Bradford City lose but are winners with their fans who are proud of historic cup run

City's fans stood up for their team

Carl McHugh, James Hanson and Andrew Davies at the end of the game

Garry Thompson on the ball

Nahki Wells on the attack

Andrew Davies tackles Pablo Hernandez

Michu celebrates scoring the second goal

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

With 20 minutes of yesterday’s match remaining, and ten-man City four goals behind, one half of Wembley rose to its feet.

A flag-waving sea of claret and amber cleared their throats and gave a thunderous rendition of ‘Stand up if you love City’.

Raw emotion dripped from supporters young and old.

It came from fathers and sons, and entire families in a Bradford following of well over 30,000.

They rose to their feet to acclaim the achievements of their football club during this most astonishing of cup runs.

It continued for almost the remainder of the game and conjured up quite some image.

It was certainly not done in any kind of hope or expectancy.

Far from it.

The game was long gone, the Capital One Cup heading to Wales, and Phil Parkinson’s men were going home as beaten men.

City’s huge travelling army knew it too, yet their pride was unmistakable.

A sense of pride in a football club and a city that has been forged by this incredible cup odyssey.

That is the power that sport, and perhaps only football, can have on the inhabitants of a town or city.

The Bantams have put Bradford back on the map this season.

Sure, they never came close to the kind of victory that would have been beyond the realms of make believe, even by their own lofty standards.

But, despite the heavy reverse, City’s long-suffering supporters were going to enjoy their moment in the sun.

And who could blame them?

The Bantams yesterday became the first team from the fourth tier to reach a major Wembley cup final.

It will go down as one of the greatest feats in the history of English football, and may never happen again.

The agony of two administrations, three relegations and six years in the doldrums, not to mention several flirtations with oblivion, were all washed away yesterday.

But it went deeper.

This was also an occasion to recognise history.

Shortly before kick-off, a huge banner containing the words ‘ALWAYS REMEMBER’ was passed around the away end, followed by the words ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

The wider football world tends to forget the events of Valley Parade which saw a fire destroy the main stand on May 11, 1985, leaving 56 people dead.

Nobody in Bradford will ever forget, of course, and yesterday was as much a time to honour the memory of those no longer with us as the achievements of the current side.

It was a bridge too far for Parkinson’s side against a slick and expansive Swansea side bossed by the impressive Michael Laudrup.

But that City were even coming up against such vaunted opposition was testament to what they have achieved this term.

Seeing Parkinson standing shoulder to shoulder with the legendary Laudrup in their respective technical areas brought a smile.

Likewise, watching Rory McArdle and Carl McHugh tasked with stopping the classy Spaniard Michu was also a sight to behold.

In truth, Swansea were dominant from start to finish and were rightly crowned winners of a competition maligned at times in recent seasons, but which has been given a new lease of life by the team from Valley Parade this term.

Arriving in London early yesterday morning had en- couraged hopes that it was to be City’s day.

Bantams fans flooded the capital in their thousands and it was clear they were going to make the most of the occasion.

Hundreds of groups of City fans bounced out of Kings Cross and onto trains carrying them to the home of English football.

They marched up Wembley Way with passion, energy and belief coursing through their veins.

There was no mistaking the magnitude of the occasion and the noise which emanated from one half of Wembley told a story.

Of a city and a football club immensely proud of their own identity.

Bradfordians and certainly City fans have had next to nothing to be proud of for over a decade.

Until now, that is.

A quick stroll around the city any time in the past few weeks has been proof enough.

Bantams followers wear their scarves with pride again.

They packed out their end of Wembley and the decibel levels increased steadily as Gary Jones led his men on the pre-match warm-up.

Footage of City’s successes in the previous rounds against Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa merely added to an emotionally fraught at- mosphere.

Joint City chairman Mark Lawn saw himself caught on the big screen shortly before kick-off and immediately punched the air to underline his affiliation to the club.

As if there was ever any doubt.

Lawn, along with David and Julian Rhodes, has the club in his heart.

It is to be hoped that Parkinson can now commit his future to the club and mount a concerted charge for promotion.

That would be the perfect way to finish what the highly-impressive 45-year-old has started.

