Pubs across Bradford are preparing for a big night with Bantams’ fans expected to flock in their droves to watch the club’s Capital One Cup semi-final against Aston Villa on Tuesday.
With the match not being shown on big screens at City Park or Valley Parade, watering holes across the district hope supporters will pack in to watch as Phil Parkinson’s men battle the Premier League side to secure a place in a historic Wembley final.
As the Telegraph & Argus has previously reported, efforts by Bradford Council to show the second leg of the tie on the big screen at City Park failed because TV company Sky has the rights to it and a spokesman for cup sponsors Capital One this week confirmed there are no plans to show the game at City’s ground.
But Stuart Carr, licensee of The Turf on Frizinghall Road, said watching at a pub was the “closest you could get” to being at the match.
“It’s all very well watching the game at home, but you can’t create that same atmosphere as being at the pub. We’re expecting to be really busy.
“It’s great to see Bradford City do well. This cup run has put a smile on everyone’s faces, and I’m hoping fans can be rewarded for their loyalty with a Wembley final.”
Yvonne Haigh, of Haigy’s Pub on Lumb Lane, close to Valley Parade, said she hoped fans would take the opportunity to soak up a pub atmosphere while watching City try and capitalise on its 3-1 win in the home leg.
“Before the games we’ve had to shoe-horn fans in, we’ve been extremely busy,” she said.
“Bradford City supporters have kept me in business for 23 years. We’ll be showing the game and we hope they’ll come down and watch.”
And Mick Capper, landlord of the Ring O’Bells on Bradford Road in Shipley, said he expected to double its takings on the night as it shows the game on eight screens.
“Bradford City’s cup run has been spectacular for the area. It’s really cheered us all up.
“By coming to a pub, you get banter you don’t get at home. We’re really looking forward to it.”
More than 6,000 fans are due to travel down to Villa Park to watch as the League Two club tries to take another top-flight scalp, after beating both Arsenal and Wigan on penalties.
Jeff Wilson, of Keighley’s Naylors’ Brewery, said some of those travelling supporters, as well as pubs, had been preparing for the match stocking up on its special Claret And Amber Ale – a rebranded version of its best-selling Aire Valley Ale in tribute to the Bantams.
“We’ve had a lot of e-mails from people about bottles of the ale, including one fan who’s going down to Villa and wanted to take some down for him and his friends on a coach.
“With it being so cold, showing the match on a big screen in Bradford probably wouldn’t have worked, so it would be good for people to go and enjoy it in the warmth of their local pub. It’s going to be a fantastic occasion and hopefully they can make it to Wembley!”