Mourners were prevented from gathering as usual owing to the coronavirus pandemic but an online service instead provided a chance to remember the 56 victims who died when Valley Parade’s main stand caught fire during a match between Bradford City and Lincoln City on May 11, 1985.
As Bishop of Bradford Toby Howarth rightly pointed out, the parallels to the current national situation offer some hope in the darkness through the memory of the countless acts of bravery, care and compassion on that day.
With debate raging over the potential return of football matches, it is also a reminder of the importance of the beautiful game to communities - but equally that sport must always be secondary to safety.
Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.
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Sincerely. Thank you.