JOHN Kear feels the Bulls fans deserve the promotion plaudits as much as the players.

Kear and his squad were honoured by the Lord Mayor of Bradford Zafar Ali at a civic reception last week to mark their return to the Championship.

The head coach was delighted to see the club’s achievements being credited by the city’s powers-that-be.

He also praised the support base for sticking with them through the recent dark seasons as the Bulls dropped into the third tier for the first time in their history.

Kear said: “The thing that has blown me away is how stoic the fans are.

“They’ve stuck by the club in the great times, they’ve recently had some very thin times and it’s just nice that they are being rewarded for their loyalty and support.

“You look at the structure of the club, corporate-wise, sponsor-wise, fanbase-wise and with regards to the performance side.

“It’s been cut back to the bare bones but now we’re growing again. It’s great to see that.

“All the foundations are in place for further success and that’s what we’ll be endeavouring to do.”

Kear appreciated the backing from the council chiefs as the club attempt to rebuild after several years of financial turmoil.

“It’s great credit to the mayor and the council,” he added. “They’ve acknowledged we’ve had some tough years and last year was a very positive and feel-good one.

“The reception topped it all to be acknowledged publicly by the people who run the city. It’s good news for Bradford.

“We’re honoured and humbled by it all – and hopefully we can make sure we get another one next year as well.”