OF MY OWN KNOWLEDGE (1969 -1988)


The most recent period in the Association's history (since 1969) covers the work of four General Secretaries viz:

1. George Perrott 1968 - 71 who, after serving as Assistant Secretary to George Tavender in 1968 / 1969 succeeded him as General Secretary in 1969. He served in this capacity until 1971, when, following a severe heart-attack, he retired.

2. Myself. (John Bulled 1971 - 80)  I was co-opted to the committee soon after coming to Bradford in 1968 and was elected Assistant Secretary following George Perrott's election as General Secretary. In 1971 when he resigned, I became Acting Secretary for the remainder of the season; at the 1972 AGM I was elected General Secretary, a position I held until 1980.

3 Tony Cryer 1980 - 83 acted as Local Secretary from 1976 to 1978 and was elected as Assistant Secretary in the 1979 / 1980 season with the specific intention that he should assume the General Secretaryship on my retirement in 1980. He served from 1980 - 1983, when he resigned on his election as the ESFA Council Member for Division C.

4. Andris (Andy) Mettas 1983 - 2012?, served as Assistant Secretary from 1980 - 1983 before succeeding Tony Cryer as General Secretary in the latter year. 

As following my resignation as General Secretary in 1980, I was Chairman of the Association in 1980 / 1981 and was elected Life Member in 1982, I can claim personal knowledge of the activities of the Association throughout this period.

This will be the longest chapter in the book for the simple reason that the activities of the Association have increased tremendously in the past twenty years. The most important developments have been in "new" areas.


Our Own Ground


The possession of a ground of our own was a dream of the Association's committee from its earliest days but it remained no more than a dream for many years. There was a positive but fruitless effort to translate the dream into reality in 1924, when, at a Committee Meeting on 2nd April, it was resolved   " ...that the question of a schools' ground be put on the agenda for the next meeting." This was accordingly done and on 8th May a Sub-committee consisting of Messrs. Gledhill (Chairman), Palin and Marriner was formed  "... to acquire the use of a football enclosure." It was agreed that an advertisement stating our requirements should be placed. The search however was unsuccessful.

The matter cropped up again four years later, the Secretary being instructed to obtain information from other towns as to the help they were given by their Authorities.  Another hiatus - five years this time - then, on 4th November 1933, 'Sportsmaster', writing in the Yorkshire Sports re. a Leeds v Bradford game at Oldfield Lane, commented:  "... Possession of a similar ground would be an advantage to us and the purchase of one is a question which has exercised the minds of Bradford sportsmasters on many occasions." A year later the BSAA Committee set up a Sub-committee to explore the possibilities of acquiring a sports field for themselves. Again nothing happened, and the whole thing seems to have been forgotten for some forty years. Indeed the need was not felt to be urgent; the two professional clubs were generally, though slightly erratically, generous in according the use of their facilities, and the Bradford Rovers ground at Parry Lane was available almost on demand.

The happy situation continued until 1973, a season in which five of the eight Trophy games in which the City side was involved were played on professional grounds, as well as the usual Cup Finals. At the end of 1972 / 1973 season however, Bradford (Park Avenue) ceased to function and the ground began its slow decline. In the following season we became far from 'happy wanderers', using, in addition to Valley Parade (occasionally) and Bradford Rovers (often), the grounds of International Harvesters, Manningham Mills and Thackley as well as school grounds, especially St. Bede's, Fairfax and Tong.

Attention was first focussed on the Bradford Rovers ground at Parry Lane. The Association had used this ground very extensively over the years both for domestic semi finals and finals etc., and for inter city games when Valley Parade and Park Avenue were not available. No charge had been made for the use of the ground, but from time to time, the Association had helped the club with "improvements to its facilities "on 23rd March 1935, for instance, the Committee resolved that 5 be given to the clubs stand fund, though, as there was obviously some doubt as to whether this was a proper use of the Association's funds, it was agreed that the sum should be shown as 'match expenses'.

A similar, somewhat controversial, decision was taken at the Committee Meeting of 21st June 1950, Bradford Rovers had asked for assistance in the purchase of posts for enclosing the playing area and  "... after considerable discussion" it was resolved that the club be given  "... the authority to purchase posts to the value of  40".  This particular decision came in for some criticism from the auditors at the 1952 AGM; they expressed their doubt as to whether the expenditure on the Bradford Rovers ground by Committee decision was within the aims of BSAA and recommended that in future such decisions should be referred to a General Meeting of the body.

A few months later (8th October 1952) correct procedure was observed. When Bradford Rovers asked for help in building a stand, Wilf Moverley  "... offered to raise the matter of financial assistance".  He was given a free hand in the matter of the approach to BSAA with a recommendation from the Association that a sum of  200 ( 100 from BSAA and  100 from BSFA) be recommended.

Ultimately it was decided to make an interest free loan to the club of  100. The Association continued to use the ground at Parry Lane frequently and in 1972 the Education Services Committee agreed to pay Bradford Rovers  199 per annum plus  2 for each usage by BSFA.

This very happy arrangement, however, did not survive the re-organisation of Local Government in 1974. It was reported at the meeting of the Committee 0n 8th October1974, that Bradford Rovers had not received any payment from the 'new' Authority. In fact the financial support that it had received in the past  "dried up" and the club found itself less and less able to maintain a ground, which suffered from an increasing amount of vandalism. Pleas to the Authority to resume help for Bradford Rovers on the lines of that previously offered fell on deaf ears. One example of such a plea was a letter I wrote on 3rd July 1975, addressed to everyone who might lend an ear. This letter elicited a reply from the Chief Recreation Officer suggesting that a decision might soon be taken on the future of Park Avenue, but holding little hope of a pitch being allocated exclusively to BSFA.

A year later in May 1976, the BSFA Council again discussed the ground situation and I dispatched another missive to the Chief Recreation Officer and the Director of Educational Services. This produced a meeting with representatives of both Departments; any use of Park Avenue was ruled out but there was mention of 'land' (five and a half acres) near Buttershaw Middle School' that might be available. In September, in a letter asking for information about this land, I had asked the Authority, in addition to look into the possibility of using land at Woodhall Park, which had recently come into the Council's possession. Nothing came of this suggestion (nor of the Buttershaw land) and, in 1977, attention switched back to Parry Lane; on 8th September there was a Meeting between representatives of the Education Department, Bradford Rovers and ourselves to discuss the "future running of the ground"; the first requirement, it was agreed, was the adequate fencing of the ground.

On 15th September 1978 we were informed that the ground had been transferred to the Directorate of Educational Services and that Bradford Rovers would be offered a long lease ..."at a fair rent". At this stage the cost of the whole undertaking was examined  the Buildings Section obtained an estimate for fencing, which worked out at approximately  8,000.

Our Council discussed the matter yet again on 9th May and decided that   "...for this Association to take over the tenancy of the ground, to bring it to any sort of standard and to maintain it at any kind of standard would impose such a heavy and continuous financial burden which could not be justified."  At this stage we revived the possibility of using Woodhall Park and also inquired about the position of the International Harvesters' Ground at Apperley Bridge. Neither of these suggestions bore any fruit, but, quite out of the blue, the Education Department offered the possibility of a pitch at King George V Playing Fields on Canal Road (11th July 1978). After all this time matters now came to a head quite rapidly. Soon after Norman Emmett, our Treasurer, Tony Cryer and I met representatives of the Education Department, the Engineering Department and the Buildings Department, and it emerged that, at some time in the future, the land under discussion might be required for road development. Because of this possibility we would only be offered a five year lease, which the Council felt was too short. It is a little ironic that the pitch for which we first negotiated was not our present, well drained pitch near the changing rooms but the less well drained pitch, nearer to Gaisby Lane, at present used occasionally for rugby. It was whilst Norman, Tony and I were discussing this pitch with Jim Prickett, at that time the Authorities Head Groundsman, that he pointed out the superior quality of the other pitch and advised us to apply for that one. This we did, successfully, and matters moved ahead with remarkable expedition. The new pitch was available for our use at the beginning of the 1979 / 1980 season. A good deal of work was needed to be done on the ground, however, and, at the Council meeting on 11th December 1979 it was agreed that the main priorities were: -

a) fencing of the pitch as far as possible,

b) improving the changing facilities. 

It was further agreed that a Draw should be held to raise the necessary money.

This Draw the "1980 Development Appeal" was duly organised under the supervision of 'Andy' Mettas and produced the sum of  2,132.37. 

Straight away, quotations were obtained for the enclosing of the pitch on the side adjacent to the changing rooms and the end nearest to Arnold Laver's; the other side and the other end could not be permanently enclosed owing to the claims of other users of the grounds. The work was completed by Northern Fencing Ltd., (Wetherby) at a cost of  1,261 in time for the commencement of the 1980 / 1981 season. The dressing room had also been re-decorated. At the AGM the Chairman, Norman Emmett, commented on    " ... the pleasure it gave the Association after it had fought for so long to try and acquire a pitch of their own." Two problems remained; one concerned safety. The ground was bounded on one side by Bradford Beck, the position being described by the Authority's Safety Adviser as follows:
"... the fence surrounding the field is badly damaged and indeed non-existent at certain points. Part of the fence runs the full length of the along the beck, the beck being some 30 feet below the surface of the field and a sheer drop onto brickwork; it is imperative that this fence be repaired as a matter of urgency. On the other side of the beck there is a five foot stone wall which runs the full length of the field, separating pedestrians from the beck; from information received it would appear that pupils and members of the public etc, have thought this wall drops directly onto the sports field and in some instances have thrown sports bags over, prior to climbing over themselves, only to find, that when they got to the top of the wall, their bags floating down the beck (a swift flowing stream after heavy rain) and they themselves faced with a drop of some 35 feet."

Action was taken to remove this and other hazards.

There was a humorous side to this matter; the fence being, as we have seen, incomplete, it was not unknown for balls to be kicked from the playing pitch into the beck and Council members, notably Bill Campbell, were called upon to risk life and limb in the pursuit of the missing ball, on its way down to Shipley, and on to the River Aire. There was also, as we have seen, the somewhat more distant problem of the loss of the ground in the interests of road development. The Secretary reported, in his Annual Report for 1986 / 1987  "... I am assured by our Recreation Department that immediate disruption is not expected and that new fields and accommodation should begin to appear before we might be asked to "move" in about 1992.


The Merger With The Senior Section.


A second major step forward has been the amalgamation with the Senior Section which finally took effect, after a number of advancing and retreating steps in 1976. In the early days of the Association, there had been no special provision of football for boys above the statutory leaving age (14) though boys below that age in attendance at what were "Higher Board" schools up to 1902 played in the Schools' League and Cup Competitions. It must be remembered that, at this time and for some time to come, boys attending "Higher Grade" schools were only eligible to play in the Association's competitions up to the age of 13 years 9 months as against the age of 14 that applied to elementary schoolboys; moreover, the English Schools' Trophy competition was restricted to elementary schoolboys.

At the Committee Meeting on 31st August 1906 there was "an interesting discussion on the future of Higher Schools' football" Mr. H. S. S. King (Hanson) raising the possibility of running a Secondary Schools " League, but the matter was left for the time being. (NB Higher Grade Schools were now known as 'Secondary' Schools")  The different age limits in the two types of schools remained a matter of controversy and was raised again in the 1907 AGM when Mr. Long proposed that the distinction be abolished; the proposition was carried by 7 votes to 4. There was no further development in this area for almost 20 years.

In the 1921 / 1922 season there was an interesting incident; a Wylie Trophy game v. Dearne Valley, for which at the time secondary boys were not eligible, clashed with a previously arranged friendly game v Dewsbury, so the Committee decided to put out a team of secondary boys for the latter game. Belle Vue, Carlton Street, Grange Road, Hanson and St Bede's all provided boys for the team, which was beaten 0-2. Later in the same season (13th January 1922) the Committee was again reminded of the footballing needs of the older boys in secondary schools when Mr. C G Davies (Carlton Street) brought to their notice the desirability of forming a competition, either at local or county level, to cater for these boys. The subject was raised again at the next Meeting (27th January1922) and    "... it was left to Mr Davies to convene a meeting of interested teachers and to report to a future meeting of BSAA."

An important and (one would think) retrograde step was taken at the beginning of the 1923 / 1924 season when it was decided that the five Secondary Schools were to be placed in a separate Section of the League and were not to compete for the League championship. (They continued to play in the Schools' Cup, however.) This arrangement continued right up to the 2nd World War but was discontinued when football was resumed after the war. Meanwhile there had been developments in football for older boys. At the meeting on 25th July 1923, a letter was read from Messrs. Davies and Hudson (Carlton Street) reporting a meeting of Boys' Secondary Schools representatives, held at the Rawson Hotel on 23rd July, which asked BSAA :-

a.     to form a Sub-committee of Secondary School masters to control all forms of purely inter-secondary school sport;

b.     to hold an Inter-Secondary School Sports, separate from the Park Avenue Sports organised by BSAA;

c.     to meet a Committee of Secondary School representatives on Monday 10th September 1923.

The Meeting thus requested was duly held, but no decision was taken until a subsequent Meeting on14th September.

Here it was decided: -

a.     that a Sub-Committee of Secondary masters be formed to deal with all branches of purely Secondary School Sports under the financial control of BSAA;

b.     that permission be given to Secondary Schools to hold Inter-Secondary Sports in the nature of School Championships

It was made clear that "the attitude of BSAA was one of friendliness and sympathy."

The new body organised a Sports Meeting at Park Avenue and a Swimming Gala at Windsor Baths in the summer of 1924, and, at a General Meeting on 20th June, Mr G. Forrester (St Bede's) presented a proposed Constitution, which was generally accepted at a subsequent Meeting on 22nd July.

The Officers of the new Section, as notified at the 1925 AGM were: Chairman; C. Hudson (Carlton Street); Vice Chairman G. Forrester (St Bede's); Treasurer W. Holroyd (Belle Vue) Secretary C. G. Davies (Carlton Street). 

Football was obviously going to be one of the Section's activities and the Committee looked for representative games with other cities. There were matches with Leeds in 1925,1926 and 1928, but the inter-city fixtures with Glasgow commenced in 1926, when the game was staged at Valley Parade (Glasgow won 2-1) and has continued without a break (apart from the war years) ever since.

