“BRADFORD Bulls need the city of Bradford and Bradford needs the Bradford Bulls.”

That’s the rallying cry today as a campaign is launched to ‘Bring the Bulls Back’ to the city.

Spearheaded by Bradford South MP Judith Cummins, the campaign is being backed by supporters, former players and the Telegraph & Argus.

“The Bulls are part of our heritage and we need them back in Bradford,” said Mrs Cummins.

Bradford Bulls fans said an emotional farewell to Odsal at the last home game of the season on September 1.

Next year the club will play its home games at Dewsbury Rams’ Tetley’s Stadium.

The club signed a two-year deal to play at their Championship neighbours, with the decision being made due to the high financial costs of remaining at Odsal.

The news, which broke back in August, meant the end of an era for the club which had been based there since 1934.

More than 7,000 people turned out to say their goodbyes, with one fan saying at the time: “I remember coming aged four with my dad and my grandad and we’ve been coming ever since.

“It’s sad. I think it’s important to be part of the history, I think so for anybody.”

They are words likely to resonate with anyone with fond memories of the Bradford Bulls’ glory days.

Writing in today’s T&A, Mrs Cummins says she “will continue to stand with fans to see that the club’s proud heritage is protected, to have the Bulls back in Bradford, and for our club to have a thriving future in our city”.

She has recently convened a meeting between the Bulls, the Rugby Football League and Bradford Council and says there was a “willingness from all sides to get the Bulls playing back in Bradford”.

Now, Mrs Cummins and the Bullbuilder supporters’ group have launched a petition calling for the return of the team.

The petition is intended to show the club, RFL and the Council how much it matters to people to have their rugby team back in their city.

“It’s a travesty that the Bulls will be playing outside of Bradford next season,” said Mrs Cummins.

“Everywhere I go people are asking me what is happening to the Bulls and when will they be coming back.

“The petition launch today is to show everyone that us Bulls fans want the team back in Bradford. We want to hold the club, RFL and Council to their commitment to bring our team back to Bradford.”

Paul Butterworth, chair of Bullbuilder, said: “I have been going to Odsal for over 50 years and I’m proud to say that I have passed this tradition to my children and grandchildren.

“Becoming a Bulls supporter is like joining one giant extended family. The Bulls family is going through tough times and I know that we all want to do something about it. Now we can.

“The aim is to get enough signatures for it to be debated by the Council, to show councillors, the club and the RFL how much it matters to us to have the Bulls back playing in Bradford.”

Former player Jon Hamer, a veteran of 12 seasons for Bradford Northern and the Bulls, said: “We need Bradford Bulls back playing in the city of Bradford.

“I started my Bradford career with Northern and finished it at Wembley with the Bulls.

“I, and the majority of former players, still enjoy supporting whichever team wears our famous colours. Bradford Bulls need the city of Bradford and Bradford needs the Bradford Bulls.”

To sign the petition, click here 

If the petition hits 1,500 signatures, it will have to be debated at Bradford Council’s next Full Council meeting, which is currently scheduled for Tuesday, December 10.

RFL chair Simon Johnson said in a statement on Friday: “Odsal is currently mothballed, following the decision by Bradford Bulls to leave.

“The Board is working with the club to ensure that a return to the stadium in 2021 remains an option; whilst continuing positive discussions with Bradford Council on a development plan for the site; and exploring options around the sale of the Governing Body’s interest in the stadium.”