A challenge has been laid down to transform Bradford into a “sea of claret and amber” in preparation for the Bantams’ historic Capital One Cup final appearance.
The Friends of Bradford City have set the task to shops and businesses across the district to wish the League Two side luck in the Wembley showdown against Swansea by creating window displays and decorating stores in the club’s colours.
The Telegraph & Argus has joined in by placing a large banner at the doors of our office in Hall Ings.
The supporters’ group is offering a prize of two season tickets for next season for the best effort before the final on Sunday, February 24.
Chairman Mark Neale said: “We want to see the Bradford area become a sea of claret and amber in the build-up to the final.
“It’s an opportunity for shops to really go to town and wish City good luck, and win season tickets in the bargain.
“I remember in the build-up to the Wembley play-off final in 1996 when lots of shops wished City good luck and it paid off, when we beat Notts County and won promotion – so there’s no doubt the area showing support will lift the team.
“There was even a skip painted in City colours, so any kind of local business can enter into the spirit of things, and we are thinking of florists, decorating stores, and clothes shops putting on a claret and amber display.”
Bradford East MP David Ward, a Bantams’ season ticket holder, transformed his constituency office window to support City before the club’s second- leg clash against Aston Villa and urged others to join him.
“Let’s make it party time,” he said. “This sort of thing won’t come round very often and it’s a great way of showing support.
“This is something that has brought people from all parts of the community together and this is a great thing for the Bradford district.”
Holy Trinity Church in Idle has joined in the fun, placing a banner at its gates backing Phil Parkinson’s men – with a special mention for its local hero, striker James Hanson, who scored in the semi-final victory over Aston Villa.
The Reverend Robin Gamble, a self-confessed Bradford City obsessive who will be at the Wembley final, said: “Since we put the banner up people have been saying to me ‘are you praying for the team, Vicar?’ “People in church feel great about it.
“This is a very special time and it transcends football. It is one of the great news stories of the city and if we can’t celebrate this, what can we celebrate?”
Keighley-based Project It Services projected an image on its building in celebration of the cup heroics.
The Friends of Bradford City say they have adopted the motto “a sea of claret and amber” this year and have sold more than 1,000 scarves to members.
They are also producing a special rosette and T-shirt for Wembley-bound supporters.
Any shop or business that wants to take part in the competition should contact Mr Neale on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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