The Bradford City Fire Disaster – 30 years on
It started with a spark in the corner of the Main Stand at Valley Parade, catching alight some rubbish under the wooden seats of a wooden stand. Within four devastating minutes, the stand had been reduced to a burnt-out shell.
Thirty years ago on 11th May 1985, fifty-six people attended a game of football but would never return home. Of those who lost their lives, fifty-four were Bradford fans and two were supporters of visiting Lincoln City. Eleven casualties were children.
Hundreds more spectators were injured and thousands witnessed an event that many have described as ‘the worst day of their lives’. For the people of Bradford, the emotions are still raw and the memories are always there. They may be less prominent at times, more present in others, but they never go away.
Bradford Remembers…and the Football Community too
On this 30th Anniversary of the fire disaster, for the first time there is to be a national commemoration in memory of all those affected by the events of 11th May 1985.
The FA have invited hosts of all matches in the Premier League, The Football League, the Football Conference, the Women’s Super League and County FAs to observe a minutes silence across the weekend commencing 25th April. For those attending matches this weekend, we thank you for sharing this moment of remembrance with us.
There are two particular legacies of the disaster that show how healing and renewal can come even from the worst of circumstances.
Firstly, the disaster led to improvements in the construction and safety of football grounds that ensure, hopefully, that nothing like Bradford 1985 can happen ever again.
Secondly, the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) at the University of Bradford was established in the wake of the disaster. Known locally as ‘the Bradford Burns Unit’, it was set up by Dr David Sharpe who treated many people on that fateful day and stands as a lasting memorial to the fire disaster.
The PSBRU depends entirely on public donations for its continued survival and if you would like to donate to the Bradford Burns Unit Memorial Appeal you can do so via:
The official commemoration website at www.fire-anniversary.brad.ac.uk/donate
Text to donate: Text 70070 with the code VPFA56 followed by the amount you’d like to donate, e.g. To send £5 text ‘VPFA56 5’ to 70070
Bradford City club and fans appreciate deeply this response of the national football community to the Commemoration, which has transcended all the usual rivalries within the game.
11th May 1985 – Always Remembered – Bradford City Football Club