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Bantam supporter aims to raise £100 for every victim of 1985 stadium fire
A Bradford City supporter is aiming to raise £5,600 in memory of the 56 people who died in the Valley Parade fire in 1985.
Richard Dunbar is tackling a 56km running and cycling challenge at Wibsey Park to kickstart a fundraising campaign he is doing for the Bradford Burns Unit, which was set up in the aftermath of the disaster.
He decided to do his challenge after friends ribbed him for missing City’s Wembley play-off final victory over Northampton Town in May this year, and instead choosing to go to a friend’s wedding.
Mr Dunbar, 29, who is a project manager from Buttershaw, said: “I agreed to do a forfeit for missing the final. But before they came up with anything too crazy, I knew I had to do something that had real purpose and meaning.
“That’s why I have decided to try and raise £5,600 for the Bradford Burns Unit Appeal by May 11, 2014, which is £100 for every person who perished on that fateful day on May 11, 1985.”
He added: “I am excited because I think it will be a big achievement and purely around the fact that any money I raise will go to that amazing cause of the burns unit.
“Knowing that I can help that appeal is giving me the motivation to do it.”
Mr Dunbar told how one of his cousins was in the Main Stand that day and was thrown over the advertising hoardings to safety.
She was a teenager at the time, said Mr Dunbar, who is the nephew of Rita, Sue And Bob Too playwright Andrea Dunbar.
He said: “She cannot talk about it even now. And she has not been to a Bradford City game, or to Valley Parade, since. She used to watch Bradford City quite a lot.”
Mr Dunbar added: “A member of my family being there brings it home just how everyone was affected. My cousin was in the stand where the fire started – she was very lucky to get out.”
The challenge will take place next Saturday – on the morning before the Bantams play Wolves – and will be split into 28km cycling and 28km running.
Mr Dunbar, who has done the Great North Run and half-marathons before, said: “I have been training for three or four months for it. I am definitely ready for it and the cause gives you that extra motivation.”
Mr Dunbar is currently planning other challenges and events to help him achieve his £5,600 target.
If you want to donate to his cause, visit justgiving.com/ rememberingthe56, or donate £5 by texting ILMO56 to 70070.