'We must capture spirit of Wembley' after City's cup exploits brought communities together

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford City fans inside Wembley Bradford City fans inside Wembley

Bradford is enjoying its own Olympic spirit in the afterglow of the Capital One Cup, according to the director of a think tank.

Sunder Katwala, of integration think tank British Future, said the question now was what to do with the city’s surge in pride and unity.

Mr Katwala was hosting a seminar called ‘Beyond Wembley’, looking at the legacy of the Bantams’ extraordinary journey to the cup final.

He said: “We came here to find out what happens after this. Do you wait for another hundred years for another cup final, or does something happen in this moment?”

Jason McKeown, editor of Bradford City fan website The Width of a Post, said it had been “phenomenal” to see the whole city embrace its local team.

He said while some supporters hadn’t liked the influx of ‘glory supporters’, it was crucial that the club welcomed them in.

He said: “This has to be the catalyst. The worst thing the team could do would be to put up a wall and say, ‘Where were you when we were losing 3-0 at home to Accrington Stanley?”

Anthony Clavane, chief sports writer for a national newspaper, said it had been wonderful to see football bringing people from different backgrounds together, and for that to have been recognised by the press.

He said: “There has been too much negative reporting in the media and here was a great, positive news story that was celebrated for its multi-culturalism.”

Councillor Jan Smithies (Lab, Keighley West), who said she was primarily at the meeting as a Bradford City fan, agreed that cup fever had attracted a more diverse fan base.

She said: “The Wembley crowd was very different to a normal Bradford City crowd. It certainly had a bigger racial diversity.

“But the other thing that is increasingly expanding is the number of women going, and the amount of different ages, from people who are quite elderly, right down to young kids. You had people with disabilities, I saw a lot of people in wheelchairs.

“That diversity and widening is pretty powerful to see. I saw three young women together in hijabs, which is still not very many, but it is a growing number, and they had claret and amber colours on.”

Mr Katwala said: “I think the really interesting thing about the ‘show your colours’ part of that is that it’s a tribe, and tribes by their nature can be exclusive, but this tribe is wanting to be inclusive.”

He said it was similar to the sense of unity and pride the UK had enjoyed during the London Olympics.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:19am Wed 27 Feb 13

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Think tanks, what a complete waste of time.
Think tanks, what a complete waste of time. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 0

8:45am Wed 27 Feb 13

JAtkinson says...

I couldn't make it last night but followed @HiddenBradford's tweets. A recurring theme was that Bradford needs to start talking itself up. We must be aware of the massive problems and challenges we face, but we also have to sell the great things we have in the city and district - things any other city would love and shout about.
I couldn't make it last night but followed @HiddenBradford's tweets. A recurring theme was that Bradford needs to start talking itself up. We must be aware of the massive problems and challenges we face, but we also have to sell the great things we have in the city and district - things any other city would love and shout about. JAtkinson
  • Score: 0

9:20am Wed 27 Feb 13

Thee Voice of Reason says...

All that Bradford does is talk, that is the problem more action is needed.
All that Bradford does is talk, that is the problem more action is needed. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 0

1:27pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Victor Clayton says...

JAtkinson wrote:
I couldn't make it last night but followed @HiddenBradford's tweets. A recurring theme was that Bradford needs to start talking itself up. We must be aware of the massive problems and challenges we face, but we also have to sell the great things we have in the city and district - things any other city would love and shout about.
Glossing over the issues bradford has is half the problem. what we need is some clear the air talks, and then an agreement on how to go forward and then action. all without calling any one a racist. possible?
[quote][p][bold]JAtkinson[/bold] wrote: I couldn't make it last night but followed @HiddenBradford's tweets. A recurring theme was that Bradford needs to start talking itself up. We must be aware of the massive problems and challenges we face, but we also have to sell the great things we have in the city and district - things any other city would love and shout about.[/p][/quote]Glossing over the issues bradford has is half the problem. what we need is some clear the air talks, and then an agreement on how to go forward and then action. all without calling any one a racist. possible? Victor Clayton
  • Score: 0

7:39am Thu 28 Feb 13

purdey28 says...

Reading Councillor Jan smithies statement made me want to vomit. Typical hot air without saying anything truly constructive.

What she needs to realise is that with the cup final now gone, most people will lose their interest in watching the club, and why did she have to play the disability card? I would have expected a fair number of wheelchair users to attend. She is clearly out of touch.
Reading Councillor Jan smithies statement made me want to vomit. Typical hot air without saying anything truly constructive. What she needs to realise is that with the cup final now gone, most people [except the die-hard fans] will lose their interest in watching the club, and why did she have to play the disability card? I would have expected a fair number of wheelchair users to attend. She is clearly out of touch. purdey28
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree