Keighley football tournament is tribute to victims of Valley Parade fire disaster

Keighley football tournament is tribute to victims of Valley Parade fire disaster

Keighley football tournament is tribute to victims of Valley Parade fire disaster

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford Chief Reporter

The lives of 56 fans who died in the Bradford City fire disaster 29 years ago will be remembered at a memorial football tournament this weekend.

The event will commemorate the tragic events of May 11, 1985, which claimed the lives of 54 Bradford City supporters and two from Lincoln City – the team ity were playing on the day.

The 29th Valley Parade Memorial Tournament is held Easter weekend at Bradford Council’s Marley Activities and Coaching Centre in Keighley.

As well as being a sporting tribute to those who died, the two-day event aims to promote friendship between young people.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Khadim Hussain, will be at the tournament to watch teams from the Bradford district, Lincoln and across Europe, compete for trophies.

Among the teams competing will be under 12s and under 14s teams from Bradford City, Bingley, Sandy Lane, BPA, Campion, Queensbury, BD3 United and Silsden.

There will also be two centre of excellence teams from Lincoln, and a team from the German city of Hamm, which is twinned with the Bradford district.

The tournament was the brainchild of former Bradford Council chief recreation officer Howell Williams and has been held every year since 1986.

Lifelong Bradford City fan and Bradford Council employee Carl Dalton, who was in the main stand on the day, took over organising the event in 2000.

He said: “The tournament helps preserve the memory of those who died, provides us with an opportunity to reflect on what happened and also lets us celebrate our future footballers.

“While the tournament was born out of a tragedy that will always be remembered, it also gives us chance to look forward and see young footballers enjoying the tournament.”

Since 1986 more than 12,000 players have taken part in the tournament, organised by Bradford Council’s sport and leisure service and sponsored by the Prison Officers' Association.

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