The club is believed to have amassed around £2.5million from the profits of their cup run, laying the foundations for a lasting legacy.

Yesterday was chastening at times for Parkinson’s men as Swansea popped the ball about with their customary swagger.

Laudrup’s men soon led when Michu’s struck a low, left-footed drive which Matt Duke could only parry.

There was Nathan Dyer to slot home the rebound from two yards out.

Despite struggling badly for any decent share of possession, City supporters never gave up hope.

It made for an eerily tense atmosphere at times as the Bantams sought to keep Swansea at bay.

Michu added a second for Swansea five minutes before the break, which was just reward for their bucketloads of possession.

It got worse for the Bantams as Dyer grabbed his second with an outstanding curling effort in the 47th minute.

Shortly before the hour mark, Duke’s trailing leg felled Jonathan De Guzman and referee Kevin Friend pointed to the penalty spot.

De Guzman eventually stepped up to sidefoot the ball past replacement stopper Jon McLaughlin, who had come on to replace Nahki Wells.

Swansea grabbed a fifth in the dying embers when De Guzman buried a low right-wing cross from Angel Rangel.

Sadly for City, one dream is over – leaving them to focus solely on an arguably even bigger prize.

Promotion.

Comments (21)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:03am Mon 25 Feb 13

pudseykid says...

ALWAYS REMEMBER: we werent the losers..it had to happen one day, that a team which took MILLIONS to build would actually "Win" against CITY..I have never done this before, but after the sending off, I stood with "the faithful", i sang CITY Til I die, i jumped, i cheered, I waved my flag, i was proud of the scarf around my neck....Our journey home may have been shorter than most (2.5 hours to weston super mare)..but what a glorious day...THEY Deserved to be there..
ALWAYS REMEMBER: we werent the losers..it had to happen one day, that a team which took MILLIONS to build would actually "Win" against CITY..I have never done this before, but after the sending off, I stood with "the faithful", i sang CITY Til I die, i jumped, i cheered, I waved my flag, i was proud of the scarf around my neck....Our journey home may have been shorter than most (2.5 hours to weston super mare)..but what a glorious day...THEY Deserved to be there.. pudseykid
  • Score: 0

10:20am Mon 25 Feb 13

Solomon Grundy says...

Well we had a great day out regardless of the score and to see all that claret & amber in London and all around Wembley was just BLOODY BRILLIANT. Pround to support City and proud of my City!
Well we had a great day out regardless of the score and to see all that claret & amber in London and all around Wembley was just BLOODY BRILLIANT. Pround to support City and proud of my City! Solomon Grundy
  • Score: 0

10:49am Mon 25 Feb 13

richbar62 says...

We were by far more vocal and passionate than the sheep lovers end.
Proud to be city
We were by far more vocal and passionate than the sheep lovers end. Proud to be city richbar62
  • Score: 0

11:41am Mon 25 Feb 13

richbar62 says...

I have been to the MCG for some major sporting events, but NOTHING will beat the passion of the city fans at Wembley.
Proud to have been a part of it, and will cherish this memory forever.
I have been to the MCG for some major sporting events, but NOTHING will beat the passion of the city fans at Wembley. Proud to have been a part of it, and will cherish this memory forever. richbar62
  • Score: 0

11:59am Mon 25 Feb 13

Cityboy78 says...

I work in Cambridge. Everybody was rooting for us yesterday and despite being outclassed, everyone has had nothing but praise and congratulations for us, all well impressed by our amazing support. Genuinely the first time in a long time that i have been able to speak to people down south about Bradford with pride. Brilliant.
I work in Cambridge. Everybody was rooting for us yesterday and despite being outclassed, everyone has had nothing but praise and congratulations for us, all well impressed by our amazing support. Genuinely the first time in a long time that i have been able to speak to people down south about Bradford with pride. Brilliant. Cityboy78
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Mon 25 Feb 13

tingleyb says...

fantastic weekend away . . . so pround of the city support . . . .raw emotion at times . . .. far more passionate that Swansea. Slightly disappointed with the response to 'stand up for the 56' but nevertheless we have best supporters and extended family of the lot !Sincerely hope this team can on a big run towards promotion but if not its still been a great season. CTID
fantastic weekend away . . . so pround of the city support . . . .raw emotion at times . . .. far more passionate that Swansea. Slightly disappointed with the response to 'stand up for the 56' but nevertheless we have best supporters and extended family of the lot !Sincerely hope this team can on a big run towards promotion but if not its still been a great season. CTID tingleyb
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Victor Clayton says...

very proud to be a city fan - well done all concerned.
very proud to be a city fan - well done all concerned. Victor Clayton
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Mon 25 Feb 13

John in Harden says...

