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Bradford City defender Rory McArdle's own reason to remember the 56

Rory McArdle: Policeman tribute

Rory McArdle: Policeman tribute

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford City Reporter

Rory McArdle has a personal reason for making sure the Valley Parade fire victims are remembered at Wembley.

City’s tracksuit tops will bear the logo ‘56 – always with us’ in respect for those who died in May 1985.

Defender McArdle, still hoping to prove his fitness in time for Sunday, knows from first hand the pain involved from that fateful day.

He said: “My girlfriend’s dad has a friend who was a policeman in Bradford.

“He was working that day when it happened and was pulling people out of the fire. If it wasn’t for people like him, there might have been more than 56 who lost their lives.

“I hope he is watching the game as people like that deserve this day.

“Getting to Wembley is not just about the players who are at the club now. What happened here with the fire is well documented and we are all aware of that.

“It is great that we will be wearing jackets as we go out with ‘56’ written on them. That, to me, is a great touch.”

McArdle admits he has been staggered by the level of build-up to City’s stunning appearance in the final – but is heading for London with genuine belief.

“This is beyond football. It has put Bradford on the map.

“Everywhere I go, the first thing people say to me is ‘I can’t believe you’re in the Capital One Cup final’. It’s usually with a swearword or two thrown in!

“All the pressure is on Swansea. We saw that last weekend with the team they put out at Liverpool.

“They rested more or less the full-strength team so that shows what is at stake for them. Let’s hope we can cause another upset.”

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