BRADFORD City’s bantam will look down on the city from the top of a church’s spire where the club was formed after a donation from a fan.

The club’s symbol has taken pride of place at the top of St Paul’s Church, Manningham, in recognition of where the club was formed at its Sunday School’s room in 1903.

The club ran as Manningham Rugby Football Club from 1886 but decided to change code in 1903 from rugby football to association football and become Bradford City.

The historical change was decided on May 29, 1903, at the 23rd annual meeting of the Manningham club.

After two hours of heated debate about the future direction of the club, it was agreed by a vote of 75 to 34 that a professional soccer club should be allowed to play in the English Second Division from the 1903-04 season.

Now, 113 years later, a weather vane, which featured ribbons in the team’s claret and amber colours, was placed at the top of St Paul’s spire, which is 145ft high, during a topping off ceremony.

It forms part of the £250,000 renovation of the church’s spire, paid for via the Big Lottery Fund.

A group of nine hardy souls, including church officials and Telegraph & Argus reporter Mark Stanford and photographer Mike Simmonds, climbed 23 ladders and 990 steps to the top of the church, which dates back to 1848.

Baildon Moor, Shipley and Thornton could all be seen in breathtaking views from the top.

The renovation work on the church’s spire began in June this year and has now been completed with the scaffolding coming down on Monday, October 24.

Reader Ian Fletcher, of the Parish of Manningham, St Barnabas and St Martins, who has been a City fan since the 1950s, said the new weather vane further cements the historical links between the club and the church.

He said: “The club is in the parish, it overlooks the ground.

“It’s great to have a bantam to have a link between ourselves and the club. We have had a long association with Bradford City.

“It was good to be at the top of the spire and look down and see Valley Parade.

“It’s great to put the club that was founded in St Paul’s Sunday School back to its roots.”

Rev Alistair Helm, of St Paul’s Church, said: “It was good to honour the club and the city and what it represents in this way.

“It is good to have a football club in the parish too.

“It is going to cost £1million to all of the renovation work at the church.”

Zulfi Karim, of Bradford Council for Mosques, a City fan for the last 30 years, paid for the bantam weather vane himself as a gift to Manningham where he was born and grew up.

He said: “I could see the community I grew up in from the top. It gave a bird’s eye view of Bradford. I was proud seeing the City colours on the bantam on the spire.

“It was emotional being at the top of the spire. I could see the community around me and the streets. It took me on a trip down memory lane. I could see where I used to play when I was younger. The sights and smells reminded me of how it used to be here.

“It is still a beautiful part of the city with beautiful streets and gardens.

“I turned 50 this year and wanted this bantam to be my birthday gift to Manningham and to the church.”