EASTER on the English Riviera? It felt more like Siberia in mid-winter.

The biting wind whipping off the sea was matched only by the cold realisation that City were facing the very real prospect of a seventh season in League Two.

It was four years ago to the day and we were sitting in the rickety stand at Torquay’s Plainmoor contemplating another of those long, and often thankless, trawls to the remotest outposts of the bottom division.

The Capital One Cup final just five weeks earlier seemed a distant dream; so did the play-offs, with Phil Parkinson’s Bantams eight points adrift and only seven games remaining.

Tim Thornton, now of Sky Sports News fame, was trying to sound upbeat in the pre-match preamble for local radio. Yours truly was asked to help fill ten minutes with him during the build-up.

I had effectively written off the promotion chances over the weekend with the Good Friday draw at home to Southend.

But Tim was still going down the positive line about another day-out at Wembley – a win in Devon backed up with some kind results elsewhere and the game was back on.

My reply, as I recall, was something along the lines of there was more chance of meeting the Easter Bunny.April Fool, eh!

City even went behind to a soft opener three minutes in before the charge began.

Three goals later – Rory McArdle, Garry Thompson and James Hanson – and a couple of favourable scorelines around the country and it was major Easter egg on face time.

My career in punditry was over before it had begun, thankfully.

City even made the play-off cut with a game to spare. They never looked back.

The march to League One, climaxed gloriously seven weeks later against Northampton, could be traced back to April 1 and a hopeless pre-match prediction.

It had been safer ground to back Dean Windass to produce something special on his 37th birthday.

April Fool’s Day in 2006 will be remembered for a comeback every bit as emphatic.

Windass had missed the previous five games for City after the famous ‘carpark-gate’ incident with referee Darren Drysdale.

Banned for calling the official an “egg”, maybe with another word or two thrown in, an hour after the final whistle of a home game, the veteran had sat and smouldered through March.

Some fans argued at the time that he did not deserve to walk straight back in the team. His conduct warranted a longer spell on the sidelines.

But boss Colin Todd could not put him back in quick enough.

The visit of Scunthorpe and Deano’s old pal Peter Beagrie coincided with the end of his suspension and fell right on his birthday. It was never going to pass quietly.

True to form, both men were on the scoresheet – only Windass managed it three times for the last of his four City trebles.

“People had been slagging me off and calling me a liability,” he told me afterwards.

“They said I was more trouble than I was worth, so to come back like that with a hat-trick was the perfect way to stick two fingers up.”

Naturally there have been less memorable April Fool’s Days since.

Two years on, Stuart McCall’s first season as Bantams boss saw a midweek defeat at Rochdale. Adam Le Fondre, currently banging in the goals back at Bolton, popped up with a late winner.

It was a warning of things to come for McCall from a club who would prove to be his nemesis while he cut his managerial teeth. A year later, of course, another defeat there would spark the collapse which cost City genuine hopes of promotion.

City’s most recent April 1 encounter was a colourless encounter away to Coventry – or rather at Northampton.

During the Sky Blues’ horrible sojourn to neutral territory 35 miles from home, the Bantams scrapped to an ugly goalless draw watched by less than 1,700 paying spectators – and a few boycotters protesting on the overlooking hill.

Not quite the same as the 40,000 who will accompany the Sky Blues down Wembley way tomorrow.

That night had no bearing on the season’s final outcome. But given City’s current position, events from 2013 are worth bearing in mind.

Don’t go making too many bold predictions just yet. Or you could be made to look very foolish.