C'mon Bradford, lets see this season out with style.
25k on Wednesday would show the world that BRADFORD are BACK in the big time.
Opponents from now should 'Be afraid - be very afraid ' when meeting The mighty Bantams.
Well done Phil.
C'mon Bradford, lets see this season out with style. 25k on Wednesday would show the world that BRADFORD are BACK in the big time. Opponents from now should 'Be afraid - be very afraid ' when meeting The mighty Bantams. Well done Phil. John in Harden
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Mon 25 Feb 13

'97 bantam says...

Loved the passion from all of us there on Sunday and the media has picked up on it, labelling us as possibly the best fans in the world. I'm expecting at least 15-16k fans there on Wednesday night and even more on Saturday and for EVERYONE to get behind city and raise the roof like we did at Wembley and show the world why we Are the best fans. Here's for three points on Saturday CMON CITY!
Loved the passion from all of us there on Sunday and the media has picked up on it, labelling us as possibly the best fans in the world. I'm expecting at least 15-16k fans there on Wednesday night and even more on Saturday and for EVERYONE to get behind city and raise the roof like we did at Wembley and show the world why we Are the best fans. Here's for three points on Saturday CMON CITY! '97 bantam
  • Score: 0

4:02pm Mon 25 Feb 13

GABRIEL.NORDE says...

pudseykid wrote:
ALWAYS REMEMBER: we werent the losers..it had to happen one day, that a team which took MILLIONS to build would actually "Win" against CITY..I have never done this before, but after the sending off, I stood with "the faithful", i sang CITY Til I die, i jumped, i cheered, I waved my flag, i was proud of the scarf around my neck....Our journey home may have been shorter than most (2.5 hours to weston super mare)..but what a glorious day...THEY Deserved to be there..
Well said!
[quote][p][bold]pudseykid[/bold] wrote: ALWAYS REMEMBER: we werent the losers..it had to happen one day, that a team which took MILLIONS to build would actually "Win" against CITY..I have never done this before, but after the sending off, I stood with "the faithful", i sang CITY Til I die, i jumped, i cheered, I waved my flag, i was proud of the scarf around my neck....Our journey home may have been shorter than most (2.5 hours to weston super mare)..but what a glorious day...THEY Deserved to be there..[/p][/quote]Well said! GABRIEL.NORDE
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Rambo says...

tingleyb wrote:
fantastic weekend away . . . so pround of the city support . . . .raw emotion at times . . .. far more passionate that Swansea. Slightly disappointed with the response to 'stand up for the 56' but nevertheless we have best supporters and extended family of the lot !Sincerely hope this team can on a big run towards promotion but if not its still been a great season. CTID
Dissapointed? Why? Its horrendous to put what happened at the fire into some tacky chant. Thank god we didn't hear that awful 56 song to the tune of Tom Hark we've had at a few other games. Thats exactly the opposite of how dignified and respectful we've been for 28 years, not having to resort to "stand up" chants.
[quote][p][bold]tingleyb[/bold] wrote: fantastic weekend away . . . so pround of the city support . . . .raw emotion at times . . .. far more passionate that Swansea. Slightly disappointed with the response to 'stand up for the 56' but nevertheless we have best supporters and extended family of the lot !Sincerely hope this team can on a big run towards promotion but if not its still been a great season. CTID[/p][/quote]Dissapointed? Why? Its horrendous to put what happened at the fire into some tacky chant. Thank god we didn't hear that awful 56 song to the tune of Tom Hark we've had at a few other games. Thats exactly the opposite of how dignified and respectful we've been for 28 years, not having to resort to "stand up" chants. Rambo
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Mon 25 Feb 13

OzBantam says...

