Is the Dalai Lama behind Bradford's incredible Capital One Cup run?

Dalai Lama sends letter of support ahead of Wembley final against Swansea

Bradford's run to the Capital One Cup final has at times felt like a miracle.

The fourth tier side have seen off Premier League sides Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa to reach Sunday's Wembley final in one of the true modern football fairy tale stories.

It is the first time a side from the fourth division has made the final since Rochdale in 1962 and the troubled club's first final since they won the FA Cup in 1911.

They've needed some luck along the way, such as the penalties which saw off Arsenal at Valley Parade, but is there more to their cup run than meets they eye?

It has emerged that the Dalai Lama offered his blessing to the club at the start of the season and hopes he can bring "good fortune" for this weekend's final against Swansea.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tensin Gyatso, has reportedly been a Bradford supporter since last June following a trip to Yorkshire. While there, he was made honorary president of fans' group Friends of Bradford City.

The Dalai Lama sent Bradford a letter of support in the form of a short letter from the London-based Office of Tibet signed by his representative.

It read: "On behalf of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, may I offer you, and indeed the whole team of players for Bradford City, huge congratulations on your incredible success.

"If His Holiness’ blessing has helped in any way towards your wonderful efforts, I hope that blessing will continue to bring you good fortune.

"He would hope that this tremendous achievement can be turned into an opportunity to help others, demonstrating the power of sport to bring happiness to others on and off the pitch.

"He remembers his time in Yorkshire with great affection and wishes you every success in the big match. Of course, we at the Office of Tibet also wish you the best of luck in the final!"

Friends of Bradford City chairman Mark Neale is quoted as saying: "When I opened the letter and found it was from the Dalai Lama you could have knocked me down with a feather.

"I have this vision of him sitting on a mountain listening for City’s results. I know we have a great manager in Phil Parkinson in but any help we can get is great, and maybe the Dalai Lama has played his part in City’s amazing success.

"My wife Julie, who is a season ticket holder, says she might become a Buddhist."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue