All posts by Aaron Bower

Explaining the Bantams Heritage Project

Welcome to

We are a groundbreaking project for professional football in the United Kingdom, strictly dedicated to Bradford City FC. Many other clubs, and indeed countries, in other professional sports track and record their history via the hugely-popular heritage number system. Every player who has represented that team throughout history is given a number in chronological order of their debut appearance.

No English professional football side has adopted that system. Until now.

We have collated, compiled and tirelessly checked every single game of professional football Bradford City have played since their formation in 1903, through to the present day. Up until the end of the 2017/18 season, we have recorded 1,247 players who have worn the famous claret and amber shirt. Bantams Heritage has, therefore, helped to establish a unique identity for Bradford City – and given every player their rightful place in the club’s history. In time, we hope to liaise with the club to have each player who wears the shirt have their heritage number represented on the kit and unveil a number of heritage-based projects to solidify Bradford City’s place at the heart of the city’s culture for over a century.

Naturally, with such an exhaustive project, we have had to be clear and concise about who does, and does not, receive a heritage number. Therefore, the following five competitions are what we have regarded as competitive, first-team football:

  • League football (Premier League and Football League)
  • FA Cup
  • Football League Cup
  • Football League Trophy
  • European competition (in Bradford’s case, the 2000 Intertoto Cup)

One difficult, and noteworthy, exemption from our records are war-time football. A glance at the records for war-time football revealed an extraordinary amount of ‘guest’ appearances – players who were either serving in the area or simply filled the numbers during the war-time leagues of the Second World War. Given the exceptional circumstances of the wider world, we opted against including those.

But our goal and aim is not strictly limited to the heritage number project, even if that is our defining piece of work. We are aiming to become the absolute definitive place for statistics and records relating to Bradford City. Whether it be the standard list of the club’s all-time goal-scorers or appearance-makers, or more left-field articles such as players to have scored on their debut, or managerial records – we are aiming to cover it all.

Via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts we aim to provide plenty of content for Bradford fans to enjoy and share. What, however, is not in our mandate is to have ANY sort of public opinion on matters such as the club’s ownership. We are completely independent and are dedicated to celebrating the wonderful history of a wonderful club.

It has taken well over a year to compile and collate this data. We hope you appreciate the results of the project, and we endeavour to hopefully back-date and award certificates to as many players on the list (as well as descendants of those players no longer with us) over time.

So, after reading that, we think you’ll want to see the list in full, right? If the answer to that question is yes – simply click here.

All-time leading appearance makers and goal scorers

Most League Appearances for Bradford City (300+)
1. Ces Podd – 502
2. Ian Cooper – 443
3. John Hall – 430
4. Bruce Stowell – 401
5. Stuart McCall – 395
6. George Robinson – 343
7. Charles Moore – 339
8. Peter A Jackson – 336
9. Billy Watson – 330
10. Wayne Jacobs – 318
11. Gavin Oliver – 313
12. David Wetherall – 304
13. Richard Bond – 301

Most Goals in All Competitions for Bradford City (Top 10)
1. Bobby Campbell – 137
2. Frank O’Rourke – 93
3. James Hanson – 90
4. Dean Windass – 86
5= Joe Cooke – 79
5= John Hallows – 79
7. Sean McCarthy – 78
8= John Hall – 72
8= Richard Bond – 72
10. Bobby Ham – 70

Most League Goals for Bradford City (Top 10)
1. Bobby Campbell – 121
2. Frank O’Rourke – 88
3. James Hanson – 78
4. Dean Windass – 75
5. John Hallows – 74
6. Joe Cooke – 68
7= Bobby Ham – 64
7= David McNiven – 64
9. John Hall – 63
10. David Jackson – 61

Series: Bantams Worldwide

Throughout the entire history of Bradford City – though, admittedly, more often in recent generations – players from a number of different cultures, countries and backgrounds have played for the club.

This series is dedicated to those players – the ones from outside the United Kingdom and Ireland who have donned the famous claret and amber shirt. These could be players born in the UK who have subsequently represented a different country – or players born all over the world.

Africa: From Burundi to Zimbabwe
Australia and New Zealand
The Caribbean Central Europe
France and Belgium
The Netherlands
Southern Europe

Latest Heritage Number: Richie Smallwood (#1337)

Heritage Number #1337 – Richie Smallwood
Debut: 30 July 2022 v Doncaster Rovers

The five players to have immediately preceded Butterfield:

#1336 – Matthew Platt
Debut: 30 July 2022 v Doncaster Rovers

#1335 – Emmanuel Osadebe
Debut: 30 July 2022 v Doncaster Rovers

#1334 – Vadaine Oliver
Debut: 30 July 2022 v Doncaster Rovers

#1333 – Harry Lewis
Debut: 30 July 2022 v Doncaster Rovers

#1332 – Kian Harratt
Debut: 30 July 2022 v Doncaster Rovers

Latest Series: Bantams Cult Heroes

The definition of a cult hero in football always a pretty loose one – but we’ve no doubt all seen at least one player during our time as a Bradford City player that fits the billing.

This series is dedicated to those players.  The best player ever to play for City? Probably not. But for whatever reason, they are adored and cherished for what they did during their time with the club. This is Bantams Cult Heroes.

#1: Edinho – the boy from Brazil
#2: Nigel Pepper – the free-kick maestro