£450 for our three seats next to the window at the very back of the stadium was money well spent. The outpouring of emotion that came with Stand up if you love City" was exhilarating. I was proud to be a part if it after supporting City all my life, despite living the last twenty years in Sydney.

Now for the flight back home. Set of at 9.15 tomorrow morning, arrive 18.30 Wednesday night. When I come back in two years time I fully expect to be watching City vying for promotion from the Championship.
£450 for our three seats next to the window at the very back of the stadium was money well spent. The outpouring of emotion that came with Stand up if you love City" was exhilarating. I was proud to be a part if it after supporting City all my life, despite living the last twenty years in Sydney. Now for the flight back home. Set of at 9.15 tomorrow morning, arrive 18.30 Wednesday night. When I come back in two years time I fully expect to be watching City vying for promotion from the Championship. OzBantam
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Cityboy78 says...

OzBantam wrote:
£450 for our three seats next to the window at the very back of the stadium was money well spent. The outpouring of emotion that came with Stand up if you love City" was exhilarating. I was proud to be a part if it after supporting City all my life, despite living the last twenty years in Sydney.

Now for the flight back home. Set of at 9.15 tomorrow morning, arrive 18.30 Wednesday night. When I come back in two years time I fully expect to be watching City vying for promotion from the Championship.
I got top price tickets at £100 each and i was near the halfway line with a cracking view, so i think youve been done mate.

I bought disabled access seats however upon arrival they were normal access seats so my mam n dad had to sit six blocks away in the £40 section. Good old City strike again. Wembley staff were great though.

Ive got a feeling we will be back there later this season.....
[quote][p][bold]OzBantam[/bold] wrote: £450 for our three seats next to the window at the very back of the stadium was money well spent. The outpouring of emotion that came with Stand up if you love City" was exhilarating. I was proud to be a part if it after supporting City all my life, despite living the last twenty years in Sydney. Now for the flight back home. Set of at 9.15 tomorrow morning, arrive 18.30 Wednesday night. When I come back in two years time I fully expect to be watching City vying for promotion from the Championship.[/p][/quote]I got top price tickets at £100 each and i was near the halfway line with a cracking view, so i think youve been done mate. I bought disabled access seats however upon arrival they were normal access seats so my mam n dad had to sit six blocks away in the £40 section. Good old City strike again. Wembley staff were great though. Ive got a feeling we will be back there later this season..... Cityboy78
  • Score: 0

6:20pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Cityboy78 says...

Oh, and if you think there will be a bumper crowd for the upcoming games you may be dissappointed. I was still queing for a cup of tea when Swansea scored their third and the amount of people leaving was a disgrace. If they cant sit out a cup final i will eat my scarf if we get more than 13k for a tuesday night match versus Dagenham.
Oh, and if you think there will be a bumper crowd for the upcoming games you may be dissappointed. I was still queing for a cup of tea when Swansea scored their third and the amount of people leaving was a disgrace. If they cant sit out a cup final i will eat my scarf if we get more than 13k for a tuesday night match versus Dagenham. Cityboy78
  • Score: 0

6:43pm Mon 25 Feb 13

tingleyb says...

Rambo wrote:
tingleyb wrote:
fantastic weekend away . . . so pround of the city support . . . .raw emotion at times . . .. far more passionate that Swansea. Slightly disappointed with the response to 'stand up for the 56' but nevertheless we have best supporters and extended family of the lot !Sincerely hope this team can on a big run towards promotion but if not its still been a great season. CTID
Dissapointed? Why? Its horrendous to put what happened at the fire into some tacky chant. Thank god we didn't hear that awful 56 song to the tune of Tom Hark we've had at a few other games. Thats exactly the opposite of how dignified and respectful we've been for 28 years, not having to resort to "stand up" chants.
no worries Rambo - we are all entitled to our opinion and I don't disagree with your sentiment. Remembrance for each of us how were there in '85 is very much a personal thing. CTID
[quote][p][bold]Rambo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tingleyb[/bold] wrote: fantastic weekend away . . . so pround of the city support . . . .raw emotion at times . . .. far more passionate that Swansea. Slightly disappointed with the response to 'stand up for the 56' but nevertheless we have best supporters and extended family of the lot !Sincerely hope this team can on a big run towards promotion but if not its still been a great season. CTID[/p][/quote]Dissapointed? Why? Its horrendous to put what happened at the fire into some tacky chant. Thank god we didn't hear that awful 56 song to the tune of Tom Hark we've had at a few other games. Thats exactly the opposite of how dignified and respectful we've been for 28 years, not having to resort to "stand up" chants.[/p][/quote]no worries Rambo - we are all entitled to our opinion and I don't disagree with your sentiment. Remembrance for each of us how were there in '85 is very much a personal thing. CTID tingleyb
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Mon 25 Feb 13

