In part two of the Richmond Years, we look back on City's historic first time at Wembley.

THE policeman at Wembley tapped Geoffrey Richmond on the shoulder and looked less than impressed.

“Excuse me sir. I don’t know who you are - and I don’t care.

“But you are going to cause a major obstruction unless you move.”

It was the club’s first trip to the national stadium and the chairman was too nervous to eat lunch. Stepping out on a balcony overlooking Wembley Way to get some air, he had been spotted by City fans who quickly gathered below to sing his name.

Everywhere you looked was awash with claret and amber. West Yorkshire heavily outnumbered opponents Notts County for the 1996 Division Two play-off final.

It had been like that on the drive down. City had sold over £20,000 in merchandise from Leicester Forest service station before the police had to block off the slip road because the car park was full.

The demand was so high that the club had hired a collection of vintage coaches from across the country.

But this was the day that Chris Kamara had promised when Richmond promoted him to take charge the previous October.

The chairman had also sanctioned a £1.5 million project to build a new stand on the Midland Road side of Valley Parade. The momentum was growing.

City had sneaked into the play-offs in dramatic fashion.

After going down 2-0 at Oxford in early March, they lost only three of the final 13 games – a 5-2 thrashing at Wycombe, 1-0 to Bristol Rovers at “that ground in Bath that seemed like hell on earth” and the other at Walsall.

Each blip seemed to push the top-six target tantalisingly out of reach but a draw in the final home game with Swindon left the equation simple. City had to win at bottom club Hull on the last day of the season.

Hull, managed by former Bantams boss Terry Dolan, had already been relegated and chairman Martin Fish gave over the main Kop to the away fans.

Three times the pitch got invaded and the game had to be stopped. Richmond was sat next to Fish and feared that someone in the disgruntled home support would chuck something at him – and worried if their aim was a little wayward.

Referee Uriah Rennie calmly collected the players together after each delay. Play was held up but his imposing manner kept heads cool.

Chesterfield, battling with City for the final play-off place, finished their game 20 minutes earlier and their fans hung around to hear the result from Boothferry Park.

It did not make good listening as City emerged as breathless 3-2 victors.

Richmond stayed in the boardroom for two hours. It was not safe to venture outside in the volatile atmosphere – but Kamara’s team had reached the top six as their manager had promised.

City were still the underdogs going into a two-legged showdown with Blackpool. Sam Allardyce’s side had narrowly missed out on automatic promotion to finish third.

The first leg was staged at Valley Parade and there was only one team in it. Goals from Tony Ellis and Mark Bonner sealed a 2-0 Blackpool win that flattered the Bantams.

Kamara would always see Richmond for a post-match chat but this time it was nearly an hour and a half before he popped his head in.

Richmond had never seen him so down.

“I’m sorry chairman, we’ve blown our chances,” he said. “But we’ll have learnt a lot from it for next season.”

Richmond poured the drinks and went into overdrive with his positive psychology.

“Chris, you know what our lads have got to do in the second leg.

“Sam Allardyce has the problem. Is he going to sit back and defend or go for another goal to kill it off? We’ve got nothing to lose.”

Richmond knew City needed a miracle but they still had a chance.

The windows of the Blackpool club shop were covered in posters advertising Wembley merchandise and how to book coach travel to the big day. The programme carried details of various packages for fans for the final - Kamara’s team talk was written for him.

City’s fans had not travelled in the numbers they did for Hull, which was no surprise. But Richmond was stopped by a group outside who said they had taken a punt on a 3-0 win at 28/1 in the local bookies.

Richmond later admitted that most of the night was a blur as goals from Des Hamilton, Carl Shutt and Mark Stallard sealed the fightback. City were at Wembley for the first time.

The madness began the following morning. The clamour for tickets was intense – 17,000 were snapped up in one day alone.

Richmond spent hours talking to fans who never thought they would see Bradford City at Wembley, the horror of what had happened 11 years before making the achievement more poignant and emotional.

The day itself went perfectly to plan, Hamilton and Stallard sending the travelling Bantams army into raptures.

Kamara looked fit to explode with joy; the contrast complete from a fortnight earlier.

City had taken the first step on the journey to the Premiership that Richmond had forecast.