Jubilant Phil Parkinson insisted City’s Wembley-bound cup heroes will go down in history.
The Bantams will face either Chelsea or Swansea in next month’s Capital One Cup final after writing another extraordinary chapter in the story of their season.
James Hanson’s second-half header proved enough at Villa Park last night to see off a third Premier League scalp. Aston Villa won 2-1 but City’s 4-3 aggregate advantage took them through to a first final for over a century.
Parkinson said: “These lads will be remembered in the history of Bradford City for years to come.
“There’s a 1911 lounge to celebrate the FA Cup victory from that year. One day there’ll be another one named after these players for this cup run and what they have achieved.
“This is a moment to savour. To be a part of what we’ve achieved is something I’ll never forget.
“I think this is massive for the city of Bradford. It can really galvanise the area.
“They’ve been through some really tough times. There hasn’t been a lot to cheer for a Bradford City supporter so I’m glad we’ve given them reason to walk into work with their heads held high.”
Villa dominated the first half and led 1-0 at the break. But City came out galvanised and once Hanson had buried Gary Jones’ corner, the home side’s threat faded, despite a late second.
It was Hanson’s first goal since November. He only returned to training on Monday because of a cracked little toe and needed an injection in it before kick-off.
Parkinson added: “He’s a very unself-ish player. I probably would have wanted more goals from him but his all-round play for the team is excellent.
“I’m so pleased for him and he deserves to get the headlines.
“It shows what can be done. James is an inspiration for all those players who drop into non-league and he epitomises what this team is all about.”
Road to Wembley - in pictures
Joint-chairman Mark Lawn has promised the squad an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas at the end of the season as City bank the wealth from their run.
Parkinson said: “Financially, the money we’ve earned up to this point has been fantastic. To go to Wembley will keep the club going for quite a while.
“I told the lads before the game that we had the chance to make history. Now we’ve done that – and we could sell out Wembley on our own.
“I also feel we’re good enough to get our promotion campaign in the league back on track. We’ve got to Wembley but we’re greedy because we want both.”
Skipper Jones was in tears at the final whistle. He admitted: “We can dream about winning it. Why not? We’ve come this far.
“I don’t mind who we play in the final. We’re just delighted to get there and hopefully we can pull off another massive upset and win the game.”