A League competition was first organised in 1949 and a Cup Competition in 1951.The Athletic Sports, the Swimming Gala, and the Glasgow Match continued as the three main activities of what had now become the 'Bradford Grammar Schools' Athletics Association.' 

The first suggestion of a merger between BSFA and the football section of the BGSAA was made at a Committee Meeting of the former on 31st October 1972. At this time the school leaving age was about to be raised to 16 and I suggested to the Committee that we should be considering the introduction of a Knock Out Competition for the Under 16 age group at the end of the current season preparatory to the formation of a League for this age group in the 1972 / 1973 season. As the formation of such a League would inevitably affect the Grammar Schools, especially their Reserve League, the committee felt that the two issues i.e. Under 16 football and amalgamation should be tackled as a whole and it was resolved "...that the committee write to the BGSAA suggesting the formation of a joint steering committee to discuss the question of amalgamation..."  The current Chairman, Harold Ogden, the Treasurer: Norman Emmett, George Tavender (Life Member) and myself, were elected to represent BSFA in these discussions.

At the Council Meeting on 12th January 1973 it was reported that Derek Shuttleworth, Secretary of BGSAA had stated that his Association did not wish to organise Under 16 football, which might prevent some schools from running senior 2nd XI's; there was "... no objection in principle to BGSAA becoming a Sub-Committee of BSFA provided that it could continue the long-standing activities such as the Glasgow match."  A meeting of the two Associations would be held at an early date. The meeting, was, in fact, held and it was reported on 8th March that a rules Sub-Committee had been set up.

At the1973 AGM the Association's rules were extensively revised to accommodate 'Senior' activities. An important change increased the size of the Council from15 to 18 and added the proviso that three of the Council should be from the "Senior Section". The three thus elected were Derek Shuttleworth, Tony Croft, and another yet to be nominated.   In the 1973 / 1974 season nine schools, St. Edmund Campion, St. Bede's, St. George's, Rhodesway, Nab Wood, Fairfax, Wyke Manor, Cottingley Manor and Eccleshill entered teams in the Under 16 League and two of them St. Bede's and Eccleshill entered Senior Reserve teams as well. Belle Vue, Carlton, Buttershaw, Eccleshill, St. Bede's, Grange,Tong and Hanson continued to play in the Senior League, though Carlton, Tong, Hanson, Belle Vue and Buttershaw also entered the Schools' Cup, now an Under 16 competition. 

An Under 18 side was entered in the Christmas 'friendly' programme at Manchester and, to all appearances the amalgamation had 'got off the ground'. It thus came as an unpleasant shock when it was reported at the Council Meeting 0n 7th November 1974 that the BGSAA had voted at its last meeting to withdraw from BSFA. The reasons for this decision were not clear, but it did appear that the original decision in favour of amalgamation was based on the belief that the Senior Association could only receive grant from the newly formed Bradford Schools' Sports Federation, via BSFA. As this was, in fact, not the case, some members of BGSAA obviously felt that there was no great advantage in being amalgamated to BSFA. 

At the end of a long and, at times, rather heated discussion it was resolved to set up another Working Party, comprising Chairman, Vice Chairman, General Secretary, Treasurer and the three Senior representatives to consider changes in the constitution and to make recommendations to the full Council. This Working Party reported to Council on 18th February 1975; its recommendations were approved and the views of BGSAA were awaited. These were forthcoming at the Council Meeting on 13th May 1975 when Derek Shuttlewoth reiterated the intention of BGSAA to withdraw from BSFA and to offer Senior school football to all appropriate schools, irrespective of their entry to the Athletics and Swimming sections. The Chairman Mick Walsh " ... asked the Senior schools' representatives on Council to convey to their Association his regret at their action and, in particular, to express regret and concern that no opportunity had been given to the Chairman or other officers of BSFA to attend the Senior Section Meetings when the subject had been discussed."

At the ensuing AGM (1975) I came prepared to propose the necessary rule changes consequent on the withdrawal of the Senior Section. However, this proved to be unnecessary for, following an impassioned plea by John McKay to avoid the 'split', the senior representatives requested an adjournment so that they might consider their position. On their return the rule-changes mentioned were all defeated.

There was an aftermath; at the next Council Meeting (27th June 1975)  it was suggested that the Senior Section should call a Special Meeting to rescind the resolution withdrawing from the BSFA. This was done and, broadly speaking' the arrangement reached then has worked satisfactorily.

In the current season 1987 / 1988 there are only five teams (and no reserve teams) in the Senior League, Bingley Grammar School, Holy Family (Keighley), Queensbury, Rhodesway and Yorkshire Martyrs   not one of the original five - and 11 in the 'Jim Averis' Cup viz: Queensbury, Thornton, Belle Vue, Rhodesway, Bingley G.S., St. Bede's, Nab Wood, Holy Family, Salt G. S., Beckfoot and Yorkshire Martyrs.  At Under 16 level there are 12 teams in the League while 15 take part in the Schools' Cup.




RESULTS (1925 / 1926 TO 1991 / 1992)

1925/26 Valley Parade, Bradford 1-2 Lost 1926/27 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-1 Lost
1927/28 Valley Parade, Bradford 1-1 Draw 1928/29 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-3 Lost
1929/30 Valley Parade, Bradford 0-4 Lost 1930/31 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-3 Lost
1931/32 Valley Parade, Bradford 4-8 Lost 1932/33 Ibrox, Glasgow 1-3 Lost
1933/34 Valley Parade, Bradford 2-1 Won. 1934/35 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-0 Lost
1935/36 Valley Parade, Bradford 2-5 Lost 1936/37 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-4 Lost
1937/38 Valley Parade, Bradford 0-6 Lost 1938/39 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-4 Lost
1939/45 No competitions

1945/46 Park Avenue, Bradford 1-7 Lost
1946/47 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-4 Lost 1947/48 Park Avenue, Bradford 2-4 Lost
1948/49 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-1 Lost 1949/50 Park Avenue, Bradford 1-4 Lost
1950/51 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2-3 Lost 1951/52 Park Avenue, Bradford 3-0 Win
1952/53 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-3 Lost 1953/54 Park Avenue, Bradford 1-4 Lost
1954/55 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-3 Lost 1955/56 Park Avenue, Bradford 0-3 Lost
1956/57 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-4 Lost 1957/58 Park Avenue, Bradford 1-1 Draw
1958/59 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-4 Lost 1959/60 Valley Parade, Bradford 1-2 Lost
1960/61 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-0 Win 1961/62 Park Avenue, Bradford 3-3 Draw
1962/63 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-1 Lost 1963/64 Park Avenue, Bradford 3-3 Draw
1964/65 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2-2 Draw 1965/66 Valley Parade, Bradford 1-0 Win
1966/67 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-4 Lost 1967/68 Valley Parade, Bradford 6-2 Win
1968/69 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-2 Lost 1969/70 Valley Parade, Bradford 1-5 Lost
1970/71 Hampden Park, Glasgow 4-2 Win 1971/72 Park Avenue, Bradford 3-0 Win
1972/73 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-2 Lost 1973/74 Valley Parade, Bradford 1-2 Lost
1974/75 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-1 Draw 1975/76 Valley Parade, Bradford 0-1 Lost
1976/77 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-2 Lost 1977/78 Valley Parade, Bradford 3-3 Draw
1978/79 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-1 Lost 1979/80 Valley Parade, Bradford 1-3 Lost
1980/81 Hampden Park, Glasgow
(Jubilee Game)
1-5 Lost 1981/82 Valley Parade, Bradford 0-2 Lost
1982/83 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-2 Lost 1983/84 Valley Parade, Bradford 3-3 Draw
1984/85 Hampden Park, Glasgow 2-1 Win 1985/86 Valley Parade, Bradford 0-1 Lost
1986/87 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-1 Lost 1987/88 Valley Parade, Bradford 2-0 Win
1988/89 Hampden Park, Glasgow 1-0 Win 1989/90 Valley Parade, Bradford 1-0 Win
1990/91 Hampden Park, Glasgow 0-2 Lost 1991/92 Valley Parade, Bradford 0-1 Lost

T&A report

Glasgow v Bradford
Photo courtesy of Steve McKay

Bradford v Glasgow
        1964 at Park Avenue
Photo courtesy of Steve McKay

Glasgow v Bradford
        Boys 1965
Photo courtesy of Steve McKay

Bradford v Glasgow
Photo courtesy of Steven Redhead (2012)

Bradford v Glasgow
Photo courtesy of Steven Redhead (2012)

Bradford v Glasgow
Photo courtesy of Steven Redhead (2012)

Programme 1967 Bradford v Glasgow

Photo courtesy of Steven Redhead (2012)

Bradford v Glasgow
Photo courtesy of Steven Redhead (2012)

Bradford v Glasgow
Photo courtesy of Steven Redhead (2012)

Bradford v Glasgow
        Programme 1968
Photo courtesy of Steven Redhead (2012)

Bradford v Glasgow
        Programme 2 1968
Photo courtesy of Steven Redhead (2012)

Bradford Boys v. Glasgow Boys

Glasgow v Bradford

Bradford v Glasgow

Glasgow v Bradford

Glasgow v Bradford 1975

Bradford Boys 1975
Bradford Senior Boys 1975 (Photos provided by Paul Gartland)
BACK - Wilkinson (Wyke Manor) , Carroll (Belle Vue) , Dorival (St. Bede's) , Turpin (Carlton), Blackburn (Hanson) , Allender (Carlton), Walwyn (Wyke Manor) ,  ?, Ferguson (Hanson), Mr?
FRONT - Greenwood (St Blaise), Seed (Belle Vue) , Jackson (Wyke Manor) , Elsworth (Eccleshill) , Gartland (Hanson) , Gregoire (St. Bede's), Bower (Hanson)


Photo courtesy of Mick Couzens

1986 Bradford v
        Glasgow Squad
The 1986 Bradford Senior Boys Squad v Glasgow Boys played at Valley Parade on 15th March.

(Photo archive courtesy of M Clapham)

T&A Cutting

Andy Clapham at a burned out Valley Parade

Andy Clapham poses for a picture before
the 1986 Glasgow match at Valley Parade.

The 'cleared' ruins of the stand which was destroyed in the "Bradford Fire" 12 months previously can be seen on the left.  

The smell of the fire still hung around the ground.

Bradford v Glasgow 1986(Right) The team wait for the end of the Avco
Trophy match in front of the ruins of the
old Valley Parade Stand .

Glasgow v Bradford 1986

Glasgow v
            Bradford Boys 1989
Photo  courtesy of Lee Windle


Amalgamation With Keighley:


A third important development and a very recent one, taking effect only in 1986, has been the partial amalgamation with Keighley and District SFA, an amalgamation which has produced for the Association its present (but hopefully short lived) unwieldy title. This amalgamation has been a long drawn out process not without its moments of bitterness and recrimination. As we have seen, the first occasion on which the two Associations met was in the Charity match during the 2nd World War. After the War, matches became quite a common occurrence in both the 'English' and the 'Wylie' Trophy competitions, Bradford registering 15 successes before, in the 1972 / 1973 season, Keighley recorded its first Victory.

The boundaries of the Keighley Association tended to be somewhat 'elastic"; in the 1948 / 1949 season and for some years afterwards they included "Keighley and Craven"; from 1956 / 57 to 1958 / 1959 there was a "Craven" but no Keighley; then in 1959 / 1960 Keighley re-appeared and Craven disappeared; in 1960 / 1961 neither competed; then in 1961 / 1962 Keighley re-appeared as 'Keighley and District', a name which they retained thereafter; their teams regularly included boys from South Craven School, when that school opened at Cross Hills, close to the boundary of the Borough of Keighley; there were from time to time boys from Skipton and, on at least one occasion, a boy from as far off as Settle . If these schools were strictly outside Keighley's 'catchment area' that Association was giving the boys an opportunity to play representative football which they would not otherwise have had.

It was the "incursion" of Keighley into the Bingley and Shipley areas that produced bad feeling between the two Associations. Shipley schools had played in Bradford's competitions as far back as 1921, when Shipley Central School had played in Division 1; in 1968 / 69, when I joined the Committee, Beckfoot, Baildon, Cottingley Manor, Northcliffe, Saltaire and Woodend played in the Under 15 League, Beckfoot also entering Under 14 and Under 13 teams and Baildon, Cottingley Manor, Saltaire and Woodend - Under 13 teams. Salt Grammar School, normally a strong footballing school, had never affiliated to Bradford and was in the habit of providing a regular nucleus to the Keighley side. An appreciable number of these boys had played for Bradford while in attendance at Shipley Middle Schools; one such was Stephen Taylor (Wycliffe Middle School), who played such an outstanding part in the 1978 West Yorkshire Under 13 Cup Final. It is hardly surprising that the subsequent 'loss' of such boys to Keighley, after playing with Bradford for three years, was a cause of some bitterness within the Bradford Association.

In 1971, Beckfoot School, Bingley, which had affiliated to Bradford since 1956, decided to switch to Keighley, a decision received in Bradford with regret but with little apparent ill-feeling. This was not the case, however, in 1975 when Nab Wood Grammar School, a 'new' school which had only been affiliated to Bradford since 1972, took the same action. There was no alternative but to accept the decision, such decisions being the prerogative of the Head Master, but we in Bradford were somewhat annoyed that there was no willingness on the part of ESFA to try to "sort out" what was becoming an incongruous situation.

In season 1976 / 1977 six Middle Schools from the Shipley area   Cottingley Manor, Nab Wood, Ladderbanks, Wrose Brow, Wycliffe and Belmont entered teams in Bradford's Under 13 Leagues and boys from these schools were eligible to play in Bradford's representative team. At the age of 13+ many of these boys moved on to Salts and Nab Wood Grammar Schools and were eligible to play for Keighley. At Senior level where Keighley had no organised football, both these schools as well as Greenhead GS (Keighley) and Beckfoot affiliated to Bradford.
Thus it was possible for a boy to play for Bradford up to the age of 13, for Keighley at Under 14 and under 15 level and for Bradford again from Under 16 onwards. This was clearly an undesirable and almost certainly an unconstitutional situation, which no one seemed able or willing to clear up.