kiwibantam says...

Well done to the Swansea fans . They travelled in with us, walked down Wembley Way, and back out with us, we drank in the same bars and stayed in the same hotels, they were magnanimous in victory, but more importantly whilst their team won on the pitch, football won. Should they draw a good tie in Europe 3 of us will go and support them wearing Claret and Amber
Well done the Swans fans
Well done to the Swansea fans . They travelled in with us, walked down Wembley Way, and back out with us, we drank in the same bars and stayed in the same hotels, they were magnanimous in victory, but more importantly whilst their team won on the pitch, football won. Should they draw a good tie in Europe 3 of us will go and support them wearing Claret and Amber Well done the Swans fans kiwibantam
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Victor Clayton says...

Well said. I thought they were great also.
Well said. I thought they were great also. Victor Clayton
  • Score: 0

11:28pm Mon 25 Feb 13

BigFigure says...

'97 bantam wrote:
Loved the passion from all of us there on Sunday and the media has picked up on it, labelling us as possibly the best fans in the world. I'm expecting at least 15-16k fans there on Wednesday night and even more on Saturday and for EVERYONE to get behind city and raise the roof like we did at Wembley and show the world why we Are the best fans. Here's for three points on Saturday CMON CITY!
Not sure York will be ready for more than 16K City fans on Saturday....their capacity is only 7872....
[quote][p][bold]'97 bantam[/bold] wrote: Loved the passion from all of us there on Sunday and the media has picked up on it, labelling us as possibly the best fans in the world. I'm expecting at least 15-16k fans there on Wednesday night and even more on Saturday and for EVERYONE to get behind city and raise the roof like we did at Wembley and show the world why we Are the best fans. Here's for three points on Saturday CMON CITY![/p][/quote]Not sure York will be ready for more than 16K City fans on Saturday....their capacity is only 7872.... BigFigure
  • Score: 0

12:31am Tue 26 Feb 13

LORD HAFOD says...

