May 2013: CITY 3 (Hanson 15, McArdle 19, Wells 28) NORTHAMPTON 0

“WALKING up the steps and seeing all the claret and amber scarves, I just can't describe it.

"You get to the top and suddenly realise what you've achieved. It's one of those very special things you will never, ever forget.”

Gary Jones was so overcome by emotion as he reached the royal box that he even gave joint-chairman Mark Lawn a hug!

Jones will never forget leading City to Wembley promotion glory in 2013 on an afternoon when everything clicked into place.

Phil Parkinson and his players – not to mention the Bantams army that swelled a crowd of more than 47,000 – could not have dreamed of more straightforward outcome in the League Two play-off showdown.

A season-long rivalry with Northampton had once again ended in City’s favour – in emphatic fashion.

They needed just 28 minutes to blow away the Cobblers with three goals, controlling the game to such an extent that Parkinson was almost lost for words when it came to delivering his half-time team talk.

“I knew we would win as soon as we’d beaten Burton in the semi-final,” admitted Nathan Doyle. “I wouldn’t call it arrogance or cockiness but we had a bit of a swagger and there were no nerves.”

Parkinson’s ploy had been to treat it as “just another game”.

A marathon 64-game season, which had included that historic previous trip to Wembley in the Capital One Cup final, may have hinged on that one afternoon.

But the build-up had been deliberately low-key. No publicity shots checking out the pitch a couple of days before, no tailored suits for the big occasion.

City had done all that “touristy” bit against Swansea three months earlier. This was strictly business as the squad turned up in club tracksuits.

Parkinson’s men had learned from their “starry-eyed” experience against Swansea. This time it was Northampton who would be struck down by stage fright.

Nahki Wells had annoyed his manager by predicting in a pre-final interview with the Telegraph & Argus that he would definitely score. He always did against Northampton.

Parkinson took the striker and this reporter to task but even that had a hint of stage-management.

He knew full well that Eccleshill-born opposition boss Aidy Boothroyd would have read the quotes – and how they would get under his skin.

Wells, true to his word, would oblige with the icing-on-the-cake third goal.

Boothroyd had sprung a selection surprise by leaving the powerhouse figure of Adebayo Akinfenwa on the bench.

Andrew Davies, his constant shadow in previous encounters, had to wait until 10 minutes into the second half to renew acquaintances – and retain his mastery over the physical foe.

Northampton’s backline had no such luck keeping City in check.

The first blow was landed on 15 minutes. James Meredith’s deep cross was retrieved by Garry Thompson and his centre was nodded home by James Hanson.

The Bantams then doubled their lead four minutes later, Rory McArdle converting Doyle’s cross before celebrating in trademark “tongue out” fashion.

Northampton were rattled and fell even further behind in the 28th minute with that man Wells walking the walk to match the talk.

Thompson bagged his second assist with a header across goal that the striker stretched to volley past keeper Lee Nicholls.

It was the Bermudian’s seventh goal in six games against the Cobblers – and he looks back on it now as the moment that launched his career.

His close-range finish effectively killed the contest with less than a third of it gone. Northampton were finished.

For City, it was sweet payback for the one-sided beating they had taken from Swansea. Now they could savour the feeling of playing out time with the result well beyond doubt.

The fans had been expecting a climax of nail-gnawing tension and some still waited until stoppage time before joining in the general party mood at a job exceptionally well done.

“To get this club up is a dream for us all,” said an emotional Parkinson. “If ever a group of supporters deserved some success it’s the Bradford fans.”

Boothroyd said his team had looked like “rabbits in the headlights”.

“I thought Bradford’s defeat here earlier in the season would work in our favour. But it didn’t.”

CITY: McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Meredith, Thompson, Doyle (Ravenhill 87), Jones, Reid (Atkinson 78), Wells (Connell 85), Hanson.

NORTHAMPTON: Nicholls, Collins (Widdowson 53), Cameron, Carlisle, Tozer, Hackett, Gutteridge, Harding, Demontagnac (Hornby 70), Platt (Akinfenwa 55), O’Donovan.