There had been a steady trend, regretted by many, within Yorkshire and indeed nationally towards the reduction in the number of Schools' F.A.s, the principal, but not the only factor, being the steady decline in the number of teachers willing to undertake the work. For example, in 1955 /1956 33 teams took part in the 'Wylie' (Yorkshire) Trophy competition; by 1979 these had been reduced to 17 teams There is no question but that the Keighley Association, as far as its Under 15 side was concerned, was a thoroughly good one, producing some good individual players and teams that normally gave a good account of themselves against the larger Associations, including Bradford. On one occasion they reached the Final of the Yorkshire Trophy and on at least two occasions they reached the 6thRound of the English Trophy. Moreover, Keighley's leading officials Charlie Mallinson and Jeff Duffin were widely respected for their work with the Association as well as being well-liked personally. As Jeff wrote on one occasion in a letter to Tony Cryer (then Bradford's Secretary)    "... Since Charley and I  'resurrected' Keighley Boys and in effect WERE the Association for some twenty years we can surely be excused having deep loyalties."

But successors to these stalwarts were not forthcoming and the continued existence of the Association, in the long term was a matter of some doubt. In fact with Charlie's death in 1987 and Jeff's retirement in1988 the expected "collapse" occurred. At its AGM in 1976 the BSFA changed its name to the 'Bradford Metropolitan District SFA' thus making it explicit that it was prepared to accept ALL schools within the new Metropolitan District (which included Shipley,  Bingley and Keighley). In1977 / 1978 season Holy Family School, Keighley, entered Bradford's 'Braithwaite' Trophy Competition (Under 12); the following season it entered for the Aurora Trophy (Under 13) as well, together with the City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy Competition and the Senior League, and in 1979 / 1980 it entered Senior, Under 15, under 14, Under 13 and Under 12 Leagues as well as the associated cup competitions. This action on the part of Holy Family was undoubtedly illegal, as had been, of course, the affiliation of Keighley / Shipley teams to Bradford; in this case, however, the Keighley SFA pressed Holy Family to "declare" either for Bradford or for Keighley, which they did, in favour of the former.

From time to time, at this period, there were suggestions that schools in Keighley were inclined towards the idea of a merger with Bradford but it was not until the very end of 1985 that these suggestions became something more tangible. At the Council Meeting on 10th December the General Secretary reported that "... in a letter to BSSF the Keighley SFA had reported that they would not be running in the ensuing season, teams at Under 14 and above. Their upper schools would affiliate to Bradford."  Discussion between the officers of the two Associations would be arranged to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Under 14 trials were arranged and eleven boys from each Association were selected, from which a final squad was selected; this comprised 18 boys, nine of which came from Keighley. This squad took part in the Easter tour to the West Midlands and in other friendly games, while current Under 15 boys from Keighley were selected for the 'friendly ' game v. Nottingham. At the 1987 AGM the title of the Association was again changed to recognise the amalgamation with Keighley at secondary level. Keighley continues to operate a Primary Association. The Under 15 squad which reached the 6th Round of the ESFA 'Gillette' Trophy in 1987 / 88 included boys from Beckfoot, Salt Grammar School, Bingley Grammar School and Oakbank, seven in all from what had been the Keighley area, which would suggest that over the years the Association's Under 15 and Under 14 sides will gain a noticeable accession of strength from the amalgamation with Keighley.




Another feature of the past twenty years has been the organisation of tours to various parts of the United Kingdom and indeed further afield. Prior to 1973 the most ambitious undertaking of this sort had been single games, involving overnight stays, to such cities as Glasgow and Stoke.
As long ago as 1933 there had been an attempt to organise a tour to France, but on 17th March 1934, the Yorkshire Sports reported that, after protracted negotiations, the proposed French tour had fallen through, the French Club (the Racing Club de France) stating that, on account of holidays, "they will not be able to raise a team."

There was also an attempt to arrange a tour of Denmark, but this also came to nothing.


The Under 14 Easter Tours


The Association's first successful tour in 1973 was very much the brainchild of Tony Cryer who was at that time Team Manager of the Under 14 squad, which undertook the tour. There were 18 boys and five staff, Tony Cryer, Peter Wilkinson, Don Curtin, Dave Vickery and myself in the party. 

The accommodation was at the new Forum House, Billingham, and the following matches were played: v Stockton 1 - 1, v Hartlepool 1 - 0, v Sunderland 3 - 1, and v Chester-le-Street 4 - 1. The Under 14 side has continued to undertake an Easter Tour each year since 1973, the Council regarding this as a most valuable preparation for the following season's Trophy programme. The 1974 tour was a based on the newly opened Water Sports Centre at Holmepierpoint, Nottingham, but suffered from the long distances we had to travel for some of the matches. The following programme was played: v Leicester 0 - 0, v Coventry 0 - 4, v Stoke 1 - 1, v Nottingham 1 - 3. In 1975, when Tony Cryer was again Team Manager, we returned to the North-East, being accommodated, though less satisfactorily, at the Billingham Forum again. The matches played were: v Newcastle 4 - 1, v South Shields 2 - 3, v Sunderland 0 - 2, v Jarrow 0 - 2.

We went to the North-East again in 1976 (Team Manager Ken Wilcock), being accommodated this time at Neville's Cross College, Durham. The results were: v Jarrow 1 - 3, v Sunderland 0 - 3, v Hartlepool 2 - 0, v Newcastle 3 - 5. As this had been a very successful team the results were disappointing and resulted in certain changes in the team, which, in the subsequent season, was to become the first Bradford side to win the Yorkshire Trophy outright. 

The same arrangements were made in 1977, when Steve Richardson was Team Manager. Results: v Chester-le-Street 2 - 0, v Middlesborough 2 - 2, v East Northumberland 1 - 6.

The tours for the next three years were based at Dudley College of Education in the West Midlands. In 1978, when Tony Cryer was again team Manager, the results were: v Wolverhampton 3 - 0, v King's Norton 3 - 2, v Brierley Hill & Dudley 3 - 0, v Stoke 0 - 2.

The following year Geoff Schofield's team registered just one draw as against three defeats, the side having been deprived of most of its preliminary matches by the bad weather during and after Christmas.

The record of he 1980 team, under Dave Whitfield, was identical viz: v Wolverhampton 1 - 1, v Walsall 1 - 2, v Brierley Hill &Dudley 0 - 2, v Stoke 0 - 2. In 1981 we returned to the North-East, staying at Durham Agricultural College, just outside the City, at Houghall. The team (Manager: Geoff Schofield) had the following results: v Middlesborough 3 - 3, v Newcastle 1 - 1, v Gateshead 0 - 1, v South Tyneside 0 - 2.

Durham was again the venue of the 1982 tour, but on this occasion there was an inovation in that, as well as the Under 14 squad under Tony Cryer, the Under 12 squad under Steve Ward, was also taken. The results were as follows: Under 14s  v Newcastle
2  - 0, v East Northumberland 5 - 0, v Durham 2 - 3, v South Tyneside3 - 2; Under 12s v Newcastle 4 - 1, v East Northumberland
7 - 0, v Wallsend 3 - 2, v South Tyneside U13s  2 - 3.

New ground was broken in 1983 with a tour based on St Mary's College Twickenham. This time the Under 14s (under Geoff Schofield and Steve Dewhirst) were joined by Steve Richardson's Under 13 squad. The results were: Under 14s v East London
4 - 1, v Slough 1 - 5, v Reading 1 - 0, v South London 0 - 5; under 13s v East London 4 - 1, v Slough 5 - 2, v Reading 2 - 0, v South London 0 - 2.

In 1984 the Under 14 team took part in the ESFA Festival at Oakham; this involved a considerable financial commitment, which was largely surmounted through the efforts of parents. The team, managed by Tim Stripe and Dennis Atkins did well, winning three games and drawing one, but there were reservations about participating in a similar venture again.

In the absence of the Under 14s the Under 13s (Malcolm Collins and Ian Fox) and the Under 12s (Mick Curtin and Dave Manning) took over the North-Eastern tour with the following results: Under 13s v Chester-le-Street 1 - 0, v Newcastle 2 - 2, v East Northumberland 2 - 2, v Middlesborough 0 - 1; Under 12s v Chester-le-Street 1 - 0, v Newcastle 1 - 3, v East Northumberland 1 - 1, v Middlesborough 0 - 2.

There was a fresh venue for the 1985 Under 14 tour   the Inverclyde Scottish National Training Centre, at Largs. Matches were played v Lancaster (en route) 3 - 1, v East Kilbride 3 - 2, and Glasgow 2 - 5.

For 1986 the tour returned to Dudley, with the Under 14s (Manager Bill Brophy) being accompanied by the Under 13s (Ian Fox and Malcolm Collins). Results: Under 14s v. Brierley Hill v. Dudley 4 - 2, v Wolverhampton 0 - 6, v Coventry 0 - 5; Under 13s v Brierley Hill v. Dudley 7 - 2, v Wolverhampton 3 - 1, v Coventry 3 - 3.

1987 saw us back on familiar territory with the Under 14s and Under 13s in the North-East. The Under 14s won all three of their games (v Chester-le Street 3 - 0, v Gateshead 6 - 1, v East Northumberland 3 - 2); the Under 13s who, for various reasons were not fully represented won one game and lost three.

IOW Festival
              BrochureIn 1988 the Under 14s took part in the Isle of Wight Festival of Football. Our opponents were Gosport & Fareham with whom we drew 1 - 1, Oxford who beat us 4 - 2, Southampton with whom we also drew and the Isle of Wight, who, in the final match beat us 3 - 1.

In addition to these matches there were coaching session for all the participating teams.

    The Under 13s revisited Inverclyde Sports Centre at Largs and in the middle of wintry conditions and large amounts of snow managed to play two matches against local 'town' sides Ayr and Kilmarnock districts.


The North Tyneside Junior Festival


More recently the number of tours organised by the Association has increased.

In 1985 we were invited to send our Under 11 side to Whitley Bay to take part in the Festival organised by the North Tyneside Association. This proved to be a notably enjoyable occasion. The results obtained were, as a matter of record, as follows: v South Northumberland 2 - 1, v East Northumberland 1 - 0,  v Salford 1 - 2, v Oldham 2 - 3. 

In the following season two Bradford sides took part in the Festival, both being undefeated. The results were as follows: A team v Sutton in Ashfield 5 - 0, v North Tyneside 3 - 0, v Newcastle 4 - 3; B team: v Rother Valley B 3 - 0, v Gainsborough 6 - 1. 

Two teams again took part in 1987, the B team winning all its three games, and the A team winning one and losing two.


Nantes, France


In 1985, a few days after the Valley Parade Fire the Association undertook its first foreign tour in response to an invitation from L'Association Sportive du Loquidy to take part in an International Tournament at Nantes on 25/26th May. The party travelled by coach to London (collecting many special offer wrappers from Mars bars to get a cheap discount deal) and then by train via Paris to Nantes  a journey of 24 hours.

The age group involved was the Under 12s and the party comprised the following boys: Lee Barrett (Swain House), Simon Inch (Gregory), Lewis Dyson (Parkland) Jonathan Taylor (Hutton) Carl Morgan (St George), Stephen Payne (Addingham), Ian Gardiner (Addingham), Jonathan White (Gilstead), Adam Mouncey (Bradford GS), Paul Fox (St Blaise), Richard Walker (Ladderbanks), Jonathan Power (St George), Craig Martin (Thornbury), Alex Nesovic (Priestman), and Steven Vincent (Wycliffe)

Apart from Bradford there were three other "clubs etrangers", NRC Ommord, Rotterdam and VSV Vreeswijk from Holland, and Pamplona from Spain. In addition there were 12 French teams viz: RC Nantes, Metallo-Sports, Etoile du Cens, AS Casson, SBOS Nantes, USJA Carcquefou, US Symphorienne, CCS Felix, Entente St Michel-Ste Mariem, USS Buggalliere and St Pierre Avessac.

The local 'press' reported "Under a burning sun and in the presence of a numerous and cosmopolitan crowd there took place this weekend the first International Schoolboys' Ttournament at Loquidy in the magnificent setting of the sports complex of the same name. Assisted grandly by the Town Council of Nantes (who offered a souvenir medal to all the young squads) and by businesses, the local organiser had plenty of cups with which to greet, in the best manner, 12 local teams and above all, the four foreign clubs who had undertaken the journey, the English from Bradford (the name associated with the club where the catastrophe happened in the decrepit ground about a week ago, echoing like a painful reminder in everyone's memory) the Dutch of Ommond, Rotterdam and of Vreeswijk, and finally that Spanish of Pamplona."

On the first day, the Saturday, we were required to play two matches; in the morning we played AS Loquidy and got off to a good start, wining by 6 goals to 1 (scorers: Nesovic 3, Mounsey, Morgan, Dyson); in the afternoon the boys had another good win against one of the Dutch teams VSV Vreeswijk, beating them 5 - 1 (Scorers: Power, Nesovic, Morgan, White and Martin).

Sunday began with a hard game against Etoile du Cens, Nantes, which ended in a 1 - 1 draw and had to be decided on penalties, 5 - 3. Our scorers were Nesovic, Martin, White, Walker and an own goal. These results put Bradford in the Final in which we played USJA Carquefou. Of this game the local reporter wrote: 

"As for the Final, undecided to the very last, it gave rise to a marvellous contrast in styles between the English (an impressive size for their ages, believe you me) playing a very direct game interspersed with mustering round the ball (obviously a British tradition) and the pocket sized players of Carquefou, more lively and technical - in short playing the French way.

    The doggedness of the Bradford team was to pay off in the second half in the form of two superb goals (one which was volleyed under the bar from 20 yards). The locals replied with a no less spectacular goal scored from a free kick from their number 10. Nevertheless Bradford (whose players were all wearing black arm-bands as a sign of mourning) deserved the victory and received the marvellous Loquidy Trophy in the presence of Mr Remy, Sports Secretary, and in doing so the best possible tribute to the victims of the Bradford fire disaster." 

