IF Bradford City’s under-achieving players needed an indication as to the love that full-blooded commitment on the field can elicit from supporters then it came on Tuesday evening.
An appreciation night for former captain Stephen Darby, revealed six weeks ago to be suffering from motor neurone disease, saw a host of faces from the club’s past return to Valley Parade.
More than £11,000 was raised for the charity Motor Neurone Disease Association as 500 fans packed into the McCall and Hendrie Suite, along with manager David Hopkin and his squad.
“You are sitting there and taking in how much passion is shown towards players who have done well for the club,” said Bantams full-back Adam Chicksen. “They have shown that desire and character and you see the reception they get.
“If that doesn’t give you a kick to want to try and change the situation then this place is not for you. I am sure the fans will think the same.
“If you give everything the fans will be behind you and we saw that as players. The reaction made me want to run out my seat and jump up on stage.
They have shown that desire and character and you see the reception they get. If that doesn’t give you a kick to want to try and change the situation, then this place is not for you. I am sure the fans will think the same.Bradford City’s Adam Chicksen
“If you do not get that feeling you are at the wrong club. It is so easy to blame this and that, but the fans show you what they want to see.
“Pull on that shirt, be positive and come into work every day and give absolutely everything. Then I am sure they will be behind us.”
City are in a mess. Last weekend’s four-goal hammering at Gillingham was their sixth straight defeat in all competitions and Hopkin’s men sit bottom of League One.
Life is not about to get any easier with Bradford’s next two league outings being against leaders Portsmouth today and then second-placed Peterborough United on November 17.
In between Hopkin’s men travel to Aldershot for a tricky FA Cup first-round tie and conclude their Checkatrade Trophy group stage schedule with a trip to a Barnsley side who sit fourth in the League One table.
Chicksen, back today from a two month injury lay-off, added: “As an individual I know there can be good times again. So you take the flak, carry on working and don’t think about all the negatives.
“Don’t get down and come in sulky and moody on a Monday. Have that attitude that you can change it back to the good times and get 20,000 fans behind you and buzzing again.”