Players and officials from Bradford City could be given an open top bus tour of the city and a civic reception to mark their historic cup run - but not until the end of the season.
Last night, as high-profile figures from across the district paid tribute to the Bantams and their travelling army of supporters, it emerged that club officials are keen that events to mark City’s cup final appearance should not to get in the way of the quest for promotion.
Speaking during his journey back to Bradford last night, the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Dale Smith, said he was “naturally disappointed” with the result, but said the fans “could not have done more.”
He said: “It was a sea of claret and amber. The cheering and encouragement was astonishing.”
Asked about the prospect of a civic reception, Coun Smith said: “They have two important league matches coming up this week and the club want to concentrate on that. At the end of the season, we’ll look to recognise their achievement and I’m sure there’ll be a civic reception.”
Asked if that would include an open top bus, he said: “It’s a good idea. The City will expect nothing less.
“I would expect an open-top bus parade would be a fitting way to mark their incredible achievements. We’re just waiting for the season to end, hopefully on a high, and for the sunshine to come and we’ll start waving those flags again.”
Following the final whistle, the leader of Bradford Council, Councillor Dave Green, was among the first to express his pride in the Bantams.
He said: “I’m proud of the team, proud of the fans, proud of the city. Well done to all involved.”
His comments were echoed by Bradford East MP David Ward, who said the trip to Wembley had been a “great experience” for City’s fans.
He added: “Hats off to the T&A - great coverage over last couple of months and superb today.”
Councillor Vanda Greenwood (Lab, Windhill and Wrose) said she was impressed by the way the “City fans (were) singing until the end.”
Councillor Jan Smithies (Lab, Keighley West) pointed to the “spirit of Bradford” as the Bantams fans remained on their feet singing even though the team was several goals down.
Television presenter and former England player Gary Lineker said: “As for Bradford, they've brightened this season immensely and their fans were superb. Be rightfully proud!”
Speaking last night, Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “56 stars will be shining just that bit brighter tonight. Amazing support. Well done Bradford City. Yorkshire is proud of you tonight.”