The article in the Presse-Ocean' of 29th May bore the headline " Bradford, un success dedi aux victims."

The 30 hour return journey included a six hour "walk around Paris". 

This was indeed a notable tournament success and it was repeated in the following year, when Sheffield joined Bradford in representing England. This time the teams shared a coach for the 24-hour journey. The teams from Holland and Spain also attended again, as well as eleven French teams. We have much less information about this year's competition; we have merely the Bradford team, but not the schools from which the boys came.

The Under 12s paid their third visit to Nantes in 1987. This year Bradford were joined as English representatives by Liverpool as well as Sheffield. In all there were 20 teams from seven nations. As the team manager, Adrian Exley, pointed out in his section of the Annual Report for 1986/1987  "...the pressure was on the boys from the start, as Bradford had won the tournament for the previous two years." Unfortunately with the introduction of goal difference to determine places for the first time this year, we went out in the first stage to Brest Armorique, the eventual runners up. The Team did Bradford proud by winning its two remaining games to finish 5th in the Tournament, remaining the only unbeaten side in the competition apart from the winners, Red Star 93 of Paris."

Bradford Boys u11 at
              Whitley Bay

We were in Nantes again in 1988, producing the Following results: 

Day One 

v. La Mallinet 6 - 0 (Brown 2, Farrell 2, Pemberton 2); v. SV Reiskirchen 5 - 0 (Pemberton 2, Walker, Farrell, Crump);, v El Biar (Algeria) 1 - 0 (Farrell);   v. Nantes 4-0 (Farrell 2, Crump, Pemberton);   v. Vigneux 2 - 0 (Brown, Pemberton). 

Day Two

v .FC Montagu 5 - 0 (Pemberton2, Crump, Walker, Singh); v Red Star 93 Paris (Play off) 1 - 1 (Serrant);v.VSV Vreeswijk Holland (Play offs) 2 - 2;

u12 Bradford Boys Nantes
              Tour 1988 T&A Report

Bradford finished third to Red Star and VSV Vreeswijk, winning the "Award for the Best Goal Keeper" and David Blair, our captain, was voted "Best Player of the Tournament."

The Under 12 team (at one time regarded as our 'Cinderella' Squad because of the difficulty we had in finding anyone to play against) also benefitted by being selected to support  the seniors in their annual matches with Glasgow. 

The first time this happened was in the 1981 / 1982 season, when Glasgow's Under 12 side played Leeds and ourselves, our match resulting in a 3 - 0 win.

The following year our Under 12s visited Glasgow for the first time playing matches against East Kilbride (1 - 2) and Glasgow
(3 - 3). 

The 1984 game in Bradford resulted in a 1 - 2 defeat and the visit to Glasgow the following year produced two defeats against East Kilbride (0 - 2) and Glasgow, (1 - 3).  

In 1986 Glasgow played matches with ourselves and Sheffield, our game resulting in a 2 - 2 draw.

In 1987 we again lost to Glasgow, but in beating East Kilbride 1 - 0 at St Mirren FC we recorded our first win on a Glasgow Tour.


The English Trophy.


**Edit** While the Association's programme has expanded in all directions, the matches in the English and Yorkshire Trophies have remained the permanent centre-piece of its activates. In the first two seasons following George Tavender's departure Bradford failed to survive the first contest of the English trophy competition.

In 1969/1970 a side which was ultimately good enough to reach the semi-final of the Yorkshire Trophy was dismissed in the 2nd Round at Harrogate, while in the following season a team which won all its sectional Yorkshire Trophy games went out similarly to Hull.

We enjoyed a reasonable 'run' in the 1971/1972 season. A 5-1 win at Keighley was followed by a narrow and unconvincing win against Huddersfield at Bradford Rovers; there was another narrow win at Rotherham in the 3rd Round (my first game as Secretary) followed by an exciting match at Newcastle. The game was played in almost continual rain at St James's Park on a pitch that had been badly cut up by a League game in the afternoon (we played on a Saturday evening). Staying power rather than skilful football was called for and we had rather more of that commodity, winning by 3 goals to 1. The abiding memory of this match, however, was less the football than the magnificent hospitality we received "something not easily forgotten by the boys and officials that were there. The 6th Round took us to Erdington and Saltley, where after being asked to prove our credentials by the pickets at Saltley Power Station, we were beaten 5-1.

The 1972/1973 programme comprised only three matches, for, after beating York and Keighley, Middlesborough  "saw us off" by 3 goals to 1 at Parry Lane.

The 1973/1974 side was one of our better ones, capable of playing some exciting football when in the right frame of mind. They were called upon to play four successive away games, beating Huddersfield 2-0, North Yorkshire at Bedale 3-1, Barnsley (in the snow) by a single goal and South Shields 3-1, before drawing Liverpool at Home in the 6th Round. The game was played on the excellent playing surface of the International Harvesters Club at Apperley Bridge on 9th February 1974. The match, as we all hoped it would, turned out to be a real  'cracker'; our boys went at Liverpool from the start and might well have taken a two or three goal lead in very quick time. As I wrote in my circular at the time "it was certainly the best performance I personally have seen from Bradford side" and it was a pity that the high standard of play was not translated into a convincing win, but a combination of hesitancy in front of goal, the interposition of strategically placed bodies at vital moments and some very fine work by the Liverpool Keeper prevented us from scoring more than one goal. Incidentally, that goal scored by Phil Turpin, was the first conceded by Liverpool in 10 Trophy games that season and came after only 42 seconds' play. The equaliser came seven minutes from the end. In the replay at Penny Lane, a fortnight later, we never really got going and Liverpool took the game 2 goals to 1.

In 1974/1975 we did rather less well, being dismissed 4-1 by Sheffield in the 5th Round. In this season we had to face a severe test at the very outset, being called upon to play Barnsley at Royston in the2nd Round. We began somewhat tentatively, but improved as the game went on and were well in command at the finish. The 3rd Round game was against our near neighbours Keighley at Marley Stadium, and this hurdle was surmounted with reasonable comfort by 2 goals to nil. We were at home at last in the 4th Round, entertaining Gateshead at International harvesters'; a rather hectic game with attacks superior to defences resulting in a 3-3 draw; the replay at Gateshead, if less exciting, produced a very satisfactory result 2-1.

1975/1976 was a quiet year; we reached the 3rd Round thanks to two 'byes', but when finally called upon to play, we lost narrowly 3-4 to Sheffield at International Harvesters'.

In 1976/1977 we reached the 6th round and the general feeling was, especially as we won the Yorkshire Trophy that season, that we might well have gone at least one round further. The 2nd and 3rd Round games were both played at Bradford University's ground, Hambleton & Richmondshire being beaten 3-0 and Rotherham 2-0. The 'clean sheets' established in these two matches set the tone for the season, only 5goals being conceded in 12 Trophy games. Unfortunately, there was to be an increasing difficulty in converting chances into goals. The writing was on the wall when Stockton came to Valley Parade on 20th November; a great deal of pressure only produced a single goal. When we visited Nottingham in the 5th Round, not even a single goal was forthcoming and a 0-1 defeat was a grave disappointment to us all.

The following season (1977/1978) found us 'scraping' through 2-1 against Claro/Craven before succumbing 1-3 at Doncaster in the 3rd Round.

In 1978/1979 we had the longest run in the 'English' since the Trophy winning year of 1915/1916, reaching the semi final stage. The boys in the squad played some fine football this season and brought great credit to the Association and the City. The trail began an a pleasant Autumn evening at the Shay, Halifax, where we met Calderdale (to give it its new name) in the 2nd Round; they held us quite well in the first half but in the end we had a comfortable 3-0 win. The next two rounds were played at home and produced decisive wins; in the 3rd Round we played Hambleton and Richmondshire at Bradford University, winning 5-1, and in the 4th we entertained Gateshead at International Harvesters', registering a 5-2 win. A much tighter game followed in the 5th Round when we played east Durham on the Horden Colliery Welfare ground. In this game we were called upon to score a goal against a goalkeeper, Colin Oakley of international class and a difficult task it was to prove. Oakley not only dealt capably with all the shots that came his way but had time to organise his defence most competently. A single goal (and a somewhat fortunate one at that) settled the issue and it took us into the 6th Round.

It was however many weeks before that 6th Round game was played. Our side of the Pennines was snow bound, but we were able to find opposition on the west coast by playing two friendly games against Blackpool teams. The Match against Barnsley was finally played at International harvesters' on 3rd March, and a real thriller it turned out to be. At one stage we were two goals down and you don't expect to pull back two goal deficits against Barnsley! But, we did just that and in extra time we added a third; then it was a matter of hanging on, which we managed to do, although Barnsley got the ball in the net just a moment or two after the final whistle had gone.

We had been aware for some time, of course, that if we reached the Quarterfinals, we should probably play Leeds. We had every reason to respect the current Leeds side, which had beaten us at all previous age levels, and the fact that the game was to be played at Oldfield Lane, aground not loved overmuch by visiting sides, did not make our task any easier. As Mike Healey, the Leeds Secretary, quite rightly said in an interview, "If the Leeds boys play as well as they have done all season, it will take an exceptional team to stop them."

In the event, Leeds failed to do themselves justice and Bradford, though not perhaps an exceptional side did play exceptionally well on the day. All the thrills were there, including a missed penalty at a time when Bradford were hanging on to a 1-0 lead; this goal scored by Tom Canoville (St Bede's) after 23 minutes was all that separated the sides until five minutes from the end when the same player crashed in a second from some good 25 yards.

The semi-final was in some respects an anti-climax. A goodly group of Council members and parents (they hired a coach) made the journey to Bristol on 2nd May; Council members and boys made an over-night stop at Gloucester and the match was played at Ashton gate, the home of Bristol City FC, at the time, though briefly, a 1st Division Club. Bristol Boys were a very good side and, though our boys gave of their best, they were well beaten by 3-0. Bristol Boys incidentally went on to win the Trophy by beating Croydon 4-0 in the two-legged final.

In 1979/1980 we enjoyed a comfortable 5-1 win against York at Bradford University and the beat Rotherham 2-0 at Valley Parade after drawing 2-2 at Rotherham. Those successes gave us the opportunity to play Sunderland at Roker Park on 1st December. A somewhat dull game, which we lost 1-2, ended our interest in the Trophy for another year. We only survived two rounds in the 1980/1981 season, though the boys did have four matches. We beat Huddersfield 3-0 at King George v Playing fields following a 2-2 draw away from home. Then in the 3rd round Rotherham held us to a 2-2 home draw before beating us 2-1 at Rotherham.

In 1981/1982 a tough draw saw to it that our progress was limited. We coped with the first hurdle by beating Doncaster 2-0 at King George V PF, but the second one was just too high, for we lost to Barnsley by a single goal at Oakwell.

Another unsuccessful visit to Roker Park, where we lost 1-4, ended our Trophy quest in 1982/1983. The two previous rounds had produced large-scale wins against Spen Valley 7-0 and Hambleton and Richmondshire 9-1. In the latter game Andrew Kiwomya (St Bede's) scored SIX times.

1983/1984 was an unsatisfactory season in many ways; the Trophy run was short, comprising a 2-0 win at Keighley and a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Sheffield at Valley Parade. (Sheffield went on to win the Trophy). But what was worse, there were difficulties with one of our affiliated schools, Tong, about the release of boys in the City team. 'The feeling of the Council', to quote the Minutes, 'was that the school was doing little to encourage boys to play for their city.'     In a friendly game against Sheffield the Association was forced to turn out a 10 man team (which lost 6-0) due to 'injuries to boys and the non-appearance of boys for a variety of reasons.'
1984/1985 was another unsuccessful year, Doncaster beating us 2-0 at Thackley following a 3-3 draw at Doncaster.

In the following season there was a decisive win over York in the 2nd round 5-0 followed by two very close games with Barnsley, the first at Valley Parade ending in a 1-1 draw, the second at Barnsley, ending in a defeat by a single goal.

The 1986/1987 season represented the nadir of our fortunes as far as the English Trophy was concerned, the team losing its very first game 0-2 to Hambleton and Richmondshire at Bedale (their first ever win against us). Interestingly, this side did quite well in the Yorkshire Trophy, reaching the semi final stage. In the last season in this period we had a good 'run' in the competition, reaching the 6th Round. This had been rather anticipated as at Under 14 level this squad had won 15 out of their 18 games played. This was, of course, the first year in which we benefited from the accession of players from what had been the Keighley Senior Association.

There was a comfortable win against Claro/Craven in the 2nd Round by 6-0, followed by a 5-2 win over Rotherham, which was more impressive. The 4th Round draw enabled us to show hospitality to new opponents, Allerdale from the North West; we beat them 7-0 but introduced them to Valley Parade before they went home. Rochdale (at home again) were our 5th Round opponents; we had met many times in friendly games, but this was our first encounter in the Trophy; the result was a very creditable 3-1 win. There were 'fresh' opponents in the 6th Round when we entertained Cambridge Boys at Valley Parade; they were enjoying their most successful season for some years and came back strongly to win 2-1 after being a goal down.


The Yorkshire Trophy


The highlight of the period as far as the Yorkshire Trophy was concerned, was the first outright winning of the Trophy in 1976/1977. In addition we shared the Trophy with Barnsley in season 1984/1985. In the first season that I can recall we reached the semi final stage, where we lost 1-2 to Doncaster at Valley Parade. We lost to Sheffield (away) in the group competition, but won our other three games v Huddersfield (away) 7-0, v Halifax (home) 4-2 and v Keighley at Valley Parade 3-1; in the first of these games Longstaff (Rhodesway) scored five times. These results gained us a place in the quarterfinals in which we played Easton and Redcar at Park Avenue winning 3-2.

In the following season we did rather better in the group matches gaining seven points out of eight.   The one point dropped was against Huddersfield at Valley Parade where we drew 2-2. We beat Sheffield for the first time for 30 years at Valley Parade by 3-0 and also gained a decisive 5-0 win at Halifax, but we only beat Keighley with the aid of an own goal. In the quarterfinal we met the ultimate winners, Don and Dearne, at Park Avenue and were beaten 3-2.    In 1971/1972 we lost to Sheffield again, but had comfortable wins against Halifax, Keighley and Airedale and Wharfedale, who took Huddersfield's place in our group. We did not however proceed beyond the quarterfinal losing to Barnsley by the only goal.

