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Bradford fire disaster – 25th anniversary

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Bradford City Fire Disaster when a flash fire broke out at Valley Parade on Saturday, May 11th, 1985. The thoughts of those involved with the FSF are with those who lost loved ones at Valley Parade a quarter of a century ago today.

The day began as one of joy as the Bantams’ support turned out to celebrate winning the 1984-85 Third Division trophy against Lincoln City. By its end 56 football fans had tragically lost their lives and hundreds more were injured. The fire was caused by rubbish that had been allowed to accumulate underneath the wooden stand which was due to be demolished in the close season that followed.
Many football supporters reading this may be too young to remember the disaster but football grounds are often unrecognisable places from those where we watched games in the 1980s. Out of the horror of Bradford came new legislation that went some way to making grounds safer and preventing a repeat of what took place that day. Supporters should never forget the price that was paid to make this happen.
A service will be held in Bradford Cathedral tomorrow night at 7.30pm and the Cathedral will be open throughout the day, from 8.30am to 5.30pm, with a candle under the memorial plaque in the North Transept for those wishing to spend a quiet time in prayer. A tenor bell will also be tolled at 3.40pm, the time the fire was first noticed.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball