Football to mark 30th anniversary of Bradford fire
All matches in the Barclays Premier League and Sky Bet Football League on the weekend of April 25 will be preceded by a minute’s silence to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Bradford Fire Disaster in which 56 supporters lost their lives and hundreds more were injured.
The date coincides with Bradford City’s last home match of the season, when the club traditionally marks the anniversary of the disaster which occurred on 11 May 1985.
The Football Association, the Premier League and The Football League will also support efforts to help raise £300,000 for the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) at the University of Bradford.
The Football League’s Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “This period of silence will give fans across the country the opportunity to remember the terrible events that occurred at Valley Parade back in 1985 and, in particular, the supporters of Bradford City and Lincoln City that lost their lives. The disaster’s impact continues to resonate within the Bradford community and within football and we must ensure that the lessons learned from it are never forgotten.”
Premier League Chairman, Peter McCormick, said: “The Bradford Fire was one of the most terrible tragedies ever to strike English football. It will be forever remembered by all football fans not only for the loss of life but also for the many acts of bravery by the emergency services and the fans themselves. All Premier League clubs have agreed to observe a minute’s silence on 25 April 2015 in solidarity with Bradford City FC as they prepare to play their last home game of the season.
“In addition the Premier League will help the fundraising for the Club’s chosen charity, the Bradford University Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit, beginning with a donation of £25,000 and continuing with support for Bradford City’s fundraising efforts throughout April. We would also wish to use this occasion to restate our commitment to the safety of fans, who should never again be exposed to the kind of risks that led to the Bradford tragedy.”
The Football Association’s Chairman, Greg Dyke, said: "Next May it will be 30 years since the terrible tragedy that cost 56 people their lives when a fire destroyed the main stand at the Bradford City v Lincoln City match at Valley Parade. It is important that football comes together to mark the tragedy and remember those who lost their lives. The Football Association sends its sincere condolences to those families and friends affected by the tragedy.
"The FA welcomes the Football League and Premier League's commitment for other clubs to join Bradford City FC in their minute's silence ahead of their final home game of the season on April 25th. The FA will also mark the anniversary at Wembley where we will also encourage fans to support fundraising for the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit at Bradford University."
In addition to the minute’s silence at matches on April 25, the official Commemoration will include a service of civic remembrance in Centenary Square, Bradford, on Monday May 11th as well as the annual Memorial Football Tournament for young people in Bradford during Easter weekend, April 5-6th.
Mark Lawn, the co-Chairman of Bradford City said: “I am personally delighted that the FA, The Football League and Premier League have got involved. I would like to remind people that the PSBRU is solely reliant on charitable donations by the public, charitable organisations and businesses, and has no funding from the Government.
“I am extremely pleased that Bradford City FC has helped to fund the PSBRU through the supporters raising money. This has been enough over the years to help maintain and exceed the standards coming from the Unit.”