Next year we beat Sheffield at Valley Parade by 2 goals to 1, and also beat Halifax and Airedale and Wharfedale, but Keighley caused something of a sensation by beating us 2-0. Once again the quarterfinal marked our downfall, Rotherham beating us at Park Avenue by    3 goals to 2.

In 1973/1974 Barnsley joined our group in place of Sheffield and beat us 4-2 at Parry Lane; fortunately this was in our last group game and we had ensured a quarter final place by wins over Airedale and Wharfedale 12-0, Keighley 3-1 and Halifax 2-1. This year we did get through the quarterfinal but it was a rare struggle. We were drawn against Leeds at Oldfield Lane and managed a 1-1 draw after a rare struggle. In the replay at International Harvester's the game was in the balance to the very end, and we only managed to score our winning goal in extra time. Sheffield were our semi final opponents and a keenly contested game, in which we had more of the play territorially, ended with us losing by the only goal. Sheffield went on to win the trophy.

Our section in 1974/1975 was reduced to 4 teams due to the 'death' of Airedale and Wharfedale Association, and of the three games we won only one, qualifying on goal difference. The one win was against Keighley at Parry Lane 4-1; we lost to Barnsley (away0 2-3 and to Calderdale (the new name of the extended Halifax) 2-3 at Parry Lane. In the quarterfinal we comfortably beat Hambleton and Richmondshire by 4 clear goals, but in the semi final at International Harvester's, in spite of the lion's share of the play, we were beaten by Rotherham by the only goal of the game.

We had only three group games again in 1975/1976; indeed, these were the only games we had as we did not qualify for the quarter final; we beat Spen valley at Tong in our first game 6-3, after being 3-0 down, but lost to Keighley 2-3; in our final game we beat Leeds 2-1 at Croft's SC but needed a wider margin to qualify for a quarter final place.

The 1976/1977 team achieved what we had been aiming for, for more than 50 years --- an outright winning of the Yorkshire Trophy. This was the team whose defeat at Nottingham n the 5th Round of the 'English' had been such a disappointment to us. We didn't do particularly well in the qualifying matches, losing to Leeds 0-2 at Oldfield Lane and managing only a 1-1 draw with Spen Valley. Fortunately there were 5-0 wins in both home games, v Keighley at International Harvester's, when Keith Elliott (Wyke manor) scored 3 times, and Claro/Craven at Bradford University, when David Matthews (Cottingley Manor) did likewise. Our five points gave us runners-up position in the group and a quarterfinal place. This involved us in the long trip to Malton to play East Riding, where we gained a workmanlike 2-0 win. In the semi final we gave one of our best performances;   the match was at Valley Parade on 7th May 1977 and the opposition was provided by Sheffield, whom we beat almost comfortably by 2 goals to nil. David Matthews scoring both. By this time our defence was conceding very little and it was predictable that a two-legged final with Leeds would not see many risks taken. And so it proved. The first 'leg' was played at Oldfield Lane on 18th May (it was a long season) and resulted in a 1-1 draw Regan being the scorer. The second 'leg'  was played at Valley Parade two days later. We were without Trevor Parr, our Captain, injured in the first game, but the whole team buckled down to the job and managed to produce the all-important goal, scored by Darren Turner.

The next four years we failed to qualify for the quarter finals.

In 1977/1978 our group was theoretically strengthened by the addition of Claro/Craven, but it was a most unsatisfactory season; we only narrowly beat Spen Valley 3-2 and were beaten by Keighley 2-3 and, quite humiliatingly by Leeds 0-5 at Valley Parade. The fourth game was not played and we were almost relieved that we were not admitted to the quarterfinals.

In 1978/1979, the season in which we reached the semi final of the 'English'  we again failed to reach the quarter finals in the 'Yorkshire';  we beat Spen Valley 5-0 at Bradford University and drew with Rotherham away, but Doncaster beat us 2-0, again at the University.

1979/1980 was even worse; only Spen Valley were beaten and then only by two goals to one; both Rotherham and Doncaster beat us.

The last of the barren years was 1981/1982 at least to the extent that we reached the semi finals. We beat Huddersfield 3-1 in our one home match and drew both away games v Hull and v Sheffield. We travelled to Middlesborough in the quarterfinal and won 2-0, but the visit to Hull in the semi final was less successful as we lost by the same margin.

We had a fresh set of opponents in the next season, Barnsley, Rotherham, and Wakefield. We beat Wakefield away 4-2 and Barnsley away 2-1 but lost the home game to Rotherham 0-2. These results won us a quarterfinal place, but at that stage we were beaten by Leeds by the only goal of the match in a replay, following a 0-0 draw. In this season the Yorkshire Trophy was sponsored for the first time, becoming officially  'The Yorkshire Building Society Trophy".

Wakefield did not compete in 1983/1984, Spen Valley taking their place; we beat them 3-0 but, losing 1-2 to Barnsley and only managing a 2-2 draw with Rotherham, we did not qualify for the play offs.

We shared the Trophy with Barnsley in 1984/1985. Unfortunately the details of this Season are 'sketchy' as the results were rarely recorded in the Minute Book and submissions to the 'Telegraph and Argus" were sporadic. Our group matches in this Season were with Sheffield, East Riding and Spen Valley; with wins against East Riding 2-0 and Spen Valley 3-1 and a draw with Sheffield 1-1, we entered the play offs. In the quarter finals Rotherham were disposed of with unusual ease 4-0, but Leeds were beaten in the semi final only after a 0-0 draw at King George V Playing Field. The two 'legs' of the Final with Barnsley both resulted in draws; the first leg was played at Barnsley on 13th May and resulted in a 3-3 draw, Kirk (2) and Newton being the scorers. The second leg was played at King George V PF and after a 1-1 draw the Trophy was shared.

The 1985/1986 season was satisfactory but incomplete, Sheffield beat us 4-3 in our group game, but we beat Spen Valley 9-0 and East Riding 3-1. We proceeded to the Final through wins against Hull 2-1 and Leeds 1-0 but any chance of completing the Final was nullified by the success of Middlesborough in the Gillette Trophy and Cleveland in the Northern Counties competition, plus the presence of two Middlesborough boys in the England squad. It finally took place on 24th September at Thackley, Middlesborough winning rather more comfortably, perhaps, than the score of 1-2 suggests, The following season 1986/1987 proved, the Secretary reported 'more successful than we had anticipated" following our early dismissal from the 'Gillette' Trophy. The programme began with the away game with East Riding, a close one which we won 4-3; we played Barnsley at home and were hardly flattered by a 1   - 1 draw; finally we gained a clear cut win, also at home against York 3-1.The quarter final brought Calderdale to King George V PF. ' A sizeable crowd saw a nail-biting game. The teams were only separated at the finish by a Simon Coultous penalty for Bradford. Such joy" The semi final was also played at Canal Road. Hull were the visitors and they out-played us for most of the game, though only scoring one goal. '   However, a masterly substitution saw Richard Daykin equalise in the last minute. Extra time saw no more scoring and so we had to go to Hull. A great game ---- Bradford played out of their skins and were unlucky to lose 2-1."

In the 1987/1988 season Wakefield returned to the fold, so there were four 'group' matches from which 5 points wee accrued, wins over Wakefield and East Riding, a 2-2 draw with York and a 2-2 defeat at Barnsley. We went to Millmoor to play Rotherham in the quarterfinal. "Here we put up what was probably our most disappointing performance for many seasons. The boys looked well and truly jaded.

Another competition in which we have taken part since 1975/1976 has been the South Yorkshire 'Purshouse' competition, which has been a boon in a poor season, but sometimes an embarrassment in a successful one. It involved 8 teams in a knock-out competition, each match comprising two 'legs'; thus it could involve 6 matches, though in fact we never reached the Final. Beginning in 1979/1980 the first two stages in the competition were decided on a single-match basis.

An interesting addition to the programme in the 1985/1986 season came about as the result of an invitation to take part in a competition sponsored by the Avco Trust, which was reported to Council at its meeting on14th January 1986. The proposal was that two teams from the north, Bradford and Newcastle, and two from the south Aldershot and Portsmouth, should participate. The two 'regional'  games were to be two - legged affairs with the Final scheduled at upton Park (West Ham United) on 26th April.

We entertained Newcastle at VP on 15th March immediately prior to the Seniors' match with Glasgow. The Newcastle side this season included the current England captain Sean Murray, who was quite capable of winning a game at this level almost on his own; our boys succeeded in keeping him quiet while retaining enough energy to manage 4 goals in the two legs. Both the game at Valley Parade and the one at Newcastle on 12th April ended in draws, Bradford entering the Final as a result of their more successful taking of penalty - kicks. The final game was well contested but our superior finishing gave us victory, and the Avco Trophy by 3 goals to 1. Scorers were Adam Green 2 and Gary Haylock.


The Northern Merit Table.


One of the features of the past 10 - 15 years has been the development of a wide-ranging programme of friendly matches at all age-levels. There are a number of reasons for this; one was certainly the opening of the M62 Motorway which made it possible for us to play matches, even evening matches, in South Yorkshire and in the Manchester conurbation, but at the same time, there was a distinct change in policy which persuaded many Associations to plan a complete programme of matches, quite regardless of success of failure in Trophy competitions.

Previously it had not been unusual for the Association's whole programme to consist of 2 or 3 Trophy games, plus 2 or 3 early season friendlies against local opposition. From this there developed a full-scale list of friendly matches covering the whole season, with special emphasis on the Christmas/ New Year period.

In the 1979/1980 Season the Under 15 team played 17matches, 4 in the English Trophy, 3 in the Yorkshire Trophy, one in the 'Purshouse'  and friendlies with Wigan (h),Rotherham (a), Barnsley (a), Wakefield (a), Calderdale (h), and Leeds (a)- all these prior to the first Trophy game; Rochdale (a), Barnsley (h), Manchester (h) and Wigan (a). In all, in that particular season the Association arranged 64 matches.

In 1980/1981 the Under 15s played 24 games, of which 15 were friendlies. In 1981/1982 they played 20 games, 9 of which were Trophy games.

In his Annual Report for 1986/1987 the Secretary reported the playing of no less than 95 inter - Association matches locally and on tour. The fact that most progressive Associations were playing so many friendly games prompted Andy Bell of Leeds SFA to put forward his proposal for a 'Northern Merit table". This was discussed at the Council meeting on 10th June 1980. What was envisaged was a set of fixtures for teams in the ESFA Divisions C and D, most of whom already played each other. The season would end with a competition between the top 8 teams. Council approved the scheme in principle. 'Merit Table' matches were reported in the Secretary's Report for 1980/1981 he reported the result of 4 'friendly' and 7 'Merit table' games viz. Calderdale, Wigan, Wakefield, Keighley, Blackburn, Leeds, and Thameside. There was one win, four draws and two defeats. The third season of the 'Merit Table' 1982/1983 showed the following results; Wigan 3-1, Calderdale 4-2, Blackburn 1-2, Calderdale 3-4, and Salford 3-4. Thus the Under 15s programme appears to have settled down to English Trophy, Yorkshire Trophy, Purshouse Trophy and Merit Table competition matches and friendlies.


Representative Matches For Other Age Groups


Under 11


In 1969 the Under 15's were the only side competing in trophy competitions. However, the situation was soon to change, for, at a committee meeting held on 22nd June 1970, it was reported that the Yorkshire County SFA was proposing to organise an Under 11 Knock out competition. We played our first match in this new competition on 13th February 1971 v. Sheffield at Parry Lane, and, having won it 3-2, we entertained Rotherham in the semi final; indeed, we played Rotherham three times- a 1-1 draw at Parry Lane being followed by another 1-1draw at Rotherham before we broke the deadlock (again at Parry Lane) by 3 goals to 1.

This success presented us with a two' legged' Final against Hull, a long trip in those pre-motorway days. The away game ended in something less than twilight. The result was reasonably satisfactory, a 1-1 draw. In the home 'leg' at Valley Parade on 3rd May, Hull produced some excellent football" and won deservedly by two goals to nil (3-1 on aggregate).

In the following season we did less well. We had a bye in the 1st round and were drawn away at Huddersfield in the 2nd, losing by 3 goals to 1.

1972/9173 represented a great improvement. In the 1st round we entertained Hull at Parry Lane and won a most exciting game 5-3."In the early part of the game we were well on top, but the last 10 minutes found us holding on to the lead pretty grimly." The second round (semi final0 took us to Oldfield Lane to play Leeds; a draw there followed by a 2-1 win after extra "time in the replay took us into the Final, in which we had to play Sheffield. The first 'leg'  played at Sheffield left us trailing by 3 goals to 1.The home 'leg' was played at Valley Parade on 7th April and, amid great excitement we pulled back the 1-3 deficit and a 3-3 aggregate meant that we shared the Trophy.

The team that played in the Final was; D Preston (Farfield), J. Brame (Eccleshill North), D. Sweeney (St. Anthony's), T. Parr (Buttershaw), S. Moon (Wibsey), A. Melrose (Buttershaw), P. Bendig (Wibsey), Shabir Hussain and S. Regan (Buttershaw), M. Scarth (Wibsey), L. Buckley (St. Anthony's). Substitutes: A. Beswick ((Holme), and J. Shepherd (Bierley County).

The trophy which Bradford shared on this occasion was, incidentally, presented by Stafford Higgingbothom, a prominent figure with the Bradford City club for many years.

The next two seasons saw us depart at the first time of asking, on both occasions at the hands of Leeds. In 1972/1973 the margin was 3-1. The following season the margin, at the end of a most enthralling game, was 2-1. This game was staged at Buttershaw Middle School, whose Head Master, Brian Killerby, an ex Chairman of the Association, always made us very welcome.

In 1975 / 1976 we reached the Final again, having beaten East Riding 3 - 1 (also at Buttershaw), Keighley 7 - 0 and Huddersfield
2 - 1. We met Barnsley in the Final, which they spoiled as a contest by rattling in 4 goals in next to no time at Crofts SC. The boys came away from the second 'leg' at Barnsley beaten again 2 - 4, but by no means disgraced.