tingleyb wrote:
fantastic weekend away . . . so pround of the city support . . . .raw emotion at times . . .. far more passionate that Swansea. Slightly disappointed with the response to 'stand up for the 56' but nevertheless we have best supporters and extended family of the lot !Sincerely hope this team can on a big run towards promotion but if not its still been a great season. CTID
Went to the game as a Swansea fan and was really impressed with the support from the Bradford fans. Prior to the game, both fans were looking forward to the day out and to be honest, would prefer you to win it too some other clubs. Went there to enjoy the day. Felt before the match, the Swansea passing game would be too much for Bradford, but felt that there would be a threat from set pieces and ' in your face' approach which may have unsettled the Swans. Unfortunately Bradford sat so deep and gave possession back to Swansea, the final result was inevitable. The comment during the game was how good the support for Bradford was. I disagree with tingleyb in his assessment far more passionate, in as much as we felt a bit embaressed, as it wasn't a singing competition and didn't want to sound if we were gloating. Met many Bradford fans pre match and they were a credit. It was a massive day for us too, 13 years ago we were 21st in Division 3 while you were in the Premiership, hence the reality check for us the last few years. We have been blessed with a club chaiman who has set out the vision, with fans on the board and a style which has allowed success and the pride it brings. If Bradford FC can capture the fans enthusiasm they will be winners. Great day, wish you all the best.
[quote][p][bold]tingleyb[/bold] wrote: fantastic weekend away . . . so pround of the city support . . . .raw emotion at times . . .. far more passionate that Swansea. Slightly disappointed with the response to 'stand up for the 56' but nevertheless we have best supporters and extended family of the lot !Sincerely hope this team can on a big run towards promotion but if not its still been a great season. CTID[/p][/quote]Went to the game as a Swansea fan and was really impressed with the support from the Bradford fans. Prior to the game, both fans were looking forward to the day out and to be honest, would prefer you to win it too some other clubs. Went there to enjoy the day. Felt before the match, the Swansea passing game would be too much for Bradford, but felt that there would be a threat from set pieces and ' in your face' approach which may have unsettled the Swans. Unfortunately Bradford sat so deep and gave possession back to Swansea, the final result was inevitable. The comment during the game was how good the support for Bradford was. I disagree with tingleyb in his assessment far more passionate, in as much as we felt a bit embaressed, as it wasn't a singing competition and didn't want to sound if we were gloating. Met many Bradford fans pre match and they were a credit. It was a massive day for us too, 13 years ago we were 21st in Division 3 while you were in the Premiership, hence the reality check for us the last few years. We have been blessed with a club chaiman who has set out the vision, with fans on the board and a style which has allowed success and the pride it brings. If Bradford FC can capture the fans enthusiasm they will be winners. Great day, wish you all the best. LORD HAFOD
  • Score: 0

7:57am Tue 26 Feb 13

glorious1911 says...

Not sure what to think about the whole remembrance of 11th May. The giant flag was spot-on but I'm uncomfortable about the clapping and chanting, let alone the suggestion that henceforth the 56th minute of the game is for a minute's 'applause'. I think the whole issue needs wider discussion before it gets out of hand and potentially offensive to a good number of supporters. For the record I'd prefer we stick to the dignified approach adopted until now.
Not sure what to think about the whole remembrance of 11th May. The giant flag was spot-on but I'm uncomfortable about the clapping and chanting, let alone the suggestion that henceforth the 56th minute of the game is for a minute's 'applause'. I think the whole issue needs wider discussion before it gets out of hand and potentially offensive to a good number of supporters. For the record I'd prefer we stick to the dignified approach adopted until now. glorious1911
  • Score: 0

9:03am Wed 27 Feb 13

Michael Clayton says...

glorious1911 wrote:
Not sure what to think about the whole remembrance of 11th May. The giant flag was spot-on but I'm uncomfortable about the clapping and chanting, let alone the suggestion that henceforth the 56th minute of the game is for a minute's 'applause'. I think the whole issue needs wider discussion before it gets out of hand and potentially offensive to a good number of supporters. For the record I'd prefer we stick to the dignified approach adopted until now.
Absolutely spot-on. The tragedy has been observed with dignity for the past twenty-eight years.

One example was the last home game of 2011/12 (Swindon and their respectful fans). No cheering, clapping or overt displays of grief. Just a quiet time of reflection for those deceased, injured or still suffering to this day.

I don't mind quiet applause from those who want to do that but there was the classic example of a man (near me) almost demanding we wrose to our feet.

In his mind, he probably thought it was ignorance. Unfortunately, he missed the point.
[quote][p][bold]glorious1911[/bold] wrote: Not sure what to think about the whole remembrance of 11th May. The giant flag was spot-on but I'm uncomfortable about the clapping and chanting, let alone the suggestion that henceforth the 56th minute of the game is for a minute's 'applause'. I think the whole issue needs wider discussion before it gets out of hand and potentially offensive to a good number of supporters. For the record I'd prefer we stick to the dignified approach adopted until now.[/p][/quote]Absolutely spot-on. The tragedy has been observed with dignity for the past twenty-eight years. One example was the last home game of 2011/12 (Swindon and their respectful fans). No cheering, clapping or overt displays of grief. Just a quiet time of reflection for those deceased, injured or still suffering to this day. I don't mind quiet applause from those who want to do that but there was the classic example of a man (near me) almost demanding we wrose to our feet. In his mind, he probably thought it was ignorance. Unfortunately, he missed the point. Michael Clayton
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

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