The magic of the Bradford City’s glorious cup run has now reached St Petersburg in Russia, where keen Bantams’ fan Dmitry Nechiporenko has just booked his flight to London in the hope of a Wembley ticket.
And he was even kindly offered help with getting a visa by City joint chairman Mark Lawn, after avidly supporting the team for 13 years.
“The story of my City support began when I saw a Premiership game between Bantams and Tottenham Hotspur on TV,” said Dmitry, 33.
“This day Stuart McCall equalised in dying moments. I really felt that this club is something special, it was 1999.
“Next year Bradford City came to St Petersburg for Intertoto Cup game against Zenit from my native city.
“I met the team at airport and supported Bantams at Petrovsky stadium and I also met with Geoffrey Richmond and other directors in one of the local hotels.”
From that point Mr Nechiporenko became a devoted St Petersburg Parader and came to Bradford in 2002 to see matches at home against Sheffield United and away at Millwall. And he was really impressed by the warm welcome from Bradford folk and the club.
“Jon Pollard, club secretary at that time, met me at airport and was very kind to bring there a City shirt with my name and helped me during my stay. Unfortunately I didn’t see City win during this visit,” said Mr Nechiporenko, now a sports journalist. “And on Friday, I’ve received an e-mail from Mark Lawn where he asked me about possible help about my visa. I said that my visa is OK and now the biggest worry is getting a ticket for Wembley.”
Mr Nechiporenko said he felt that the kind e-mail showed how close the owners and management are to the fans. In previous years he was one of many fans who donated money to keep Bradford City alive.
“I hope to see a win coming back after more than ten years and am so excited about it,” he said.
He arrives in Bradford on February 23.