For the season 1976/1977 the Under 11's had another competition, the Under 11 League, run by the newly formed West Yorkshire Association.

The competing sides were Bradford , Keighley, Huddersfield, Calderdale, Spen Valley and Wakefield, while Leeds obligingly split into two Associations for the purpose of this competition, Leeds (City) and Leeds (Airedale). In the Yorkshire Trophy we beat Keighley 5 - 1 and East Riding 2 - 0 before succumbing 1 - 5 to Sheffield. Sheffield also dismissed us from the competition in 1977 / 1978 by a margin of 4 goals to nil and the results from the West Yorkshire competition gave little cause for satisfaction, wins against Keighley 4 - 0 and Spen Valley 4 - 0 being more than offset by defeats at the hands of Huddersfield 1 - 3, Leeds (City) 0 - 3 and Leeds (Airedale).

In the following season we beat Huddersfield by a single goal in the 1st Round of the Yorkshire Trophy, only to suffer a humiliating
7 - 0 defeat from Leeds at Oldfield lane in the 2nd Round. Only four of the scheduled West Yorkshire matches were played, three of which were won and one drawn. This was enough to qualify for the Final, but we were beaten by Leeds by an aggregate score of
6 - 3 (1 - 1 and 2 - 5).

1979 / 1980 was described by the Secretary in his Annual Report as "...another poor year for our under 11 side, which was dismissed from the Yorkshire Junior Trophy at the semi final stage (helped by a first round bye) at York and failed to qualify for the play-offs in the West Yorkshire competition, which was won by Huddersfield".

In contrast the following season 1980 / 1981 was a great season for the Under11's who won both the Yorkshire Junior Trophy and the West Yorkshire Trophy. In the premiere competition we started with a goalless draw against Leeds, but won the replay at Oldfield Lane in fine style by 4 - 2 after extra time. A decisive 7 - 0 win against SpenValley followed with a narrow 1 - 0 win against Don and Dearne in the semi final. Hull were our opponents in the Final. We established a good 3 - 1 lead in the home 'leg' and added to it in the away 'leg' played on a waterlogged pitch at Hull.

Bradford Boys u11

The squad that played in these games was:  [back row] Mark Newton (St George), S. Henry (Cottingley Manor), Chris Kiwomya (St Blaise), Neil Atkins (Wellington), Mark Tasker (St George), Mark Bower (St. George), Ian Wilson (Wellington), A. Smith (St. George),Nicky Gilbert (Fairweather Green)
[front row]  Paul Thompson (Daisy Hill), Dean Kingett (Tyersal), Wayne Heseltine (St. Edmund Campion), Andy Taylor (Cottingley Manor), Andy Gill (Wrose, Tim Taylor (Daisy Hill)

In the West Yorkshire competition it was success all the way v, Keighley 6-0, v Leeds (Airedale) 3-0 v Calderdale 5-2, v Huddersfield 3-2, v Spen Valley 4-2, and v Leeds (City) 4-2. Huddersfield were our opponents in the Final, the home 'leg' of which gave us a 1-0 advantage. The second, played at Outlane School, on May 8th, with a goodly crowd and the encouragement of pre-match and half time entertainment by the Outlane Drum Majorettes was quite an occasion. Fortunately our teams' nerves survived and we won the game 2-0 (3-0 on aggregate). The successful team was: Bower, Gill, T Taylor, Atkins, A Taylor, Heseltine, Smith, Gilbert, Thompson, Kiwomya, and Henry. Subs Tasker, Wilson, Kingett and N Finlay (St George). In all the team's playing record was:      Played 19, Won 16, Drawn 1 Lost 2, Goals 56-22.

The 1981/82 side went out of the Yorkshire Trophy in the 1st Round losing 0-2 at Barnsley, following a 2 - 2 draw at King George Fifth Playing Field. In the west Yorkshire competition we drew 1 - 1 at Keighley, beat Huddersfield 3 - 0, Leeds (Airedale) 4 - 1 and Spen Valley 5 - 0, but lost to Calderdale 2 - 3 and Leeds (City) 1 - 3, so did not make the final.        Their record was Played 15, Won 7, Drew 2, Lost 6, goals 31 - 24.

Of the 1982/ 1983 season the Secretary wrote in his Annual Report;  " an average group of boys who performed well in beating Sheffield 2 - 1 and Nottingham 4 - 2, but badly against Huddersfield (3 - 7 in the Yorkshire Trophy), and Doncaster 1 - 5. Their results in the West Yorkshire competition were v Huddersfield 1 - 0, v Keighley 8 - 0, v Leeds (Airedale) 2 - 2, v Calderdale 2 - 3 and Leeds (City) 0 - 3.          Their record for the season was Played 13, Won 6, Drew 1, Lost 6, Goals 31 - 32.

The 1983/ 1984 team played 14 games winning only two. The wins were against Blackburn 2 - 1 and Derby 2 - 1. Sheffield beat them in the Yorkshire Trophy 5 - 2, following a 2 - 2 draw, while in the West Yorkshire competition there were losses against Leeds (City) 0 - 2, and Calderdale 0 - 1 and a 1 - 1 draw with Leeds (Airedale).

Barnsley dismissed us from the Yorkshire Trophy by a single goal in 1984/ 1985, but subsequently there were good wins against Burnley 4 - 0, Doncaster 4 - 0 and Derby 5 - 0 in friendlies, though results in the West Yorkshire competition were indifferent - a win against Keighley 5 - 0, draws with wakefield  3 - 3 and Leeds (Airedale) 1 - 1, and defeats at the hands of Huddersfield 1 - 4 and Leeds (City) 1 - 2.

Records for the 1985/ 1986 season are scant but the Under 11's were beaten in the semi final of the Yorkshire Trophy by Hull 0 - 3.

In 1986/1987 the Under 11's played 16 games, winning just two of them; on nine occasions a 'B' team was fielded which won six of its games. There was again a premature departure from the Yorkshire Trophy 0 - 1 to Rother Valley at home, and the results in the West Yorkshire competition were indifferent, but there were promising performances against strong opposition in friendly games Liverpool 1 - 1, Barnsley 1 - 1, and Sheffield 2 - 3   - and the side was unbeaten, as we have seen in the Tyneside festival.

In the last season under consideration, 1987/1988 there were 17 'A'  team matches, of which five were won, and seven 'B'   team matches of which 3 were won. In the Yorkshire Trophy the team did well to draw at Middlesborough and win the replay, but after losing the quarter final to Huddersfield it 'struggled to gain good results despite occasionally playing some decent possession football." The boys qualified for the Final of the West Yorkshire competition, but found Leeds too strong for them.


Under 13


The Under 13 squad had to make do with a programme of friendly games and usually a very small programme due to the lack of suitable opposition until the newly formed West Yorkshire SFA started a competition at this level in 1975/1976. The Trophy for this* was presented by Peter Black of Keighley. Bradford played four matches in this opening season v. Calderdale 1-2, and Spen Valley 5-2 at home, and v Leeds 1-3 and Keighley 2-1 away. This competition was never completely satisfactory; for one thing Bradford and Leeds were far too dominant, but, more important was the fact that though theoretically here were seven Associations in West Yorkshire, it was very rare for all seven to compete in any one season.

In 1976/1977 Bradford won all four of its early matches beating Huddersfield 4-2, Spen Valley 7-0, Calderdale 6-0 and Keighley 4-0. However, they lost 4-1 to Leeds who also won both 'legs' of the play off 9-2 and 3-1.

The 1977/1978 season will always hold a special place in Bradford's annals for the Final of the 'Peter Black' Trophy, in which we beat Leeds 12-4 on aggregate, 9-3 at Oldfield Lane and 3-1 at Bradford University. Stephen Taylor of Wycliffe Middle School, an outstanding player at his age, scored 7 in the away game and all three in the home game. In its preliminary games the team had beaten Keighley 8-2, Spen Valley 8-2 and Huddersfield 4-1, while the games with Leeds and Calderdale had been drawn 2-2 and 3-3. The successful team was: Townsend, Beaumont, Airey, McGovern, Bartrop, Anderson, Ormondroyd, Preston, Hiles, Taylor, and Carnell. Subs: Parkins, Thompson, Barker and Hill. It was a matter of some regret that a number of the members of this side including Taylor were not available to us after this season.

The 1978/1979 side was  a more than useful one, winning four of its West Yorkshire games v Keighley 6-0, v Spen Valley 5-0, v Calderdale 9-1, and Huddersfield 4-0 and losing to Leeds 2-3. The first 'leg' of the Final produced a 2-2 draw, but by this time it did not prove feasible to arrange the second 'leg' and the competition was declared 'void'.

There were only four games in the West Yorkshire competition in 1979/1980; Spen Valley 7-4, Leeds 4-1 and Wakefield 5-1 were beaten, but we lost 2-3 to Huddersfield. The Final was Leeds v Bradford again and Leeds won both games, 0-1 and 1-2, (1-3 on aggregate).

Our record in 1980/1981 was very similar. We beat Calderdale 8-0, Wakefield 8-3, Huddersfield 4-0 and Spen Valley4-0 and drew against Huddersfield 1-1 and Leeds 0-0. There was a triple play off this season in which the results were disastrous; we lost 0-5 to Leeds and 1-5 to Huddersfield.

The 1982/1983 side was basically that which had done the 'double' as Under11's. This year there was no double to do but they did what there was to do pretty well. They beat Wakefield 5-1, Huddersfield 2-0 and Calderdale 3-2 and drew with Leeds 1-1. In the Final they had to play Huddersfield and in the first 'leg', played away, they put on what the Secretary described as the "finest Bradford performance in many years" to win 8-0. This result made the second 'leg' played at King George V PF, something of a formality. The teams record for the season was: Played 17, Won 13, Drew 2, Lost 2, Goals 52-18.

We retained the Trophy in the following season 1983/1984. The team played 16 games, winning 10 and losing only 1 (to Middlesborough on tour). In the West Yorkshire competition, in which they played the other three Association twice each, they beat Huddersfield twice 3-2 and 4-3, and Calderdale twice 6-0 and 3-0, and played two drawn games with Leeds 2-2 and 1-1. We beat Leeds 1-0 away and drew with them 2-2 at home to take the Trophy 3-2 on aggregate. We were in the Final again in 1984/1985 but this time were beaten by Leeds 5-1 on aggregate (1-1 and 0-4).

In 1985/1986 victories were recorded against Sheffield 6-0, Leeds 1-0, Calderdale 6-0 and Wakefield 2-0, but in the Final v Leeds we were beaten 2-4 on aggregate. It is interesting that, in this season, the West Yorkshire Under 13 competition, which as we have seen, suffered from lack of teams, had been extended to include Sheffield.

The Team Manager had some very critical things to say about the programme in 1986/1987, describing it as "almost a farce". He perhaps failed to realise t a Secretary, who has a programme for several teams to draw up, is up against. One cannot, after all, force other Associations to play. In fact, the squad played 13 games and were not involved in the West Yorkshire final, which would have given them two more. In the last season to be considered, 1987/1988 the tem began well with a 4-2 win at Hull in the West Yorkshire competition and there were further wins at Doncaster and Huddersfield. However, both Leeds and Sheffield beat us. The season's record was: Played 14, Won 8, Drew 2, Lost 4, Goals 38-28.


Under 14.


The Under 14 squad, through its programme of friendly games was a large one. 15 matches in both 1980/1981 and 1981/1982, and though it had undertaken the pioneer tour to the North East as far back as 1973, was the last one (apart from the seniors) to have a competition to play in.

In season 1984/22985 the Yorkshire Schools' Federation of Associations (the successor to YSFA) introduced an Under 14 knock out competition. Out first effort was quite successful, wins over Sheffield in the 1st Round and Claro/Craven in the 2nd, taking us to the semi final stage where we met Middlesborough, who beat us and went on to become first holders of the Trophy.

In 1986/87 our generally successful Under 14 side was dismissed from the Trophy by Sheffield (1-2) in the first round. This side played 18 games in all winning 15 and losing 3, and scoring 73 goals to 24. Mark Humphreys (Beckfoot) scored 25 goals. This was of course, the first squad to benefit from the amalgamation with Keighley, nine of the boys coming from the old Keighley area.

In 1987/1988 the team was generally successful, winning six and losing3 of its ten games; we beat Hull 4-2 in the Yorkshire Trophy after being 2 goals down, but performed disappointingly against Wakefield in the 2nd round, losing 1-4.




In the first season in this period (1969/1970) R Exley (Eccleshill) was our sole county representative, but in the following season there were three, S Butler (St Bede's) and G Watson (Tong), both defenders, and D Allanson (Bradford GS), a forward. The 1971/1972 season was a somewhat odd one as far as Honours were concerned. We had three boys in the county squad, Peter Tymczczyn (who was captain), David Nicholls (Tong) and S Crossland (St Bede's). In addition, Nicholls was in the final group for international selection, but was not selected for the first international match. However, both he and Tymczczcyn were included in the squad to play France at Highbury, though, in the event only Nichols played, Tymczczcyn remaining on the substitutes' bench. Subsequently both boys were selected for the tour of the Netherlands in April, by which time Tymczczcyn had committed himself to Leeds United and had to be omitted from the England squad-altogether a somewhat unsatisfactory chapter of events.

In Season 1972/1973 Neil Firm (Rhodesway) gained his county cap and was selected for the international trial at Aldershot. This was incidentally the last occasion on which ESFA organised Trial matches. Subsequently international selection has been based on the more scientific method of holding Coaching Week-ends on the basis of which the international squad was selected. One cannot exactly equate these coaching weekends with the previous trials, but I am including here the names of boys who have attended these coaching weekends. Colin Johnson (Wyke Manor) played for Yorkshire and took part in an ESFA Coaching Week-end in 1974/1975, and in the following season Barry Gallagher (St Bede's) did the same, while Graham Berridge (Wyke Manor) won his county cap.

