Category Archives: General Blog

The Michael Collins reign: In Numbers

Michael Collins’ time as Bradford City head coach came to an end on Monday evening when he parted company with the club.

The 44th man entrusted with managing the Bantams on a permanent basis, Collins took charge of City for just six league games, plus the League Cup defeat to Macclesfield Town last month.

Comparison of Collins’ Reign in Games Played

Unfortunately, it will come as no surprise to learn that no permanent manager of the football club has taken charge for fewer games than Collins with the exception of wartime football.

The only manager to have been in charge for fewer competitive games was Robert Sharp, City’s manager during the latter years of the Second World War. As such, Sharp was unable to manage City in the league, because the league had been suspended due to the War.

Outside of that, it is interesting to note that the shortest permanent reign in charge of City was Collins predecessor, Simon Grayson. Grayson took charge in just 14 games – though it could be argued that Peter Jackson’s resignation in the early weeks of the 2011-12 season usurps that. However, given that Jackson’s interim reign was made permanent, this website counts his entire 19-game reign as one stint.

There were other shorter reigns, such as Ray Wilson’s 10-game reign in charge in 1970, as well as Jim McAnearney and Tom Hallett’s spell of 12 games following the tragic death of Grenville Hair in 1968. They, however, were caretaker/interim reigns.

Shortest Managerial Records in Games
Michael Collins (2018): 7 games
Simon Grayson (2018): 14 games
Albert Harris (1952): 17 games
Peter Jackson (2011): 19 games
Chris Hutchins (2000): 21 games

Comparison of Collins’ Reign in Days in Charge

Michael Collins was in charge of Bradford City from June 18th to September 3rd, a total of 78 days. While his reign is inevitably one of the shorter ones in terms of games in charge and is still the shortest in terms of time too, it is not by an incredible distance.

Again, Simon Grayson’s time in charge of City just prior to Collins is the second-shortest – with Albert Harris’ 1952 stint in charge also coming in at under 100 days. The great Peter Jackson’s 2011 reign again includes his initial period as a caretaker before that was made permanent.

Michael Collins (2018): 78 days
Simon Grayson (2018): 87 days
Albert Harris (1952): 90 days
Chris Hutchins (2000): 141 days
Peter Jackson: (2011): 180 days

Collins’ Win Percentage

While clearly a much smaller sample, Michael Collins leaves Bradford City with two wins from his seven games in charge, a win percentage of 28.5%.

That is higher than the reigns of the following permanent managers:

Peter Jackson (2011): 21%
Simon Grayson (2018): 21.4%
Colin Veitch (1926-28): 21.5%
Terry Yorath (1989-90): 22.8%
Bryan Robson (2003-04): 25%
Nicky Law (2002-03): 26.4%
Jim Jeffries (2000-01): 28.3%
David Menzies (1921-26): 28.4%

How many players have scored on their City debut?

A debut goal is an incredibly special moment – and while some of the greatest players in City’s history have achieved that particular feat, some of the more unheralded – and dare we say, forgotten – players of the past have managed to do it, too.

In all, at the time of writing, 96 players have scored on their official, competitive Bradford City debut – the most recent of which is Luca Colville during the League Cup game with Macclesfield Town in 14/8/2018.

You can see a full list by going to the official Heritage Number document and sorting the list’s notes column – but here is a closer look at some of the more famous ones who’ve done it – as well as those who have scored more than once on debut, too.

Players to have scored a hat-trick on debut:
Trevor Edmunds (#253) – City 11-1 Roherham United (25/8/1928)
Cornelius White (#254) – City 11-1 Roherham United (25/8/1928)
Fred Bedford (#259) City 8-2 Ashington (13/10/1928)

Amazingly, the three players who scored hat-tricks on their Bradford debut all did so in the same season! It came all the way back in 1928-29, when City won Division Three (North) for the one and only time. Two of those hat-tricks came in the same game; the opening match of that season, as City registered what is still their record victory, beating Rotherham United 11-1. Trevor Edmunds and Cornelius White both scored three times.

Then, less than two months later, Fred Bedford did exactly the same on his first appearance in claret and amber, when City beat Washington 8-2. It was a season not short on records; later that year, Albert Whitehurst became the first – and only – City player in history to score seven times in one game, as the Bantams beat Tranmere 8-0.

Players to have scored twice on debut:
Albert Whitehurst (#264) – City 4-3 Lincoln City (16/2/1929)
Reuben Woolhouse (#278) – City 3-2 Charlton Athletic (30/8/1930)
William Cooper (#385) – City 2-1 New Brighton (9/9/1946)
John Neilson (#407) – City 3-1 Hartlepool United (25/10/1947)
Alan Hampson (#512) – City 4-3 Mansfield Town (12/9/1956)

Incredibly, while five players have scored twice on their official City debut, nobody has achieved the feat for over 60 years now.

The aforementioned Albert Whitehurst, who has a special place in City history with another goal-scoring feat, did start his time in claret and amber with a two-gaol performance against Lincoln in February 1929. He would finish that season with 24 goals in 15 appearances, a remarkable number.

Reuben Woolhouse followed just over a year later, but it wasn’t until after the Second World War someone would do it again. And peculiarly, the next two men to achieve it – William Cooper in 1946 and John Neilson the following year – made only 13 league appearances for City between them (seven and six respectively).

Alan Hampson was the final man to score twice on his debut in City’s 4-3 win over Mansfield in 1956 – but nobody has done it since.

Notable players to have scored on their City debut
John Hallows (#280) – 22/11/1930 v Burnley
Sean McCarthy (#789) – 25/8/1990 v Tranmere Rovers
Des Hamilton (#826) – 3/5/1994 v Barnet
Stan Collymore (#925) – 29/10/2000 v Leeds United
Eoin Jess (#928) – 1/1/2001 v Leicester City
Danny Cadamarteri (#940) – 23/2/2002 v Gillingham
Charlie Wyke (#1221) – 4/2/2017 v Gillingham

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