Remembering Bradford City stadium fire of 1985
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The tragic fire was at a match on May 11, 1985, between Bradford and a Lincoln City side. The wooden, 77-year-old stand was full for City’s last fixture. Before the kick-off, amid scenes of celebration, the club had been presented with the Division Three Championship trophy. The fire broke out just before half-time and, within five minutes, the entire stand was engulfed.
Flames started in an old wooden stand, sadly taking the lives of 56 spectators, among them being 13 fans aged eighteen years or younger, and at least 256 other fans of all ages injured.
Lincoln City fans from Sleaford had travelled to see the match, among them being 72-year-old William Stacey who lost his life in the tragedy.
Coun Suiter said: “Sleaford Town Council wished to be represented at this moving tribute to all those who lost their lives in the tragic event and all those injured or affected by the fire.
"We particularly wanted to be there in memory of William Stacey and the other Sleaford fans affected by the event.”
The charity match was between former Lincoln City players and Bradford City veterans, with many fans travelling from Bradford for the event at the LNER Stadium on Sincil Bank. On an unseasonably warm and sunny afternoon, a spirited and friendly game featured the excitement of three goals for each team to result in a draw.
The match sponsor was construction firm Lindum and among charities that will benefit is the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit at the University of Bradford.
A charity match to mark the sad event is held each year at the Bradford City stadium and it is hoped to stage another one at Lincoln in the not-too-distant future.
The disaster led to rigid new safety standards in UK stadiums, including banning the construction of any new wooden grandstands in future, the immediate closure of other wooden stands deemed unsafe and the banning of smoking in other wooden stands. It was also a catalyst for the substantial redevelopment and modernisation of many British football grounds within the following 30 years.