In this season the Yorkshire SFA had contracted to include North Yorkshire and west Yorkshire only; the north east and south east corners of the county had been removed by Local Government Re-Organisation to form the new counties of Cleveland and Humberside respectively, and South Yorkshire had decided to go it alone.

The 1976 / 1977 season was a very successful one for the 'reduced' county, which won the 'Northern Counties Championship', beating Staffordshire 2 - 0 in the Final at Burton Albion. B. Hawkins (St Bede's), D. Matthews (Cottingley Manor) and D. Turner (Belle Vue) were in the successful Yorkshire side. S. Regan and T. Parr, both of Buttershaw, also played for the county side this season. Brendan Hawkins attended the ESFA Selection/ Coaching course.

In 1977 / 1978 the breaking up process was carried to its logical conclusion and West Yorkshire functioned as an independent county. By this time too, the amalgamation with the Senior Schools had taken place, so Bradford contributed players to both senior and junior county teams.

Obviously more Bradford boys have gained places in a west Yorkshire side than would have done in a side representing the whole of Yorkshire.

In season 1977/1978 S Hall (Hanson), G Johnson (Wyke Manor), C Shepherd (Carlton /Bolling), W Travers (Belle Vue), and Wilson (Hanson) played in the West Yorkshire U15 side, while no less than nine boys played in the senior side viz; C Johnson (Captain0 and Berridge (Wyke Manor), Hall (St Bede's), Ford ((Belle Vue), Padgett (Tong), Matthews (Cottingley Manor), and three boys from Salt Grammar School (which affiliated to Bradford at senior level only at that time) Poole, Hirst and Williams.

In the 1978/1979 season Bradford won its first international cap at Under 18 level since the seniors became part of BSFA, the boy concerned being Nigel Ford (Belle Vue).

There had of course been senior internationals, but these were in the days before the seniors were part of BSFA. They were R Cullingford (St Bede's) in 1972; T Gray (Belle Vue) 1972; T. Novakowski (Belle Vue), 1974.

In the same season no less than nine Bradford Boys played in the county Under 15 side: Horne (St Bede's), Peltier (Carlton/Bolling), Hodson(Tong), Matthews (Cottingley Manor), Hotte (Grange), Durrand (Carlton /Bolling), Canonville (St Bede's), Snape (Tong), Haley (Grange), and Molloy (St Bede's).

Five players, in addition to Ford played for the county senior team: Preston (Buttershaw), Duffy (Hanson), Padgett (Tong) Walker (Tong) and Berridge (Wyke Manor).

In more recent years the following have played for West Yorkshire:

1979/1980: Seniors: Tim Hotte (Grange), Pickles (Hanson), Craig Snape (Tong), Preston (Buttershaw), Miller (Salt), Walker (Tong): Juniors: Beaumont (Grange), Watson (Rhodesway), Dawson (Buttershaw), Ian Ormondroyd (Grange), Simon McGovern (St Bede's). N Beaumont was selected for an ESFA Coaching weekend.

1980/1981: seniors: Beaumont (Grange), Fry (Buttershaw), Guest (South Craven) Haddington (Bingley Grammar) Simon McGovern (St Bede's), Preston (Buttershaw), Daykin (Hanson), Miller (Salt), Taylor (Salt), Craig Snape (Tong), Asgdiwn (Salt)   Junior: Dimbleby (Tong) and Roger Eli (Hanson) attended the ESFA Selection course and played for the Divisional side as well as the county side.

1981/1982: Seniors: Daykin (Hanson), Roger Eli (Hanson), Bondswell (Carlton/Bolling), Simon McGovern (St Bede's), Dimbleby (Tong), Hall (Wyke Manor), Lavin (St Bede's); Juniors: Hudson (Thornton),  Des Hazel (Buttershaw), Chimilowskij (Rhodesway), Wardman (Tong), Spence (Hanson). Hudson and Hazel played in the Divisional side, and Hudson attended the ESFA Selection/ Coaching course.

1982/1983: Seniors: Daykin (Hanson), Eli (Hanson), Bondswell (Carlton/Bolling), McGovern (St Bede's), Dimbleby (Tong) Juniors: Andy Kiwomya (St Bede's), Littlewood (Wyke Manor), Duggan (Rhodesway), Thompson (Hanson). Dimbleby attended the ESFA Selection/ Coaching course. Andy Kiwomya played for the Divisional team.

1983/1984 Seniors: Chimilowskij (Rhodesway), Duggan (Rhodesway), McDonald (Grange), Ellis (Belle Vue), Lancaster (Ilkley), Dimbleby (Tong). Juniors: Peter Mumby (Rhodesway), David Harrison (Rhodesway), Stephen Morrell (Carlton/Bolling), Dowling (Hanson)

1984/85: Seniors: Chimilowskij (Rhodesway)  Jimmy Spence (Hanson), Wilson (Wyke Manor). Juniors: Mark Bower (St Bede's), Hodgkiss (Thornton), Wayne Heseltine (St Bede's), Kirk (Fairfax).

1985/1986: Seniors: no details available. Juniors: Adam Green (Hanson), Gary Haylock (Queensbury) Sykes (Queensbury), Andy Purssell (St Bede's), Pedder (Wyke Manor).

1986/1987: Seniors: Adam Gunn (Belle Vue). Juniors: Phillips (school unknown)

1987/1988: Seniors: Wilcock (St Bede's), Pringle (Salt), Taylor (Hanson), Chadwick (Salt), Adam Green (Hanson). Juniors: Mark Humphreys (Beckfoot), Steven Vincent (Salt)  Johnathan White (Bingley GS), Taylor (Hanson), Simon Inch (Tong). White, Vincent and Humphreys attended ESFA Selection/ Coaching courses.




Yorkshire v Lancashire at Valley Parade 1972.

The last county game to be staged in Bradford on behalf of the traditional county of Yorkshire was played at Valley Parade on 7th February 1972. It was appropriately against Lancashire.

The arrangements for the game were in the hands of George Tavender.

The game was originally fixed for January 8th but had to be re-arranged when the Newcastle Association invited us to play the 5th round ESFA Trophy game at St James's Park that same Evening.

The function (a pre-match one) was held at the Edwardian Club, close to the ground. The county side that season included P. Tymczczyn of St Bede's, who captained the side, D Nicholls of Tong, and S Crossland of Fairfax.

I was given the honour of refereeing the game, with Mick Walsh and Dave Gilling both of Carlton as my adjutants. Yorkshire won this game, but I have no details of the match. .

With the break up of the Yorkshire Association and the formation of the West Yorkshire SFA, Bradford was called upon to arrange several county matches each season, especially as I and Tony Cryer were the first two West Yorkshire Secretaries.

In a sense, county games ceased to be special occasions.




England v
            Switzerland in Bradford 1987It was almost exactly 70 years since a schools' international had been staged in Bradford, the previous occasion having been on 5th May 1917, when England played Scotland at Under 14 level.

In the 1987 programme for the game, Bill Marshall, Schools' Soccer Correspondent of the Telegraph and Argus, drew some interesting comparisons between then and now, including the price of beer (5 old pence per pint!)

From the organisers' point of view, the telling comparison was that between the lengths of time required to organise the two games.

In 1917, for a match played on 5th May, the first mention in the Minutes comes on the 4th April; in other words the match took just over a month to arrange.

The 1987 match was first mentioned in the Minutes on 11th June 1985, when Tony Cryer, by then ESFA Council Member for Division C, asked the Bradford SFA Council to stage an Under 18 International in 1986/1987.

Were our predecessors of 1917 so much more efficient than we were? Perhaps.

But the financial implications of staging an International in 1987 were far more serious than they had been in 1917. Just compare the charges for admission: in 1917 men paid 6d and boys 2d to get into the ground, while stand charges were 9d and 1/-. In 1987 ground admission was  1-00 and 50p, with the stand costing
3-00 for adults and  1-00 for children.

On 11th February 1986, the Secretary reported that Council's application to stage an international match had been accepted by EFA and the match was to be England V Switzerland at Under 18 level. The match would be played at Valley Parade.

Council decided to form a sub-committee to make the necessary arrangements; I was elected Chairman and Bill Campbell, Bill Brophy, Malcolm Thompson, Ian Fox and Andy Mettas volunteered their services. (I had to resign my Chairmanship at the end of 1986, when I left the district, but Malcolm Thompson took over so effectively that I was hardly missed).

Much of our work was connected with the raising of money; we were fortunate to acquire at an early stage, the promise of  1,000 sponsorship from 'Intasun' and the good offices of the Director of Educational Services, Richard Knight, secured us the promise of  1,000 from the Lord Mayor's Department towards the pre-match function. In addition the efforts of members of Council produced an imposing list of Match Sponsors.

All in all, these efforts meant that any gate money we might receive would be something of a bonus. In his circular of March 1987, the Secretary reported that bookings had been received from Batley, Upper Wharfedale, Outwood, Halifax, Ossett, Dewsbury, Todmorden, Huddersfield, Salterforth, Blackburn, and the Leeds area.

Every  25 worth of tickets bought gave the seller the opportunity to take part in a Draw offering  100 reduction on an 'Intasun' holiday.

There were competitions for children Under 11's to become team 'mascots' for the day, and one for Under 13's offering the opportunity to train with the England team.

All these efforts were well worthwhile when on April 6th, we saw 6,800 people watching the game at Valley Parade. The profit was  6,048 "the Bradford Association receiving 10% for their efforts.

The result of the game, a 1 - 1 draw, seemed almost incidental.


Domestic Competitions 1969 - 1988.


Just as the number of competition matches played by the Association's various representative sides has vastly increased in the past 20 years, so has the programme of matches in domestic competitions.

The main stages in this development have been:

1 the amalgamation with the 'seniors' which took place in season 1975/`976;

2 the organisation of Under 16 football consequent on the raising of the school leaving age to 16, which took effect in season 1973/1974;

3 the organisation of football for the Under 10's starting in season 1978/1979.

As a result of these developments the number of teams entering for the various Leagues increased from143 in 1968/69 to just over 200 in 1979/1980.

In 1968/1969 season the League consisted of three Under 15 Divisions (A,B and C) who played off for the 'Walter French' Trophy, plus a 'Reserves' section (D), two Under 14 Divisions (E & F), who played for the 'President's Shield', four Under 13 Divisions (G,H,I & J) who played off for the 'Aurora Trophy' (plus a 'Reserves' Division) (K), two Under !2 Divisions (L & M), who played off for the 'Braithwaite' Trophy, and eight Under 11 Divisions (N-U),which played off for the Junior Trophy.

St George's were the most successful school in 1969/1970, their Under 13 side winning both the Aurora Trophy (against Highfield) and the City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy (against St Blaise), both in the final for the first time.

The City Supporters' Trophy Finals, staged, as was customary at the time, on two separate evenings, continued to be well supported, bringing in crowds of 1,070 (Intermediate) and 895 (Senior). Unfortunately the Intermediate Final was marred by a certain amount of crowd 'foolishness', the first time such behaviour had been reported at one of our Finals.

Other honours' were well shared: St Bede's beat Grange, in the Final of the Schools' Cup, to win it for the 9th time, and appeared in the Final of the President's shield also, where they were beaten by Tong, who won that Trophy for the first time.

Carlton, St Blaise and Rhodesway won the three sections of the Under 15 League and Carlton won the 'Walter French' Trophy by beating St Blaise in the Final.

Indeed, St Blaise appeared in three finals in this season and were not successful in any of them, Drummomd beating them in the 'Braithwaite' Trophy Final.

Carlton were beaten in the Final of the City Supporters' Senior trophy by Eccleshill, whose first success this was.

Finally Wibsey won the Junior Trophy for the fourth time, beating Thackley in the Final.

An accidental difficulty occurred at the end of the season, when it was reported that the 'Braithwaite Trophy' had disappeared in the course of a break in at St Blaise School. It was replaced by BSAA in time for the next season.

There was plenty of excitement in the 1970/1971 Finals. Tong were much fancied at Under 15 level and their 3-1 defeat by Grange in the City Supporters' Final came as a shock. However, they took ample revenge later in the season winning by five clear goals in the Final of the Schools' Cup, which they won for the first time.

There were new winners in the City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy in Buttershaw, who beat Hutton 2-1 after extra time in an 'absolute thriller'. On the other hand, St George retained the 'Aurora' Trophy, though they had to pull back a 2-0 half time deficit against St Edmund Campion to do it, winning with almost the last kick of the match. St Edmund Campion were also losing finalists in the Braithwaite Trophy, which was won for the first time by Thorpe.

The Walter French Trophy was shared by St Bede's and Tong, while the former won the President's shield outright by beating Fairfax by the only goal scored.

In the Junior Final St Francis gained their second success beating Buttershaw County in the Final.

This year the Aurora Trophy and the Walter French Trophy Finals produced a  40 profit, while the Schools' Cup and Junior finals brought in about  60.

In 1971/72 there was an increase in Under 12 Divisions from 2 to 3 and a reduction in Under 11 Divisions from 8 to 7.

It is interesting, in view of later developments, that in this season: 6 Under 15 games, 2 Under 14 games, 17 Under 13 games and 15 Under 11 games were NOT fulfilled. Seven out of the 21 Divisions completed all their fixtures.

St Bede's and Fairfax were the teams of the season, Fairfax appearing in the Finals of all three Under 15 competitions, losing to St Bede's in the Walter French Trophy and the City Supporters' Senior Trophy finals and, by way of a change, to Hanson in the Schools' Cup. St Bede's weighed in with the President's Shield for good measure. At Under 13 level Wibsey did the 'double'-Aurora Trophy and City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy. They almost made it a 'treble' but St George took the Braithwaite Trophy for the first time. Ley Top won the Junior Trophy at Park Avenue for the first and only time in their last season before re-organisation turned them into a 'First' School.

Season 1972/1973 saw the Under 15 Divisions reduced to two, following continued re-organisation of schools; on the other hand, the number of Under 12 Divisions went up from 3 to 4.

Only three Divisions completed their fixtures this season and there were 105 unplayed fixtures.

