Category Archives: Series: Bantams Worldwide

Bantams Worldwide: Asia

Other editions: Africa, Caribbean (I)

While players from all across the world have appeared for Bradford City since the club’s formation in 1903, one part of the world which hasn’t had too much representation is Asia.

So much so, in fact, that of the 1200+ players to have worn the claret and amber shirt since 1903, only one of those has either been born in Asia or gone on to represent an Asian country at international level.

That makes this a very compact, small edition of Bantams Worldwide: but the one man in this exclusive group is somewhat of a flag-bearer for Asian footballers.

Pakistan – Zesh Rehman
(#1056, 71 apps, 2 goals, 2009-10)

Born in Birmingham in 1983, Zesh Rehman’s footballing career began when he made his debut for Fulham in 2003. However, it was the following year, against Liverpool in April, when Rehman came on for the final minutes (replacing another ex-City player in Bobby Petta) to become the first British Asian to play in the Premier League.

Rehman subsequently became the first British Asian to play in all four professional divisions – but only achieved that when he signed for City in January 2009 on loan.

He was quoted at the time as saying the only League Two team he would have dropped down to play for were Bradford, making his debut on January 27, 2009 during the 1-0 defeat to Bury.

Rehman actually turned down a Pakistan call-up in March to help City push for promotion, which they ultimately failed in achieving, but he still signed a permanent, two-year deal with City in the summer of 2009 – as well as being named captain.

However, despite making 42 appearances in the 2009-10 season, the arrival of Peter Taylor as manager coincided with Rehman’s game-time decreasing. He then made some public comments about his lack of action which led to him being transfer listed, eventually being let go by the Bantams later that year.

In total, Rehman made 18 appearances for Pakistan at international level – and is still the only Pakistani international to play in the Premier League.

Bantams Worldwide: The Caribbean (and surrounding areas!) Part One

For such a small part of the world, Bradford City’s history with the countries in the Caribbean is rich, to say the least.

In fact, such a large number of players have come from that part of the world, that this particular instalment of our Bantams Worldwide series has been broken off into two sections. One covers the extensive number of players with Jamaican roots/international records, while this particular instalment is about the players to come from other parts of the Caribbean – including one or two areas which are constantly debated about their presence among the Caribbean islands.

Barbados – Mark McCammon
(#1076, 4 apps, 2010)

A well-travelled player throughout the majority of his career, former Gillingham and Brighton striker arrived at Bradford on loan in February 2010, despite reportedly having reservations about stepping down to join a League Two side, which City were at the time.

Despite being in London, McCammon was already a Barbados international by the time he made his City debut. In all, he played five times for his country, scoring four goals – including a hat-trick in the 7-1 win over Anguilla in 2006, which is Barbados’ biggest-ever win.

He made his debut against Darlington on February 27th, 2010, and went on to make a further three appearances for City without scoring before returning to parent club Gillingham.

Bermuda – Nahki Wells
(#1112, 112 apps, 53 goals, 2011-14)

Had it not been for the presence of one or two greats from a different generation, Nahki Wells would almost certainly be regarded as Bradford City’s greatest overseas player given his contribution to the club.

The signing of Wells by manager Peter Jackson in the summer of 2011 ruffled few feathers. He arrived having just been released by Carlisle, and he didn’t even make his league debut until November that year. Thereafter, however, his career took off.

The arrival of Phil Parkinson coincided with Wells’ formation of a deadly partnership with James Hanson which would subsequently become legendary. He scored 12 times in his first season, prompting City to hand him a new deal. The next year, the infamous history-making campaign of 2012-13, he scored 26 times.

The step up to League One saw him score eight goals in his first seven league games, which inevitably saw the vultures circle. And, in January 2014, Wells left for West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield. His career has not slowed since then.

Dominica – Joe Cooke
(#654, 303 apps, 79 goals, 1971-79)

Born in Dominica, Joe Cooke arrived at Bradford City in 1970 a teenager. He left almost a decade later an icon. Had the island gained independence earlier than 1978, his international career may too have been as notorious.

One of only a handful of players to make over 300 appearances for Bradford City in all competitions, Cooke thrived for the Bantams at both ends of the pitch, becoming notorious for his ability as both a centre-half and a striker.

Despite spending large periods of his time at City in defence, he still finished with a goals-to-game ratio of around one in four, which is impressive given his positional versatility and the amount of games he played. He returned to City in 1982 for another three seasons, before finishing his professional career with Rochdale and Wrexham.

Grenada – Delroy Facey
(#952, 6 apps, 1 goal, 2002)

Delroy Facey grew up down the road from Bradford in Huddersfield, but he was reportedly eligible to represent a number of nations in the Caribbean region due to family heritage.

He eventually opted to play for Grenada after receiving a call-up in 2009, some seven years on from his brief spell as a Bantam. Facey joined on loan in November 2002, becoming one of the elite club to score on their Bradford City debut when he netted against Wimbledon.

NOTE: The entire list of players to score on their City debut can be viewed here. 

That would be the only time Facey scored in his six games for City though, eventually returning to Bolton. In all, he represented Grenada on 15 occasions, scoring twice.

Saint Kitts and Nevis – Ces Podd
(#647, 568 apps, 4 goals, 1970-84)

Ces Podd is the greatest overseas player Bradford City have ever had. In fact, he’s one of the club’s finest players irrespective of nationality.

Born in Saint Kitts and Nevis, Podd made his debut on the 26th September, 1970 against Chesterfield. He would serve the Bantams with unrivalled distinction for fourteen years thereafter, finishing as the club’s all-time record appearance holder.

