Cup fever is gripping Bradford ahead of tonight’s Capital One semi-final clash.
So far 21,500 tickets have been sold for the first-leg match at Valley Parade. And those still to claim their place in the ground have until noon to snap up the 2,000 remaining tickets.
City’s operations director Dave Baldwin yesterday said: “It is amazing to see the support and we are very, very grateful and hope to give a good show.”
Supporters from US, South Africa and Kenya have already told the Telegraph & Argus how they will be following the match, and other supporters have joined the chorus of support.
Mike Harrison, the editor of the City Gent fanzine, said that tonight would be an “historic” as it was City’s first major cup semi-final since 1911 when the Bantams went on to win the FA Cup.
“Phil Parkinson and his team of players have deserved this chance to take on Aston Villa through their magnificent efforts in the previous five rounds,” said Mr Harrison.
“And though the results from the last three league games didn’t go as well as we all might have hoped, all Bradford City fans will know that come the kick-off everyone will be ready to play their part and do the club and the City of Bradford proud.”
Bradford West MP George Galloway has written to the joint City chairmen Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes and to Phil Parkinson and the team. He said: “I’m sending you and the team every good wish for the game and the second leg. This is only the fifth time in 50 years a fourth tier side has been in the semi-final of the League Cup and it’s no exaggeration to say that everyone in the country will be willing you on to win against Villa, outside a small part of Birmingham.”
Alan Carling, the chairman of Bradford City Supporters Trust, said that some fans had said that the Arsenal game was their best experience at Valley Parade for 50 years. “But today could top that,” he added.
“City are coming off their best season for years. Our squad is brimful of confidence, which is lacking in a young Villa side battered by recent results.
“We are not expected to win over two legs, and there is no anxiety to perform. It would be wonderful to get a result that takes 6,000 exuberant Bantams to the second leg at Villa Park, with Wembley in our sights.”
Keighley Conservative MP Kris Hopkins said that Bradford City were worthy semi-finalists after such an accomplished performance against Arsenal.
Bradford South Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe said: “To reach the semi-finals is a fantastic achievement for a League Two side and, hopefully on the back of their cup exploits they can achieve promotion this season. I’ll be stuck in London but will be glued to the TV cheering them on.”
That sentiment was echoed by Shipley Conservative MP Phillip Davies, who said: “They have brought a much needed feel-good factor to the city. Reaching the final from League Two would be absolutely amazing and one of the greatest cup achievements of all time.”
David Ward MP (Lib Dem, Bradford East) was not available for comment.
- The club has warned that fans without tickets will not be allowed into the ground and no tickets will be sold after today’s noon deadline.