The history boys: Class of 2012’s home run is 55 years in the waiting (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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The history boys: Class of 2012’s home run is 55 years in the waiting
Paul Anka was asking Diana to “squeeze me baby with all your might”.
Elvis Presley was all shook up at the thought of not only losing number one in the charts to Anka for the next nine weeks but preparing to begin his national service.
The Russians, meanwhile, were rocketing a dog into space.
And Prime Minister Harold MacMillan was assuring the country that they had never had it so good...
The world of 1957 was a very, very different place.
In domestic football terms, the title still bore a familiar name as Manchester United’s Busby Babes reigned supreme just months before the air tragedy to follow.
But those were still the days of the regionalised divisions. Season 1957-58 was to be the final season of north and south tables.
Bradford City had been Third Division North regulars since 1937. Of the 24 teams that composed that league in its last status before merging nationally, 11 of them are now non-league – including Park Avenue.
City were to finish third with an impressive finale which saw them win eight games in ten.
But more notable was their start to the season at Valley Parade . Stockport, York, Rochdale, Southport and Wrexham were all sent packing without a point.
Five home games, five wins. McMillan was right – City’s supporters had never had it so good, though they probably didn’t realise it at the time.
The club had started the previous season in exactly the same fashion on home soil and the year before that they kicked off by winning the first four.
Nobody could have imagined that it would take more than half a century for such an achievement to crop up again.
Valley Parade may have morphed through various sponsored guises but there has never been a start like that. That’s until the present incumbents of the Coral Windows Stadium made their own bit of history with that elusive fourth straight triumph against Morecambe on Tuesday.
Nothing is won in September but seasons can be lost. At this stage a year ago, City were third bottom with only six points from nine games.
Pre-season optimism had long disappeared and the name of the game was survival, nothing more.
For the ultimate pessimists, Phil Parkinson’s men are already ten points clear of the bottom two! Realistically, the perfect home start has given City an early platform they can hopefully build on.
And it also sows the seed of doubt into opposing minds before they even walk into the away dressing room.
Are City finally living up to the demands of hosting the best stadium in the division? This week will offer a good test with the visits of goal-happy Burton in the Capital One Cup and then in-form Port Vale.
Negotiate those two as confidently as the previous four and Valley Parade’s reputation as a ground to be feared by travelling teams will be cemented.
How long have we waited to be able to say that? Just the 55 years since Anka wanted that cuddle.