BRADFORD BULLS, this weekend, will be marking the 29th anniversary of a disaster which left the city, country and sporting world in a state of shock.
The Bradford City fire occurred, Sunday May 11, 1985, precisely 29 years to the day, as we welcome St Helens to The Provident Stadium.
Club officials are inviting everyone attending the First Utility Super League clash to pay tribute to those who tragically lost their lives on that fateful afternoon.
As a club, Bradford Bulls recognises the significance of events which unfolded and, ahead of kick-off, directors, players, staff and supporters will be provided with an opportunity to pay their respects to those who passed away and their families.
Chairman Marc Green said: “The disaster which unfolded at the home of Bradford City Football Club rocked the city of Bradford and the sporting world.
“Today marks its 29th anniversary and as a club we wanted to pay tribute, in a fit and proper manner, to those who sadly lost their lives.
“We are fully aware of how much this means to the city and its people and how important the city is to sport in the region.”
Bradford's District Fire Service commander Martin Speed will be in attendance on Sunday, along with a host of colleagues from the emergency services and representatives of the Rugby Football League and Football League.
Mr Speed added: “This was a devastating fire and a tragic loss of life. This fire has stayed in the hearts and minds, not only of those in the community of Bradford but also of the firefighters who attended the scene that day.
“I have worked with firefighters who were called to this traumatic incident and who have remembered it for decades.
“The fire service is proud to be part of this commemorative event to pay tribute to the 56 souls lost that fateful day.”
Fire prevention youth trainer Ken Hunter was one of the firefighters called from Pudsey Fire Station to the incident at around 3.45pm on May 11, 1985.
He said: “One of my lasting memories was the amount of people opening up their homes to supply drinks and comfort to all comers. I remember thinking at the time, ‘why can’t we be like this all the time, just trusting and caring for each other as human beings?’
“Although that day was the worst day of my working life, and the memories are still vivid, the kindness shown on that day makes remembering easier.”
On Sunday morning, from 11.00am, Bulls directors will join members of Francis Cummins' first-teams squad in a ceremony designed to commemorate those who lose their lives during the blaze. Officials are to lay flowers, while paying their respects.