Bradford City are to commemorate the deaths of their supporters in the Valley Parade disaster by stepping out at Wembley in tracksuits embroidered with the number ‘56’ before Sunday’s League Cup Final against Swansea City.
The fire at the club's ground in May 1985 claimed 56 lives and the feeling has grown at the League Two club that its descent into relative obscurity has prevented the tragedy being remembered outside of west Yorkshire.
Manager Phil Parkinson said yesterday: “When I first came here, I quickly picked up there is a unique bond here in this city between the club and the supporters because of the tragedy. I've had letters from people whose relatives died in the fire and I've spoken to people who were here on that day.
“The common theme is that this is the day to remember those people. We'll make sure we do that and it's important to this city. Because Bradford has gone down the divisions, there is a feeling that those people might have been forgotten outside the city, so we want to do everything we can.
”The co-chairmen are die-hard Bradford fans. It means a lot to them that the club is represented in the right way at Wembley and an important aspect of that is that the Bradford fire is remembered.“
Parkinson also disclosed that he is close to agreeing a new two-year contract to stay at the club. He said: “I'm enjoying my time here and hopefully it will get resolved when the Cup Final is out of the way.”