Controversial book about Bradford's Ointment football hooligans to boost burns research unit funds (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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City fan Kevin McDonnell's book Getting a Nasty Shock - the Bradford Ointment Story will benefit hospital unit
A controversial book about Bradford football hooliganism is set to benefit the city’s burns research unit, set up after the Valley Parade fire disaster.
Bradford City fan Kevin McDonnell has written Getting A Nasty Shock – The Bradford Ointment Story, which charts the violent history of the Bradford City Ointment gang, from its heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s to the present day.
The book, being launched in the city, features former hooligans and is described by the publishers as “not for the faint-hearted as you are taken through a journey of extreme violence and shocking acts of brutality.”
For every book sold, £1 will be donated to the plastic surgery and burns research unit, based at the University of Bradford.
Today the offer of charitable donations from sales of the book was cautiously welcomed.
Professor David Sharpe, the unit’s director, who treated many Valley Parade fire victims, said he was conscious that people would not want to receive money from groups currently associated with criminal behaviour.
“But there is no reason why people who are reformed characters, who wish to donate money to a good charitable cause, for a legitimate reason, should not have their money accepted. I don’t have a problem with that,” said Prof Sharpe.
“I know nothing about the organisation, I thought the name referred to some sort of medical treatment! The background may offend some people. It is like some sordid thing that football hooligans got up to.”
The Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit was set up following the Valley Parade disaster, on May 11, 1985, in which 56 people died. Many more suffered serious burns.
Bradford City joint chairman Mark Lawn said: “No-one can condone what happened years ago, but football has cleaned up its act. Some people may feel uncomfortable about this, but it is an independent book that has nothing to do with Bradford City Football Club.
“I support Prof Sharpe. If donations go to a good cause, that’s a good thing.”
Author Kevin McDonnell said: “Most of the people in the book were at Valley Parade on the day of the fire. Some of them are in their late 50s now and haven’t been involved in violence for decades. They asked me to make the donation to the unit. It’s a charity that touches everybody’s hearts.”
e-mail: steve.wright @telegraphandargus.co.uk