Service to remember victims of fire horror

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A MEMORIAL service will be held in Bradford to remember the 56 people who died in the Bradford City Fire disaster at Valley Parade 27 years ago.

The 30-minute service at Bradford’s Centenary Square on Friday, at 11am, will be conducted by the Lord Mayor’s chaplain and the chaplain to Bradford City.

Bradford City Hall bells will play Abide with Me and You’ll Never Walk Alone to mark the start of the service which will be attended by relatives and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured.

The Lord Mayor, Coun Naveeda Ikram, will lead the commemoration at 11am at the memorial stone in Centenary Square.

She will be joined by senior politicians and council officers as well as other invited guests.

Bradford City were playing Lincoln in their last home match of the season in 1985 when fire ripped through the ground killing 56 people and injuring many more.

Coun Ikram, said: “It is important that we remember on May 11 each year all those who died in this tragedy.

“In some way it touched the lives of most people in the district and people need to reflect and mark the occasion. I hope people will come down and pay their respects.”

Flags will be flown at half mast and the Big Screen sound will be switched off while the half-hour service takes place.

Local MPs and Bradford City footballers will attend along with representatives from the police, fire and health service.

For fans at Valley Parade, May 11 1985, when Bradford City played against Lincoln City, was supposed to be a milestone for a very different reason.

The day should have been one of celebration as the then City captain Peter Jackson was presented with the Division Three championship trophy.

But tragedy struck just before half-time as a blaze engulfed the main stand leading to such a devastating loss of life.