BRADFORD CITY TEAM OF THE DECADE: THE RIGHT-BACKS

Voting is on the Bantams Heritage Twitter account (click here).

#1069: Simon Ramsden
City appearances: 58
City goals: 1

Awarded the number two shirt following his arrival from Rochdale, Simon Ramsden made an almost-immediate impact at Bradford City.  Only a handful of players surpassed the 35 appearances Ramsden made during his first season with the club, with his one and only goal for City coming in one of his first games: a 2-2 draw away at Northampton.

His form during his first season with the club led to him being offered the captaincy for the 2010-11 campaign, but injury problems reduced him to just a handful of appearances throughout the entire season. Eventually returning from a series of serious problems, Ramsden became a mainstay of the side Phil Parkinson inherited in late-2011. However, he left City the following summer, after failing to agree terms on a new deal.

#1137: Stephen Darby
City appearances: 239
City goals: 1

Few words sum up Stephen Darby’s contribution to Bradford City as well as ‘historic’. Perhaps the greatest right-back to have worn a claret and amber shirt in history to some fans – and arguably the most important of his generation – Darby remains a City legend to this day.

His signature didn’t create that much of a fuss in the summer of 2012, with Darby signed as Simon Ramsden’s replacement. Indeed, he only started five of the first 18 league games that season – but he then started every single one of the remaining 31, including the three play-off ties that led to promotion from League Two.

Darby also started in every one of City’s ties in the League Cup that season: eight to be precise. His one and only goal for the club was, fittingly, a vital one too; with the Bantams struggling against Burton in round three, Darby scored an unforgettable goal from outside the box to help the Bantams eventually win 3-2. The rest, as they say, is history.

In City’s first three seasons back in League One, Darby missed just ONE game out of a possible 140, underlining how important he had become to the Bantams’ backline, cementing a place in history by becoming one of only a handful of individuals to have been league ever-presents in more than one season for the club. Now captain of the club by this point, Stuart McCall’s first season in charge saw Darby feature more sporadically, but he still made 29 appearances in all competitions, before being released in the summer of 2017, when he would reunite with Parkinson at Bolton.

#1187: Tony McMahon
City appearances: 128
City goals: 14

One of the biggest characters to wear a Bradford City shirt throughout the 2010s, Tony McMahon would eventually inherit the throne vacated by Stephen Darby as the club’s first-choice right-back: and do a commendable job in the role, too.

Signed initially on loan from Blackpool in March 2015, McMahon proved himself to be equally comfortable in both defence and midfield, convincing the club to give him a permanent deal that summer.

With Darby in situ at right-back, McMahon played in a number of positions – including right midfield – during his first full season with City, playing 49 times and scoring six goals: two of which were match-winners, against Oldham and Chesterfield. The arrival of Stuart McCall saw him become first-choice over Darby, with McMahon playing 31 times as City narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championship.

He remained with City the following season, and passed the 100-game barrier for the club in the process, as he made another 40 appearances in all competitions – before departing Valley Parade that summer in favour of a deal with Oxford United.

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