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Valley Parade
Valley Parade

Reflections on Bradford

By: Chris Smith
Date: 16/02/2010

BRATFUH eh? Not the most edifying of places and I don't say that lightly given some of the places I've been to. Grimsby is St John’s Wood by comparison.

Saturday was my third visit to whatever the ground is called nowadays and had it not been for the desperation and pathetic hope to see us break our winless run, I wouldn't have bothered. Twenty quid really does hurt at this level although even I was taken aback by the poverty of entertainment on the day to add to the rip off factor. Anyone impressed by the "receipt" which consisted of a torn bit of paper?

Even though I live in Yorkshire, it’s a haul to this city which is wisely not on the main line anywhere. As I searched for excuses not to go, citing can't be arsed/recovery from a cold/daylight robbery, Glynn rang up and said he'd pick me up on the way from his gaff in Scunthorpe. Oh okay then (sigh).

When I first went to this ground, two seasons ago, I had done it on the train and discovered that West Yorkshire could be considered tops for hopeless chavdom and I wasn't disappointed with this assessment when we decided to stop off on Saturday at Xscape near Ponte Carlo and Cas Vegas and not far from Featherly Hills as the undelightful Featherstone is known. It made the clientele at Doncaster Interchange look like University Challenge material as they seek to board their loser cruisers/mobile freak shows.

You have to laugh at these outlet villages, probably named as such because the stuff for sale in the shops deserves to be in an outlet, the sort that pumps effluent into the Humber. We did try our luck in a sportswear shop, only to be confronted by trainers designed by someone on a bad LSD trip. Thus defeated, we repaired to Wetherspoons and had a good dinner before heading off to Bratfuh.

We'd been in Wetherspoons in Bratfuh last season only to have some spotter oik earwigging our conversation and trying to work out whether the three of us, Glynn his missus and me, were part of some forward party. Tosser. From what I gather, Oikment would be a better name for their so called firm which a Bratfuh fan and colleague describes as a pack of eleven to twelve year olds. Judging by their posts on The Fishy last week that sounds about right.

It wasn't hard finding the ground with the satnav giving us directions in Ozzie Osbourne’s dulcet tones which still makes me laugh even though I've heard it dozens of times. The clever thing is he sounds alcoholically befuddled as he slurs "take the firrsssst left an’ an’ over the f****** roundabout" or "onto the f****** motorway". Oddly enough, we parked up a side street a few minutes walk from the ground where the architecture was a testament to the city’s wealthier past. According to the excellent City Gent fanzine, there were more Rolls-Royces there at one time than there were in London.

A fair few Town fans were in the Bradford Arms which looked like a good proper boozer which Barralad had directed us to. However, it couldn't be put off any longer and a visit to the ground beckoned. In a sign that I've lost my touch since stopping the booze, I managed to buy the first and last drinks in an odd number of rounds. I never fell for that as a professional drinker. We didn't go into the bar near the Cooperative Stand where Chris Smith is licensed to sell liquors etc. Bit risky for someone like me.

The article continues in Part 2

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