An Australian Bantams’ fan told how he has flight tickets on standby if Bradford reach the Capital One Cup final at Wembley – and hopes to bring former City player Bruce Stowell on his 20,000-mile round trip.
Queensland-born Scott North, 36, has started plans for a £3,200 stay in the UK if Bradford beat Aston Villa in the second-leg of the semi-final at Villa Park tonight, including an invite for the 72-year-old former midfielder, who now lives in Brisbane.
Speaking from his home in Australia, the senior sports and recreational officer, who met Mr Stowell during his time working as a coach in Queensland, said he had plane seats on hold and had been in touch with the club about tickets.
“We are all ready to go, just waiting, and hoping,” he said.
“I really hope Bruce comes, because it will just make my trip absolutely perfect, regardless of the score. I am feeling confident about the game, 3-1 was a great score in the first-leg. I was following it on Twitter as we didn’t have access to the game at the time and I just couldn’t believe what I was reading.
“I should put a bet on them winning the next match, then it can help pay for my trip!”
Although Scott has never lived in Bradford, his City fan dad Mick North, 66, who will make the trip to the UK with him, grew up in Leeds and lived in Bradford for a few years.
Father-of-one Scott said: “My first memories of Bradford City were back in the early 80s, sitting in a parked car in Australia with dad and my younger brother Brett every Sunday afternoon listening to the radio for the football results after the 6pm news during our summer.
“We lived in a farmhouse about three hours drive from Brisbane and radio reception was poor in the house. It was always a long, patient wait for the news to finish and then they would start reading the results from the former Division One down to Division Four, where City were.
“We would hold our breath as they would reach our league. It would go ‘Division Four, Bradford City 2, Stockport County 0’ and we would erupt.
“Luckily our neighbours were 10km away.”
Scott had hoped to visit Bradford while he was younger and his dad had promised him and his brother that if City ever made the top flight, they would watch them play at Valley Parade.
He said: “When they won promotion at the end of 98-99, I was ecstatic, finally my dream was realised and thought I'd better get a passport. But when I called dad to start the planning, he reneged, claiming he never said that. My brother and I were so angry, we've never let him forget it and never will.”
He finally visited Bradford during the World Cup in 2006 and was able to walk on the pitch at Valley Parade with his wife Riss, 38.
Scott will be watching the Villa game, which kicks off at 5am his time, in an English-themed pub or his Brisbane home.
The morning also coincides with his daughter Charlotte’s first birthday on Wednesday, January 23.
“Hopefully I get the present that day,” he said.