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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 May, 2005, 06:15 GMT 07:15 UK
Former skipper's darkest moment
Huddersfield manager Peter Jackson was skipper of Bradford City on the day of the fire at Valley Parade on 11 May, 1985.

Jackson was a fresh-faced 24-year-old on the day of the fire.

Here he recalls how what was supposed to be a day celebrating Bradford's championship triumph turned into the darkest moment in the club's history.


Peter Jackson

It is now 20 years since the fire but it is something that I will never forget nor the people who were affected.

As a player I was looking forward to the match.

Bradford had won their first championship in many years and I was looking forward to picking up the trophy.

There was a carnival atmosphere inside the stadium but it turned in to an horrendous day.

Once people started spilling on to the pitch we knew it was serious.

The players gathered in a corner of the pitch and realised a disaster was unfolding, that a major incident was taking place.

It was real panic, hoping your family would be all right and that as many people as possible would get out.

I went and got my wife out of the players bar and all the players, wives and girlfriends met at the Belle Vue pub at the top of the road and watched it on the television.

I spent most of that evening in the hospital.

I left the ground at about six o'clock and I was in the Royal Infirmary until about 10.30, visiting the injured and burned.

Valley Parade after the fire
56 people perished in the Bradford fire

A lot of the next few weeks were spent visiting hospitals, the Pinderfields Burns Unit and attending funerals.

Then the fund-raising started so we did a lot of that, trying to raise more money for the burns unit.

The players were magnificent, such a young side who did all they could.

Recently I've had a lot of calls from all over Europe requesting interviews.

It has all been brought up again with the anniversary and it is difficult looking back.


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