DAISY Jones watched the fireworks flashing to greet the teams walking on to the Wembley turf.

“Daddy, I remember when you were doing that,” said the eight-year-old as the family settled in front of the TV to watch last week’s Capital One Cup final.

Three years on and yet another memory of a time etched in Bradford City folklore.

For Gary Jones – and his family – those moments still remain as fresh as with any fan. The excitement was there in his voice when we spoke the other day.

“A team from the fourth tier getting to a cup final – it won’t happen again. To be captain and able to do that with Bradford was very special.

“However many years on, people will never forget that season. The dates are like birthdays now, ‘oh, it’s the day we beat Villa, this was the day we knocked out Arsenal’… it doesn’t matter if it’s three, four, five, six years ago – people will still remember.

“Watching the game the other day and seeing Liverpool and Man City just brings it home. I’m getting goose bumps again just talking about it.”

Jones was on a day off after playing for Southport in the National League the night before. Career appearance number 769 had been at Dover – a round trip of 627 miles from one corner of the country to the other.

“I’ve just got home,” he joked at tea-time but he wasn’t far off. A 19-and-a-half hour day had ended at 5.30am – “but at least we won so the journey back didn’t seem as far.”

At 38, his enthusiasm for the game clearly shows no sign of ebbing. Talk of hanging up his boots is laughed off as always.

“I’m still running around – and it beats working for a living.

“The Conference is a tough league and we’ve got one of the lowest budgets. We’re nowhere near the likes of Tranmere, Forest Green and Cheltenham so it’s always difficult.

“The grounds are obviously smaller and the pitches aren’t as good. Sometimes it feels like you’re playing in front of just one man and his dog.

“But I play nearly every game and I’m enjoying it.”

Jones returns to Valley Parade on Wednesday for the launch dinner of the Former Bantams Association alongside the likes of Stuart McCall, Bobby Campbell, David Wetherall and John Hendrie.

He played two seasons in claret and amber – far less than the others – but his place on the top table of true “legends” of the club is assured. Jones feels honoured to be seen that way.

“To be at a football club for two years and be appreciated like I am is brilliant. It’s really heart-warming.

“It’s a special place, as I’ve always said. They are special people who go to the games – it’s just an amazing club.

“When I joined, you never imagine in your wildest dreams how it would pan out.

“I was at Rochdale for ten years and over 600 appearances. So you don’t know what to expect when you sign for such a big club like Bradford.

“But the moment I walked into Apperley Bridge for the first time, I just felt so welcome. I met the players and the staff and it was like I had been there for years.

“I had a chat with Phil Parkinson and he kept saying ‘if we can get this club going and winning, let’s see how far we can go’. I could see that but obviously nobody expected that would involve a cup final!

“It was just about getting the club moving forward again. All the supporters want is hard work and a team they can relate to and really get behind.

“That first season we had was just beyond anything you could imagine going to two finals. But football brings these amazing things.”

Jones still keeps his finger on the pulse through good mate Stephen Darby.

He has been back once since leaving in the summer of 2014 and that was in a losing cause with Notts County last season. This feels like his first proper return.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing Valley Parade again. The only pain is we’ve got training the next morning!

“But seeing some of the old faces and catching up with people I haven’t spoken to for a while is what it’s all about.

“I speak to Darbs every day and he keeps me informed on what’s going on.

“It wasn’t too good the other night against Colchester I believe but Bradford are in a good position in the table.

“If they can kick on, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be in the play-offs.

“It’s a funny league this year with Burton top and Gillingham right up there. It’s wide open for anyone and I’d love it to be this club.

“The Southport lads speak to me about when I was at Bradford all the time, especially the younger ones. They want to know what it was like beating Arsenal and Aston Villa and nights like that.

“It’s good to have a chat about it and relive those memories. I mean how many people are going to experience that in their career?

“It’s nice for me to feel part of that bit of the club’s history and I just hope they can continue to grow and grow because the people there deserve it.”