IT was around 16 or 17 years ago that I sat down with Geoffrey Richmond to ghost-write his autobiography.

The book was two-thirds done but unfortunately never got finished and City’s larger-than-life former chairman dropped off the map.

But here was his recollection of May 9, 1999 when victory over Wolves clinched promotion to the Premiership – something he had promised on taking over the club five years before:

“Destiny was in our own hands. Win at Wolves and we were up – sounds easy, doesn’t it?

“Wolves, of course, scored first and I was sat there thinking that the mountain had become Everest.

“But soon the spirits soared as it all went right for us – Peter Beagrie, Lee Mills, Robbie Blake and we were 3-1 up.

“And then we got a penalty. Beags was on a £1,000 goal bonus and I joked to Shaun Harvey ‘just our luck, it’s going to cost us another grand!’

“Inevitably he stepped up and missed it. But I wasn’t concerned because the game looked won with a quarter of an hour left.

“Then Wolves took off Robbie Keane, which amazed. In his place came Steve Bull and the whole atmosphere changed.

“He was their Stuart McCall, a club legend, and you could send this sudden shift in momentum. It was truly no surprise when it became 3-2 within minutes.

“As the nerves began to jangle, the ref then gave an outrageous free-kick in their favour. Jamie Lawrence had made a perfectly good tackle but he blew for a foul.

“It was 35 yards out, nothing to worry about. But Paul Simpson has got a great left foot and when he let go, the ball flew past Gary Walsh and struck the post.

“If you freeze the video at that stage as it comes out, there are four or five gold shirts waiting to pounce.

“Only one of our defenders, John “Tumble” Dreyer, is in the picture. It falls to his feet and Row Z it goes.

“From the directors’ box I looked over at our fans directly opposite me and couldn’t believe what I saw. They were going!

“Here we were on the very edge of history and there were lots of supporters just getting up and moving from their seats. Gaps were appearing all over.

“But they weren’t going at all. The fans were heading for the concourse behind the stand because they couldn’t take the suspense.

“I wished I could have joined them. None of us could take that impossible tension.

“The last 10 minutes felt like 10 days; time was standing still.

“Then the whistle went and nobody who was there will ever forget the scenes that followed.

“It was a moment of sheer magic, probably my best day in football.

“We arranged for a celebration match two days later against Feyenoord. I went on to the pitch to say a few words and then the occasion got to me.

“Getting stupidly carried away, I started singing the new anthem, ‘We are Premier League, we are Premier League’.

“I was stood in the same area where back in January 1994 I had first made my claim that we could be in the Premiership within five years.

“I remembered the cynicism and mocking laughter. Little Bradford City in the Premier League … who is this guy?

“But you have to start somewhere. And without ambition, what’s the point of playing this game?

“Is the goal of professional football simply to bumble along in the middle, leading a quiet life anonymously from the rest? It was time for the club to break the shackles and start going places.

“It sounded outlandish at the time but now it had come true.

“Tumble Dreyer, for me, was the unlikely star of our promotion and played a critical part throughout.

“There was no glamour about his game. If the ball was there to be cleared, he would clear it with no messing about.

“There was only one John Dreyer. There wasn’t a moody one and a nice one – what you see was what you got, a Mr Nice Guy and the butt of all jokes, a role he played perfectly.

“Shaun had organised a promotion party back at the club, although that had been kept very quiet because nobody wanted to be seen to be tempting fate.

“By the time the team coach had got back to Bradford, there were thousands surrounding the ground. It was impossible to get anywhere near Valley Parade.

“I had gone home to drop off my wife Elizabeth before taking a taxi back to the club with my son Michael.

“We were dropped off a little way from the ground and it must have taken us an hour to walk 200 yards because of the sheer wall of supporters. Happiness, euphoria, joy and tears all combined as one.

“The abiding image of the partying that followed, of course, was Stuart falling off a car clutching a can of lager – and not spilling a drop!”