On 502 occasions, Podd played league football for Bradford City FC. To put that into context, only three men – Ian Cooper, John Hall and Bruce Stowell – reached 400 league appearances. It is an astonishing number.

In total, Podd racked up 568 appearances in all competitions before leaving for Halifax Town in 1984. He is, without doubt, a true Bradford City legend.

West Indies – Wingrove Manners
(#663, 1 app, 1972)

In City’s game against Bolton Wanderers on the 10th May, 1972, West Indian-born Wingrove Manners became the 66th player to make his one and only appearance for the Bantams.

Bantams Worldwide: Africa

Other editions: Asia, Caribbean (I),

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. This time, it’s a look at the players who were born in, or went on to represent, countries in Africa.

Burundi – Mo Shariff
(#1174, 2 apps, 2014)

Looking to build upon the consolation of their League One place following promotion from League Two in 2013, City signed Burundi-born forward Mo Shariff on a deal to try and impress manager Phil Parkinson.

Shariff had already made his league debut while on loan for Dagenham & Redbridge, before a solitary League Cup appearance for parent club QPR prior to joining City.

In all, Shariff made only two appearances for City; his debut came against Morecambe in the first round of that season’s League Cup from the bench, while he made another sub appearance days later in the 0-0 draw with Walsall on August 16, 2014.

Central African Republic – Kelly Youga
(#1021, 11 games, 2007)

Perhaps the most famous Central African Republic footballer to come to Britain, Kelly Youga joined City on loan from Charlton in February 2007.

He joined at a difficult time, as City were well on the road to ultimate relegation to League Two that season, but he did at least make an impression during his 11 games at the Bantams.

His loan spell was cut short due to injury, and he eventually returned to Charlton.

Ivory Coast – Francois Zoko
(#1181, 21 apps, 1 goal, 2014-15)

Midway through City’s second season back in League One, manager Phil Parkinson turned to Blackpool striker Francois Zoko in a bid to boost the striking options and improve upon what had been a fairly inconsistent campaign to that point.

Zoko became the first – and only – Ivorian to represent Bradford City when he debuted from the bench against Leyton Orient on November 29, 2014. He would stay with City for the remainder of the 2014/15 season, making 21 appearances in all competitions.

16 of those came in the league, with City falling just short of the League One play-off places that year, finishing seventh. Zoko scored once – the winning goal in a 1-0 win against Crawley in March 2015.

Nigeria – Dele Adebola
(#981, 16 apps, 4 goals, 2004)

Lagos-born Dele Adebola appeared for over a dozen professional clubs throughout his career, including an eye-catching spell on loan from Coventry with City in 2004.

He arrived just three games into City’s first season since relegation from the Championship, immediately forming a strike partnership with Dean Windass. He scored three times in the league – against Bristol City, MK Dons and Blackpool. City won all three games.

Adebola also scored in his solitary appearance in non-league competition: the 2-1 defeat to Accrington in the Football League Trophy on September 29, 2004. He returned to Coventry in November.

Nigeria РChib Chilaka 
(#1091, 6 apps, 2010-11)

Nigerian-born Chib Chilaka had an unusual route to Bradford City. After spells with Rushden & Diamonds and Notts County resulted in his release, Chilaka went to university in Hull to study Human Biology.

He spent his time playing non-league for Bridlington and Harrogate Town before his chance came with City at the start of the 2010 season. Chilaka made his debut against Preston on August 24, 2010, going on to make six appearances without scoring in all competitions.

Nigeria – Hope Akpan
(#1248, 2018-present)

One of City’s new additions for the 2018/19 campaign, Hope Akpan was born in England but qualified for Nigeria through his parents.

While at Reading, he declared his intention to try and win a call-up for the Super Eagles: and to date, he has played four times for his country without scoring.

South Africa – Dean Furman
(#1051, 33 apps, 4 goals, 2008-09)

Born in the South African city of Cape Town, Dean Furman played youth football for the likes of Chelsea and Rangers before making a solitary appearance at first-team level for the Gers in 2008.

Then, in August of that year, at the age of 20, Furman was lured to City by former Rangers legend and then-manager Stuart McCall on a six-month loan deal. That deal eventually was extended to the entirety of the 2008-09 season, and Furman formed an effective pairing with Nicky Law for large periods of the campaign. At international level, Furman actually made his South Africa debut while a Bradford City player. He has since played for South Africa over 40 times.

City were so impressed by Furman that they tried to sign him on a permanent deal when he returned to Rangers. However, he opted to sign for Oldham.

Zaire – Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu
(#1028, 21 apps, 6 goals, 2007)

With City relegated to League Two at the start of the 2007/08 season, new manager Stuart McCall initiated an overhaul of an underperforming squad.

His many new recruits including Kinshasa-born Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu, who arrived on a loan deal until the start of the New Year.

His immediate impact? Impressive, scoring the equaliser during the 1-1 draw with Macclesfield Town in the 2007/08 season-opener. All in all, he would score six times for City, including a brace against Hereford United – before his loan deal was not extended into 2008.

Zimbabwe – Adam Chicksen
(#1225, 2017-present)

Much like team-mate Hope Akpan, Adam Chicksen was born in England – but qualified for an African country through parentage.

With a Zimbabwean father, Chicksen earned his first call-up in March 2018 – and subsequently made his international debut for The Warriors in their defeat to Zambia in the 2018 Four Nations Tournament.

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