thoughts are with the families.

  8. Fabio says:

    A very sad day for football :( .. I though after this they banned wooden seats in stadiums, however, I can’t understand how Everton STILL get away with putting us United fans in there cow shed of a stadium with wooden seats still there?!?. God bless..

  9. King Eric says:

    My god I remember this like it was yesterday. Cannot believe it was 25 years ago. Nasty times then with Heysel, Hillsborough and this all in the space of 4 years.

  10. Red phil says:

    We can relate to tragedies more than most. At the end of the day, you go to football for football, you don’t expect to never walk away.


  11. Fred says:


  12. jimjagger says:

    …and Lincoln City. Two of LCFC’s fans were those that died in the fire; Mr Stacey and Mr West. A stand at Sincil Bank now bears their names.


  13. Jaansdad says:


  14. Kings says:

    Remember that like it was yesterday. Terrible tragedy, thoughts are with the families of lost loved ones.

  15. suhayl says:

    A TRAGEDY THAT WAS FORGOTTEN BY THE WIDER NATION…due to scouse lunatics going on the rampage 3 weeks later at heysel….then came hillsborough and people forgot the bradford fire.

    RIP to all those who perished at valley parade in 85

  16. willierednut says:


  17. cantona7 says:


  18. Mancunian says:

    R.I.P…Bradford….Theres a light that never goes out….

  19. james21 says:

    Remember it well. All thoughts with the Friends and Families of the Fans who perished.

  20. redscot says:

    I am to young to have any first hand knowledge of this tragic event, having noticed elsewhere of the 25th anniversary of the dreadfull day.I did my own research.Its a tremendous tribute to the Bantams that forever there after that they trim there kit with Black as a mark of respect.As a lad said in a prior post also Lincoln FC named a stand after the two souls from Lincoln that perished in the tragedy.
    A glorious celebration turned into a human disaster.
    To those people who lost there lives, may God be with you and RIP.

  21. Falkirk_Red says:




  23. TonyBee says:

    i must admit to actually watching this as I think it was the BBC was live…. they stopped showing live footage when the first burning body was shown…..
    RIP to all the fans that lost their lives and commiserations to all the relatives and survivors of this tragedy.

  24. Little Red Ant says:

    Hopefully this will never be repeated. I’m sure we were on the way home from the QPR game when we heard this – silence all the way back

  25. RedAlert260599 says:

    Martin Fletcher was a 12 year old boy at the time. He went to the game with his Dad, granddad, brother, and uncle. He was the only one who came home.
    He’s running a half marathon to raise money for the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit at Bradford University’s Centre for Skin Sciences.
    If you’d like to donate go to
    This could have been any of us – support a fellow football fan.


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