It is a true mark of the people of Bradford that when someone who has given something to the city finds themselves in an hour of need, Bradfordians generally respond in kind.
Sunday’s fixture against Liverpool – which was about so much more than football – was an example of that. It is rare that Bradford City put the sold-out signs up at Valley Parade, but at the weekend, that was very much the case as the cities of Bradford and Liverpool aimed to raise as much money as possible for the Darby Rimmer Foundation.
And the crowd figures City have posted in all competitions since World War Two show just how significant a day it was – with the official crowd of 24,343 the second-highest total the club have posted for any game since the end of the war.
The record was never in danger: due to the fact it will not be beaten again unless Valley Parade was to be extended. That came in 1960, when Burnley visited Bradford in the fifth round of that season’s FA Cup. City took the Clarets to a replay in front of 26,227 people – but were beaten 5-0 in the visit across the Pennines.
Much has also been rightly made of how it is a new all-time record for the new-look, modern Valley Parade – with Sunday’s game the highest crowd for any City fixture since the stadium reopened in 1986 against Derby County.
Previous high crowds for Valley Parade were the FA Cup quarter-final against Reading in 2015 (24,321) and the previous round against Sunderland (24,021). A full list of City’s post-War record crowds are below:
- City v Hull (League, February 1949) – 27,083
- City v Burnley (FA Cup, 26/2/1960) – 26,227
- City v Liverpool (friendly, 14/7/2019) – 24,343
- City v Reading (FA Cup, 7/3/2015) – 24,321
- City v Sunderland (FA Cup, 15/2/2015) – 24,021
- City v Arsenal (League Cup, 11/12/2012) – 23,971
- City v Oldham (League, 29/4/1953) – 23,580
- City v Everton (FA Cup, 9/1/1960) – 23,550
- City v Bradford (League, 15/9/1951) – 23,135
- City v Spurs (FA Cup, 3/1/1970) – 23,000