BRADFORD will pay tribute to the fans who lost their lives in the Valley Parade fire disaster at Wembley this weekend by wearing specially-made tracksuit tops with the number 56 and the words ‘Always With Us’ embroidered on the front.
The Bantams will make history in Sunday’s Capital One Cup showpiece against Premier League side Swansea by becoming the first club from the bottom tier to appear at Wembley in one of English football’s major finals and will mark the occasion by remembering the 56 fans who died in the fire almost 28 years ago.
City supporters camped out overnight in the snow last week outside Valley Parade to snap up the last remaining tickets and almost 32,000 will converge on Wembley to celebrate as Phil Parkinson’s npower League Two side bid to fulfill the impossible dream.
The club’s incredible Capital One Cup journey began back in August with a surprise 1-0 win at Notts County in the first round and they trumped that later that same month with a 2-1 victory at Championship high-flyers Watford.
Bradford needed a last-minute goal to force extra time in the third round against Burton before defender Stephen Darby struck the winner and Premier League side Wigan were beaten 4-2 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes in the fourth round before Parkinson’s side secured famous wins over Arsenal and Aston Villa, the latter in a two-legged semi-final.
Among the travelling army of Bradford supporters on Sunday will be a 100-strong posse made up of City defender Carl McHugh’s family members and friends, who will be making the journey from County Donegal.
McHugh, 20, who headed home a third goal in the Bantams’ 3-1 first-leg win over Villa at Valley Parade in January, said: “I’ve got 111 friends and family coming over, it’s going to be a great occasion, we’re all looking forward to it.
“I’m not flying them over! They’re making their own way over. They gave me the money and I got tickets for them - I didn’t pay for 111 tickets!”