WRITING a book about City’s modern history seems straightforward enough.

We all know the big games, we were there, we read the match reports, we watched the highlights again and again on Youtube.

The real challenge is finding a hook to bring out something else and approaching those moments we can recall so vividly from a different angle.

Blackpool, Wolves, Aston Villa, Northampton and Chelsea – just mentioning a certain opposition instantly conjures up those days when it feels extra special to be a Bradford City fan.

But what about Stockport, Macclesfield, Wimbledon or Ipswich? Suddenly the memories don’t spring to mind so readily. What makes past matches against them stand out?

The answers are to be found in a new book, Reinventing Bradford City, which chronicles the club’s progress since the depths of the Valley Parade fire.

Author Jason McKeown covers the subsequent 31 years by using certain games as sign posts – including some pointing in the wrong direction.

From the misery of losing at home to Swansea in the dark days of John Docherty to the out-of-body experience of winning at Stamford Bridge, he aims to place specific matches in their historical context.

It is not just a list of match reports; rehashing who scored and when.

The statistics obviously provide a framework but McKeown, editor of the respected City website Width of a Post, has talked to people who were involved to see it through their eyes.

So we have players, managers, chairmen, fans, journalists – even yours truly has his say on occasions – each different section that make up the Valley Parade community on a match day.

His choice of game beyond the obvious biggies in intriguing; right down to the final choice. Rather than signing of in the surreal glow of beating Chelsea, McKeown brings it bang up to date and a rather low-key finale against Oldham in a wet January.

But it fits the narrative of the here and now.

Rather than paraphrasing their recollections, he just lets people speak. It makes for quite a wordy read but a fascinating one.

There is a better sense of immediacy because the quotes flow. It may sound clunky in parts but that un-edited rawness makes you feel you are living in that moment.

Hindsight is obviously used to place each game within a specific era but it is not overplayed. This feels like genuine memories from those involved not hurried re-writes taken from the Internet.

The chapter headings help to spell out the journey that we have all travelled.

The “intensive care” of life in administration; the “slow re-birth” of Stuart McCall’s return that began with an unconvincing draw against Macclesfield; the “greatest cup run, ever” that led all the way to Wembley in 2013.

You discover that Julian Rhodes ranks Peter Taylor’s last game in charge, a “get out of jail” 3-2 win over nine-man Stockport, as one of his all-time favourites for the atmosphere – City had sold tickets for £1 – and “because I was seriously concerned we were going out of the league and that turned it round.”

On a personal note, I’m also pleased to see that McKeown includes one of my favourite post-match interviews with Gary Jones after City had dumped Arsenal two seasons later.

“I think Torquay gave us a tougher game,” he said, recalling the previous weekend’s league win.

In eight words, he had killed Arsene Wenger’s team – and the national tabloids lapped that up!

Another sign post, and one very much pointing onwards and upwards.

There are so many more anecdotes; little nuggets from so many sources that fill in the blanks.

The Bradford City story post-1985 may be a familiar one but this version is told in a refreshing way.

“Reinventing Bradford City” will be launched at the Record Café in North Parade on Thursday (7.30pm). There will also be a question-and-answer session with McKeown and John Dewhirst from Bantamspast, the club historians.

The book is part of their “History Revisited” series and a sequel to Dewhirst’s “A History of Bradford City in Objects”.

The next volume, due to be published in May, will be called “Room at the Top” and tells the origins of football in Bradford and the old rivalry between City and Park Avenue.