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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
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

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world