Bradford City fans stranded after late victory at Wigan in Capital One Cup (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford City fans stranded after late victory at Wigan in Capital One Cup
A crowd of Bradford City fans were left stranded at a Wigan railway station after staying to watch their side secure its biggest cup win in 24 years in a late penalty shoot-out.
About 150 Bantams’ supporters endured journeys of up to seven hours to get home – with some paying hundreds of pounds for taxis – when they missed the last train back after watching City win a place in the quarter- final of the League Cup at Premier League Wigan 4-2 on Tuesday.
Elated fans, including children as young as four, descended on Wigan Wallgate station hoping to make the 10.25pm Northern Rail service to Manchester Victoria, where they could catch the connecting 11.20pm service to Bradford.
Some of the 5,000-strong away supporters had left before the winning penalty was scored at about 10.20pm, but many fans who decided to stay and watch the late drama were forced to find their own way home.
One supporter Steven Horsfall, was among a group of seven men who spent more than £100 on their journey, finally arriving back in Bradford at about 2.45am.
They shared two taxis from Wigan to Manchester Piccadilly, with a fare of £80, caught a train from Manchester Piccadilly to Leeds and spent a further £30 on another taxi back to Bradford.
“When the game finished we tried to get out of the ground as soon as possible,” he said.
“It’s a fair old walk from the ground to the station, but when we got there a policeman told us we had missed the last train.
“Obviously, as a City fan I thought it was worth every penny but I do wonder why nothing was sorted as they knew 5,000 City fans were coming.
“It was more the hassle that bothered me as I have a heart problem so I get tired easier. I was glad to get home, even though it took four hours after the game had finished.”
His friend Danny Baracskay said: “It would have been common sense to put on an extra train on or coach service back to Bradford to make sure we all got home, with extra time and penalties being a possibility.
“I would have happily paid a little extra for this as its better than £80 and three hours added onto the journey.”
Other fans, including freelance journalist Mick Gledhill, who had been working at the game, were able to catch a service from Wigan to Manchester, where they waited for a connecting service from Manchester Airport to York, which arrived in Leeds at 2.30am.
They then had to arrange their own transport back to Bradford.
Another supporter, Joe Murgatroyd, said he missed the last train by “one minute” and he and a group of people he met flagged down a taxi and paid £50 to travel to Manchester Piccadilly.
“The train was just £2.60 for a return,” he said.
“Big farce really. At least we won.”