Messages of Condolence and Support

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Mike Gibbons said:

The 30th commemoration of the Bradford City Fire is a major milestone in the history of this city.

It is heartwarming to know that it is so much a part of the consciousness of people nationally too and it will be really appreciated by all the fans and the families affected to hear that the FA, the Football League and the Premier League will be supporting the commemoration.

We ask that people join us in our memorial activities and hope that the fundraising goes well for the Bradford University Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit, a cause very much taken to heart by Bradford people.

Mark Lawn, Co-chairman, Bradford City FC said:

I would like to remind people that the PSBRU is solely reliant on charitable donations by the public, charitable organisations and businesses, and has no funding from the Government.

I am extremely pleased that Bradford City FC has helped to fund the PSBRU through the supporters raising money. This has been enough over the years to help maintain and exceed the standards coming from the Unit.

“I am personally delighted that the FA, Football League and Premier League have got involved, and I would like to thank in advance other football clubs and their supporters who raise funds for the PSBRU”

Mike Thompson, Chair, Bradford City Supporters Trust said:

This terrible tragedy took the lives of 56 football fans, injured hundreds more and deeply affected countless others throughout the whole of the community in ways that can hardly be imagined. People recall the events of that day and the subsequent physical, mental and spiritual healing in their own way. Many people gather together in memory of those lost and affected at an annual commemoration service each year on 11th May in the City Centre.

It has also become a tradition for Bradford City fans to hold a one minute silence and contribute to a collection at the last home game each season, the proceeds of which are added to other fund-raising activities in support of the PSBRU at Bradford University, which carries out important research into the treatment of burns injuries. Many of the injured people owe their recovery to the sterling work of the medical staff at local hospitals, supported by the expertise of the Unit at that time and support for its ongoing research work has become a positive legacy throughout the Bradford District and beyond.

As 2015 marks the 30th. anniversary of that awful day, it would be very supportive if the football community could join us in a dignified commemoration. If anyone would like to add to this in a tangible way, there could be no finer tribute than to contribute to fund-raising for the PSBRU

Ajay L Mahajan, Director, PBSRU, University of Bradford said:

The Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) was founded by Prof. David Sharpe following the fire disaster at the Bradford City football club. We can never forget the 56 people we lost on the day and 258 others who were injured. But the least we can do is to continue our efforts towards improving the delivery of healthcare to any patient with similar or related injuries.

Today, the PSBRU is led by Mr Ajay L Mahajan, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, who along with his collaborators and research fellows carry out research activities at the University of Bradford. Burn injuries and accidents result in patients being literally scarred for life. Research activities at the PSBRU helps looks at various ways in which wound healing and scarring following wound healing can be improved to deliver the best possible outcome for our patients. It is this research that provides the evidence for practising evidence-based medicine. Research lays down a strong foundation for our young doctors who set out to pursue a career in Plastic Surgery and encourages them to embark on innovative projects. The PSBRU has had 26 research fellows over the years most of whom are established Consultants in the various parts of the UK. The plastic surgery trainees have studied for a higher research degree via 2-year placements in the PSBRU. MD/MPhils degrees were awarded to sixteen fellows; while four were awarded a PhD, a notable achievement within the short time period.

The University of Bradford generously supports these students by waiving their tution fees. The unit currently has two research fellows,  “The Bradford City FC Supporter’s Fellow” and the “The David Sharpe Fellow”. These fellowships have been named after the people who have been affected by the Bradford fire and after the person who helped treat the victims of the Bradford fire. The activities in the University of Bradford and the research fellows are supported by generous donations made by the public. The PSBRU is extremely grateful for this, as it is a unit that the public have helped establish and without their support, it would not exist!

Greg Dyke, Chairman, Football Association said:

Next May it will be 30 years since the terrible tragedy that cost 56 people their lives when a fire destroyed the main stand at the Bradford City v Lincoln City match at Valley Parade.

It is important that football comes together to mark the tragedy and remember those who lost their lives. The Football Association sends its sincere condolences to those families and friends affected by the tragedy.

“The FA welcomes the Football League and Premier League’s commitment for other clubs to join Bradford City FC in their minute’s silence ahead of their final home game of the season on April 25th. The FA will also mark the anniversary at Wembley where we will also encourage fans to support fundraising for the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit at Bradford University”

Peter McCormick, Chairman of the Premier League said:

The Bradford Fire was one of the most terrible tragedies ever to strike English football. It will be forever remembered by all football fans not only for the loss of the life but also for the many acts of bravery by the emergency services and the fans themselves.

All Premier League clubs have agreed to observe a minute’s silence on 25 April 2015 in solidarity with Bradford City FC as they prepare to play their last home game of the season.  In addition the Premier League will help the fundraising for the Club’s chosen charity, the Bradford University Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit, beginning with a donation of £25,000 and continuing with support for Bradford City’s fundraising efforts throughout April.  We would also wish to use this occasion to restate our commitment to the safety of fans, who should never again be exposed to the kind of risks that led to the Bradford tragedy.

Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of the Football League said:

“This period of silence will give fans across the country the opportunity to remember the terrible events that occurred at Valley Parade back in 1985

and, in particular, the supporters of Bradford City and Lincoln City that lost their lives.  The disaster’s impact continues to resonate within the Bradford community and within football and we must ensure that the lessons learned from it are never forgotten.”

Malcolm Clarke, Chair, The Football Supporters’ Federation said:

“11th May 1985 was one of the darkest days in British football history, and its effects are still felt deeply. 56 fans lost their lives, including two Lincoln City supporters, and hundreds more were seriously injured.

from that grew the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit at the University of Bradford, and we would encourage all fans to support the commemoration and work of the Unit.

Many fans reading these words may be too young to remember the sheer horror of what occurred but the events of that day have echoed through the decades.

Football stadiums are often unrecognisable from the death traps of the 80s and we should never forget the price that was paid to make this happen.”

Brian Burgess, Chair, Supporters Direct said:

“We send our sincere condolences to all those who were and are still deeply affected by the events of the 11th May 1985.

It is heartening to see just how much football is prepared to come together at a time like this. We encourage as many people as possible to support the commemoration, and fundraise for the extraordinary work of the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) at the University of Bradford.”

Alan Coppin, Chair, Sports Grounds Safety Authority said:

 “Our thoughts remain with the families of those that lost their lives in this terrible tragedy 30 years ago. The anniversary is a reminder to all of us of why we must continue to strive to ensure the safety of spectators at sports grounds”.

Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association said:

“We should always remember the football supporters who lost their lives whilst supporting their teams, and may their loss never be in vain by demanding the utmost duty of care, safety and security for those without whom we would not have a professional game”