All posts by Aaron Bower

Bradford City hat-tricks: a brief history following Andy Cook’s treble

Andy Cook joined an illustrious club on Tuesday evening when scoring his first Bradford City hat-trick.

Cook’s treble – a perfect hat-trick of a header, left foot and right foot finish – made him the latest player to score three times in one match for Bradford City Football Club. This is a brief history of hat-tricks at the club since 1903.

The first-half hat-trick

The fact Cook’s goals all came in the first half of the 4-1 victory against Stevenage prompted the obvious question to start with: who was the last man to score three times before half-time?

The answer: the great Dean Windass – 7,789 days prior to Cook’s first-half hat-trick.

That is a lengthy wait between drinks!

How many players have scored City hat-tricks?

Andy Cook is now the 115th players have scored a hat-trick in competitive football for Bradford City, starting with John Forrest in the 1904-05 season, through to Cook.

Only 18 individuals have managed to score hat-tricks in more than one game for the club, though: 

5 hat-tricks: Frank O’Rourke, Jack Deakin, Eddie Carr.
4 hat-tricks: Jack Hallows, Dean Windass.
3 hat-tricks: Albert Whitehurst, Oscar Fox, Bruce Bannister, Jack Forrest, Gerry Ingram, Wallace Smith, George Handley, David Layne, John McCole, Derek Stokes, Robert Whittingham, Sean McCarthy.
2 hat-tricks: Nahki Wells, Bobby Campbell.

Four or more

Cook missed out on joining an even more illustrious club on Tuesday – which contains just 13 men.

Only 13 players have the distinction of scoring more than three times in a single competitive game for Bradford City. Ten of them feature on the list above, as well as three more individuals. They are:

7 goals in one game: Albert Whitehurst (a club record)

5 goals in one game: Jack Hallows

4 goals in one game: Eddie Carr, Jack Deakin, Frank O’Rourke, Albert Whitehurst, Oscar Fox, Bruce Bannister, Jack Forrest, Gerry Ingram, Wallace Smith, Willie Hibbert, Derek McNiven, John Hawley. 

Back-to-back hat-tricks

Only one man has scored hat-tricks in consecutive Bradford City matches. Albert Whitehurst scored seven times in an 8-0 win against Tranmere in March 1929, before following that up with four more goals three days later as City defeated Barrow on their way to the Division Three North title. Whitehurst finished that season with 24 goals in just 15 games.

The kids are alright: City set record for homegrown players in first-team one week into season

The new season is barely a week old, and Stuart McCall’s Bradford City are setting club records.

Our history with youth development has been, it’s fair to say, mixed. While some of the club’s all-time greats have come through our own Academy and left their mark on the club, recent years have been somewhat leaner.

However, there are signs that this season will be markedly different for City, with six Academy products already featuring in a first-team match this season, just two games into the campaign. That, certainly in the club’s modern-day history, is a record by some distance.

Three of them made their debut for the club in the EFL Trophy match against Doncaster Rovers: Kian Scales, Connor Shanks and Finn Cousin-Dawson.

Jorge Sikora, another product of the same Academy class, debuted in last season’s EFL Trophy, but has already added to his one appearance in that competition last year.

The other two Academy products to have featured are defender Reece Staunton, who has now made a number of appearances for the first-team since he debuted, and Dylan Mottley-Henry, who is in his second spell at City but also classes as a homegrown talent.

In the last decade, from 2010 to 2020, City blooded the following Academy graduates in at least one first-team game: Louis Horne, Luke Dean, Dominic Rowe, Alex Flett, Adam Baker, Scott Brown, Kwame Boateng, Daniel Devine Ellis Hudson, Tom Windle, James King, Sam Wright, Alex Laird, Cameron Hawkes, Elliot Goldthorp, Raeece Ellington,  Connor Morris and George Sykes-Kenworthy.

However, the expectation is that this current class will feature much more prominently, with a large portion of those playing only once for the club, and an even smaller fraction making any sort of appearance in league football.

It seems that the future is bright at City.

#3: Jack Forrest

Born: 1878 in Lanarkshire, Scotland

Bradford City debut: 1 September 1903 v Grimsby Town

Appearances: 58
Goals: 24

Achievements: Top scorer in 1904-05 season (17 goals)

Profile

Scottish-born forward Jack Forrest was signed for Bradford City in the summer of 1903, following a spell at Stoke City which started with him scoring twice on his debut, but ended just a handful of appearances later after he became homesick.

Forrest had earlier impressed for Wishaw United and Motherwell north of the border, and was lured back to England by the City directors ahead of the club’s inaugural league campaign in 1903.

Forrest scored seven goals in 30 games in 1903-04, but would prove to be much more effective the following season. He ended 1904-05 as the club’s top scorer, scoring 17 times in 25 games: including four in a 9-0 FA Cup victory against Sunderland WE. However, that summer, he left City and returned to Scotland, signing for Hamilton Academical.

#2: Thomas Farnall

Born: 1876

Bradford City debut: 1 September 1903 v Grimsby Town

Appearances: 26
Goals: 2

Profile

Already possessing Football League experience with Small Heath, wing-half Thomas Farnall was a vital addition to Bradford City’s first-ever league squad of 1903-04.

Signed from Watford – he had also played for Bristol Rovers – Farnall made 26 appearances for the Paraders in total: all of them coming in the club’s first season. He left in 1905 to join Walsall, before later playing for Barrow and Gloucester City.

#1: John Beckram

Born: August 1881

Bradford City debut: 1 September 1903 v Grimsby Town

Appearances: 26
Goals: 8

Profile

John Beckram was born in Sunderland in 1881, and played for Sheffield United before becoming part of the first-ever side to play a competitive fixture for Bradford City.

Beckram has the distinction of owning Heritage Number #1, on account of being the first player listed in the team sheet against Grimsby Town in September 1903 alphabetically.

He was released by the club in the summer of 1905, after failing to make an appearance for City in the club’s second season of 1904-05.