IN THE latest in our City Favourites series, ROBBIE BLAKE recalls his favourite things from his time at Valley Parade.


“I remember scoring a good one at Sheffield United with the outside of my foot that was live on Sky. But I’d have to say my favourite was the third goal against Wolves that got us up to the Premier League.

“I’ve scored loads more better goals but it would be stupid not to say that was the biggest with everything that surrounded it.

“To be part of a team that went up and to get the goal that would be the winner that day was something very special.

“Jakes (Wayne Jacobs) knocked the ball on and Millsy (Lee Mills) flicked it back. I remember the ball bouncing and Dean Richards came out to close me down.

“But I chopped it and hit it through his legs. The keeper was nowhere near and it was always going in the bottom corner.

“If anyone was going to get the assist that season it would be Millsy, Beags (Peter Beagrie) or Jamie Lawrence.

“I knew Millsy would win it and I got my shot off on the edge of the box. When it goes through a defender’s legs, it’s very difficult for the keeper to see it.

“I can remember it like it was yesterday – and the celebrations. The whole bottom tier of the stand went wild, they were just great times.

“The game was like basketball that day because it was so open. Even at 3-1, you were still thinking we weren’t home and hosed.

“They obviously came back and scored again, then Paul Simpson hit the inside of the post from that free-kick.

“Once that came out and ran along the line, I really thought that Lady Luck was with us and we would be all right.

“In terms of my best goal, I’d probably say one against Crewe on an absolutely shocking pitch. There were clumps and bobbles here, there and everywhere.

“I was 30 yards out and just hit it that sweet the ball went straight in the stanchion. I turned round and think the referee was clapping!”


“I’m not trying to be boring but it has to be Wolves.

“When you’re a footballer, you dream of being involved in those high-pressure games to get the club to where they want to be.

“Jagger (Paul Jewell) had made a couple of changes for the Oxford game the week before when we drew 0-0 at home. He tried to freshen things up and left me out to bring in Dean Windass.

“So, I’d spent the week leading up to Wolves on edge wondering if I was going to play. He only named the team quite late.

“We went down to Lilleshall to train and have a couple of days away from Bradford to keep us focused.

“We weren’t doing anything out the ordinary but there was a bit more team-bonding with a few meetings and things like that. It was actually pretty relaxed.

“We were a confident team but when Wolves scored first, Jagger absolutely nailed me to liven up. I was thinking, ‘why’s he having a go at me?’

“But looking back after, I realise he did that because I was one of the people who could make the difference and turn the game around.

"He gave me that rollicking and within two minutes Beags had equalised and we were back in it.

“Then I slipped in Millsy to score the second not long after and we went in 2-1 up at half-time. I got the third after about an hour and then we had the horrible situation with the penalty.

“The keeper made a good save from Beags and that inevitably put a bit of pressure back on us. The momentum switched and they scored soon after.

“It was a rollercoaster game that had everything and summed up our season. We’d started pretty poorly and then just gone on a fantastic run.

“But we had really good footballers and a good balance in the team. I felt we fully deserved to go up.

“The euphoria of what had happened didn’t sink in straight away.

“But once we got on the bus, the drinks started flowing and you passed all the cars driving back blaring their horns and the crowds at the ground, then it hit you.

“And yes, I did see Macca (Stuart McCall) fall off the car!

“I was on the main gates with Darren Moore celebrating with the fans when it happened.

"As I jumped down, I turned and could see him just about to go.

“It was so funny to watch but it was also the worst thing about that day, though.

“Nobody thinks about the players on the pitch when Bradford got promoted – all they talk about is Macca falling off the car and not dropping an ounce of lager!”

In part two, Blake discusses his relationship with manager Paul Jewell and the characters in that City dressing room.