Supporters are reminded the memorial service marking the 35th anniversary of the Valley Parade Fire Disaster will get underway online - from 11.00am - on Monday (May 11).
The annual service is unable to take place in Centenary Square this year as a result of social-distancing measures currently in place, amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Held in conjunction with Bradford Metropolitan Council, we will collectively pause from 11.00am to pay tribute to the 56 people who died in the 1985 disaster.
Readings and prayers will be delivered via the club’s and council’s communications channels by a host of representatives and colleagues from across the district.
Club chaplain, Oliver Evans, will be joined by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Doreen Lee, and the Mayor of Lincoln, Cllr Sue Burke, in delivering welcomes and messages.
Readings will be given by the Bishop of Bradford, The Right Revd Toby Howarth, and the Dean of Bradford, The Very Revd Jerry Lepine and Bradford Cathedral's Canon Precentor, Revd Canon Paul Maybury.
Prof Ajay Mahajan, Benjy Bush, Chief Inspector Steve Greenbank and Andrew Simpson will speak on behalf of Bradford's Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU), the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Bradford District West Yorkshire Police and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust respectively - as they are this year unable to lay wreaths.
The disaster claimed the lives of 54 Bradford City supporters and two travelling Lincoln supporters, injuring hundreds more, in one of the world’s most devastating sporting tragedies.
As COVID-19 continues to impact the country, we are not able to gather as we would normally and supporters are advised to adhere to government guidelines and not visit memorials until restrictions are relaxed.
Commemorative wreaths will be placed at the Utilita Energy Stadium and in Centenary Square, on behalf of club officials, Bradford Metropolitan Council and Lincoln City, prior to May 11.
City’s director of communications, Ryan Sparks, said: “It is with deep regret the annual memorial service cannot safely take place in its usual setting.
“The event is of paramount importance to the club, our supporters, and the people of Bradford - and beyond. In a very different way, on May 11, we will pay tribute to those who sadly lost their lives and the families affected by the tragedy to this day.
“We invite people to pay their respects with us safely, online, and hope you will all be able to access our social media channels to be part of a day where we come together to remember the 56.”
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Doreen Lee, said: “It is with great sadness we will not be able to gather as normal at Centenary Square to mark the 35th anniversary of the Valley Parade Fire Disaster.
“However, under the current circumstances, it is right that the safety of the public should come first and while we will be paying our respects in a different way this year, the commemoration will be no less poignant.
“We hope that people across the district will join us online to pay their respects as they normally would, only this year from their own home.”
The Utilita Energy Stadium will remain closed on May 11 and supporters are asked to kindly adhere to social-gathering restrictions until further notice.
To make a donation to the PSBRU - established shortly after the disaster and continuing to care for patients and improve the delivery of treatment - please CLICK HERE.