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


“The two against Crewe were my favourites, one right foot and the other on my left from outside the box.

“The ball got played up to Aaron Mclean on the edge of the box. He laid it off and I just swung my left foot at it and it crashed into the bottom corner to make it 3-3.

“We were on a bad run at the time and it was important to get something from the game after being behind a couple of times.

"I remember (James) Hanson had a free header at the back post right at the end and the keeper made an unbelievable save.

“I scored a fair few with my left foot to be fair but I was terrible with my head.

"I scored only one header in my career and that was for Rochdale – in 750 games of trying.

“I think my hair must have got in my eyes on that occasion!

“My goal at Sheffield United that season was probably the most important – even though it took about four deflections.

"We were getting beaten 2-0 and that got us back in it in the second half before big Hans got the equaliser.

“But I should have shot a lot more for Bradford. Phil (Parkinson) used to do the drills in training when the ball gets cleared to the edge of the box and you take a touch and then have a go.

"We'd do that all the time but I didn't get as many chances during games.

“I scored more than Nathan Doyle anyway! But we always used to give the ball to Nahki (Wells), that was our excuse.

"When you've got a goalscorer like him in the team, why wouldn't you?"


“It’s got to be the Villa away game, it just has to be because of the occasion. Everything about that night was amazing.

“I remember everything about it. There was a lot of snow and it was a cold evening and all the Villa fans had these flags when we came out.

“Villa Park was a full house and the Bradford City fans had the far end. The atmosphere was something else.

“We were still the underdogs going into the game even though we had won the first leg at Valley Parade.

“We got a bit of a battering in that first half. They just kept coming at us and we couldn’t get out of our own half for large periods of time.

“After (Christian) Benteke scored, I was thinking, ‘this could be four or five’. We did well to keep it to one at half-time.

That stoppage time felt like an eternity

“We got back in the dressing room and Phil was telling us we needed to believe in ourselves and start getting on the ball more. Otherwise, Villa were going to be out of sight in no time.

“We started to get a bit of confidence early in the second half and then Hanson’s goal gave us that massive boost.

“I remember the noise when we won a corner. The first one was cleared but there was Hans on the next one to head it in.

“Suddenly that gave us a bit of a cushion again and we were right back in it.

“Getting the equaliser gave us such a lift and we really grew into the game. We should have scored again.

“Tommo (Garry Thompson) hit the bar then Hans shanked a header from six yards out but I think their man had just got a flick on it so he couldn’t quite steer it in.

“But then they scored right at the end and we were camped in our own half again.

“That stoppage time felt like an eternity! I was just praying that we could hold out.

“But then we heard the final whistle and it was pure emotion. I started crying!

“There was a feeling of disbelief – but that wasn’t just us and the people in the ground but everyone in football. What had we just witnessed?

“I heard Jonathan Pearce’s commentary later and it was brilliant. It was just one of those amazing things.

“It probably won’t happen again in football terms. I can’t see a League Two team ever getting to a Wembley cup final.

“It’s a part of history that nobody can ever take away from us. Those type of moments are once in a lifetime.

“We knew in the cup games that we wouldn’t see much of the ball so Phil had us well-rehearsed. That was our gameplan.

“We were hard-working, we were experienced and we had Nahki and big Jim up front – the little and large combination were such a handful.”

NEXT WEEK: Jones on Phil Parkinson and "great player and even better person" Stephen Darby.