We were well aware, of course, that this would be the last season when we should play Finals at Park Avenue; we were thus delighted when fate decreed that the finalists in the Junior Trophy, which was to be played there, were two local schools, Buttershaw and Wibsey. We had already decided that the Braithwaite Trophy should be played on a senior ground and a match between St Blaise and St George's could hardly have been a better attraction.

Ticket sales, especially in the two junior schools, were excellent (the best in the Treasurer's memory), final income exceeding  120, and we all anticipated an enjoyable evening.

Up to a point, these expectations were realised; the Junior Final, as was expected, saw 22 little lads playing their hearts out, with Buttershaw winning the Trophy for the first time by 2-0.

The standard of football was more than maintained in the ensuing Braithwaite Final in which St George appeared to be well in control leading by 2-1 with only minutes to go. Then St Blaise not only equalised but went ahead by 3-2. Sadly, these goals heralded a 'pitch invasion' which meant the game was prolonged by several minutes.

Subsequently, St George's protested against the result of the game, but the committee resolved that the result should stand.

None of us realised at that time that we had witnessed the last 'Junior Trophy' Final; a year later we were to see the First 'George Tavender Memorial Trophy' Final.

St George's although they lost the 'Braithwaite' won both the Under 13 Finals, beating Wibsey 4-0 in the City Supporters' Intermediate Final (their second win) and beating Tyersal 1-0 in the Final of the Aurora Trophy.

The Trophies for the older age-groups were well shared out; Carlton beat Buttershaw 2-0 at Valley Parade in the Schools' Cup (their fourth success); Rhodesway beat St Bede's in the City Supporters' Senior Final (their second success); St Bede's were also beaten in the Final of the President's Shield by Hanson 2-1 (their first success in this competition); finally, the Walter French Trophy was shared by St Bede's and Wyke Manor.

Season 1973/1974 began with a number of changes:

1. the senior section, with its two Divisions and Cup competitions was included under the BSFA 'umbrella';

2. with the raising of the school leaving-age an Under 16 League was introduced involving 9 schools, and the Schools' Cup became an Under 16 competition.

3. a further Under 13 Division was introduced;

4. the Under 11 League was reduced to 6 Divisions.

Before the season had reached the half way stage a further change was called for.

At the Council meeting on 1st November 1973,the death of George Tavender was reported.

In the following January it was decided (with the agreement of Mrs. Tavender (to purchase a 'George Tavender Memorial Trophy' to replace the existing Junior 'Neville' Trophy. Contributions (limited to 50p per school) were invited and were augmented by gifts from individuals, as well as such bodies as BSAA, the Yorkshire County SFA, the West Riding County FA, and Bradford City AFC.

The new trophy was first presented on 30th April 1974 at Bradford Rovers FC, when Swain House beat St William's in the first Final.

Swain House also won the Aurora Trophy for the first time beating St Blaise in the Final. The City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy Final was won for the second year in succession by St George's, who beat Pollard Park 2-1. However, St George's were beaten in the Final of the Braithwaite Trophy by Great Horton, who won this particular Trophy for the first time.

At secondary level, St Bede's won two Trophies and were beaten finalists in a third. The won the Walter French Trophy beating Wyke manor, and the President's Shield by beating Carlton, but they were defeated by Rhodesway in the Schools' Cup in its first year as an Under 16 competition.

Wyke Manor gained some compensation for their defeat in the Walter French Trophy Final by beating Hanson 3-2 in the Final of the City Supporters' Senior Trophy, their first success in this competition.

It was during this season that the problems presented to schools running under 15 sides by the dual claims of the school match programme and the City team programme became urgent. On 27th November 1973, I received a letter from Mr. B. Berry, the master i/c Under 15 football at Belle Vue, outlining the problems he and other games masters were facing. The letter was placed before Council at its meeting on 1st December and, naturally, received a sympathetic response, as Council were well aware that the increased use of Saturdays for City games in the current season was bound to present problems to schools.

As an intermediate step, it was resolved that the Under 15 season would be extended to 25th March, but from the long-term view, it was agreed that further steps would be called for. Subsequently a meeting was arranged between the Officers of the Association and representatives of upper Schools, to discuss the problem. The meeting was held on 28th January 1974 at which the following schools were represented: Carlton, Belle Vue, Rhodesway, Eccleshill, St Bede's, Fairfax, Hanson, Tong and Wyke Manor.

The discussion was conduced in a friendly and constructive manner and the outcome was a programme with three elements:

i. the City Supporters' Senior Cup Competition would be held in September/October before the City team programme started;

ii. an inter-divisional friendly programme, running from November to mid February, would be arranged i.e during the time when the City team might be expected to be most active;

iii. the Walter French Trophy competition, run as a straight knock out, would be held at the end of the season, when the City side would be expected to have completed its programme.

The proposed pattern was accepted at a Special General meeting, held on 21st March1974, and came into operation at the beginning of the 1974/1975 season. As a consequence the first paragraph in Playing Rule 16, allowing schools to postpone matches when deprived of boys by the claims of the City team, was deleted.

In this season the number of Under 11 Divisions was again reduced to 5, while the number of Under 12 Divisions was increased to 5.

The play-offs for the Braithwaite Trophy were brought into line this season in that the runners up as well as winners of sections were included.

Honours were well distributed in this season and there were 'firsts' for Swain House (City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy), Buttershaw Middle (Braithwaite Trophy), and for Pollard Park and Priestman, (Joint winners of the George Tavender Trophy).

There were two excellent finals in the City Supporters' Trophy competitions, Swain House beating Great Horton 3-2 after extra time, and Carlton beating St Bede's 5-3 (their second success in this competition.) Financial results (a profit of about 53) were also pleasing; less pleasing was the crowd trouble, partly due to the opening up of the whole ground to spectators, contrary to our wishes.

When the Braithwaite and George Tavender Finals were played at Valley Parade at the end of the season, great care was taken to avoid 'crowd trouble' "the stand and the standing area in front of it was used. 'Stewarding' was thoroughly organised and extra police were encouraged to attend by the issue of complimentary tickets. As a result everybody enjoyed two trouble free finals, which brought in  57.16.

In the older age-groups Hanson won both the Senior Trophy and the Schools' Cup beating St Bede's 3-1 at Valley Parade in the former and St Blaise 4-3 after extra time at Parry Lane in the latter.

St Bede's also won two trophies, the Walter French Trophy by beating Wyke Manor 2-1 at Parry Lane and the President's Shield (for the sixth time) by beating Tong 1-0 on the same ground.

At the end of the season the Association was the recipient of a magnificent new trophy, the gift of the Park Avenue Supporters Association. Council decided that this Trophy should be allocated to the Under 16 age-group for their League Competition.

At the same time it was decided that the 'Neville' Trophy, the old Junior Trophy should be allocated to an Under 11 knock-out competition, to be introduced at the beginning of the forthcoming season.

St Bede's and Wyke Manor were joint holders of the Park Avenue Supporters' Trophy in its first season, 1975/1976, while Swain House were the first holders of the Under 11 Cup, beating Great Horton in the Final.

Swain House also won the George Tavender Trophy for the 2nd time, defeating Fenby.

St Bede's also collared two trophies as well as the one they shared; they beat Hanson to win the Schools' Cup for the 10th time, and won the City Supporters' Senior Trophy for the 5th time, defeating Rhodesway in the Final. Rhodesway, however, won the Senior Trophy, Hanson being the losing finalists.

Tong won the Walter French Trophy for the 3rd time, defeating Thornton, and Buttershaw beat Belle Vue to win the President's Shield for the first time.

In the remaining competitions St Blaise registered their third win in the Aurora Trophy by beating Wellington, and Priestman won the Braithwaite Trophy for the first time beating Swain House.

The most notable feature of the 1976/1977 season was the excellent showing of the rural fringe; the Senior Trophy was shared between Salt and Greenhead while at a lower age-level, Ladderbanks won the City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy for the first time. Beating Ilkley Middle School in the Final, and were runners up to Priestman (their first win too) in the Aurora Trophy. They also shared the George Tavender Trophy with Wyke Middle School, while another Shipley School, Belmont, shared the Braithwaite Trophy with Buttershaw.

Amongst the older boys Wyke Manor won the Schools' Cup for the first time beating St Bede's in the Final, while St Bede's won the Park Avenue Supporters' Trophy.

At Under 15 level Hanson won the Walter French Trophy against Buttershaw, while Eccleshill beat Belle Vue in the City Supporters' Senior Trophy (their second success)

Finally, Hanson Under 14's beat Wyke manor in the President's Shield.

There was a new pattern for Under 14 football in the 1977/1978 season; the 12 schools were divided into 2 'pools' for the President's Shield, the two winners meeting each other for the Shield. Subsequently, the 12 schools were to meet each other once in a League competition. Otherwise the normal pattern continued with 2 Senior Section Divisions (18 teams), an Under 16 League plus reserves (17 teams), 2 under 15 Leagues plus reserves (21 teams), 2 Under 14 Leagues plus reserves (20 teams), 7 Under 13 divisions (49 teams) 4 Under 12 divisions (31 teams), and 7 Under 11 Divisions (54 teams). A grand total of 27 Leagues involving 210 teams.

This was a great season for St Bede's and for Belmont, St Bede's acquired the Senior Trophy, the Walter French Trophy, the City Supporters' Senior for the 6th time and the President's Shield for the 6th time.

Belmont won both Under 13 Trophies for the first time, while the Under 12 side won the Braithwaite Trophy.

St. Francis also enjoyed a successful season, winning the George Tavender Trophy for the first time and sharing the Under 11 Cup with Ladderbanks.

Finally there were 'firsts' for Hanson (Park Avenue Supporters' Cup) and Buttershaw (Schools' Cup)

Expansion of activities was continuing. At the Council meeting on 12th July 1977, it was reported that the Head Teachers of a number of Catholic schools had expressed a desire to form an Under 10's League (10+ was still the age of transfer in Catholic Schools)

The feeling of Council was that they had no objection to organising Under 10 football, if this could not be limited to Catholic schools. Subsequently 11 schools expressed interest and were invited to a meeting in June 1978.

An Under 10 League of two Divisions was formed for season 1978/1979 as follows: Section Y: Delf Hill, St Cuthbert's, St William's, St Winefride's Clayton St Anthony's, and Nab Wood; Section Z: St Joseph's, St Brendan's, St Clare's, St Francis, St John's and Belmont.

The Bradford City Club generously donated a Trophy, which was won jointly by Nab Wood and St Francis in the first season.

In other respects the team of the season was undoubtedly Ladderbanks, who did the Under 13 'double', the Aurora Trophy for the first time and the City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy for the second.

At Under 11 level St Edmund Campion beat Ilkley Middle to win the Cup for the first time, while Daisy Hill and Tyersal shared the George Tavender Trophy.

St Bede's, as so often, were the most successful secondary school winning the Park Avenue Supporters' Trophy and the City Supporters' Senior (for the 7th time).

Belle Vue beat Wyke Manor in the Final of the Senior Trophy, Tong beat Carlton/Bolling 2-1 in the Final of the Schools' Cup (their second success), Hanson beat Thornton in the Final of the Walter French Trophy (their 4th success), and Eccleshill won the President's Shield for the first time, beating St Bede's 3-0 in the Final.

There was some unsatisfactory features about this season, especially in the senior Leagues; among the upper schools only one school played all its matches in any age-group; this was Belle Vue's Under 14 side. The reverse of the coin was that only 30 of 66 Under 15 and only 44 out of 78 Under 14 games were completed.

In only 3 Divisions were all matches completed- Division M (Under 13s), Division X (Under 11) and Division Z (Under 10s)

The weather after Christmas was certainly unkind, but as I wrote in my Annual Report     "... when one looks at the League Tables and sees that some schools played as few as 3 matches one wonders what they were doing in September, October and November."

There were so many reports of matches not being played on Saturdays that I carried out an enquiry, the result of which was inconclusive. The League Tables would suggest that, at least in Upper Schools, regular Saturday fixtures were rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

In this season too, we had the first inkling of the effects of 'teacher action', which was to have more serious repercussions in the years ahead.

Hanson and Buttershaw both did the 'double' at Under 16 and Under 15 levels respectively in the 1979/1980 season, while St Blaise nearly did the same at Under 13 level, winning the City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy but being forced to share the Aurora Trophy with Swain House. 'First timers' included Belle Vue (President's Shield), St Edmund Campion (Braithwaite Trophy), and Fairweather Green (George Tavender Trophy). Nab Wood and Swain house shared the Under 11 Cup but St Francis having shared the Under 10 Trophy the previous year, won it outright this year.

Two new Trophies were introduced this season; it was decided to award a Trophy to the winners of the Under11 Smith's Crisps 6-a-side competition, who in this instance were Ryshworth Middle School.

Further the Trustee Savings Bank (TSB) presented a trophy for a knockout competition among the Under 14 teams. The first winners were Wyke Manor, the final being played at Valley Parade in association with the Final of the George Tavender Trophy.

In my Annual Report I commented on the disappointing support accorded to our Finals in this season and again commented on the unsatisfactory features of our League competitions. 173 teams took part in our competitions, of these only 68 completed their fixtures.

The only Division in which all matches were played were Division N (Under 12's) and Division Y (Under 10's).

At the other extreme, in the Under 15's League (Divisions D & E) only one team, Thornton, completed its fixtures and only 47 out of 91 fixtures, barely half, were completed.

'...One cannot help wondering whether it is worth while to run an Under 15 competition apart from the City Supporters' Trophy and the Walter French Trophy..." I remarked in my Annual Report.

Fortunately the situation as regards the Under 16 and Under 14 Leagues was much healthier.

Congratulations were accorded to Wellington, who completed all their fixtures in the Under 13, Under 12 and Under 11 Leagues, an achievement matched by Parkland and Delf Hill.

Congratulations were also due to the following schools who completed their fixtures, though they were bottom of their Divisions" Highfield and Whetley (Under 13s), Parkland, Thornbury (no points) and Undercliffe (Under 12s) and Royd Mount and Hutton (Under 11s).

Season 1980/1981 saw the double performed at Under 15 (Carlton/Bolling) and at Under 14 level (St Bede's). Carlton /Bolling won the Walter French Trophy for the 4th time, beating Wyke Manor 3-2 in the Final, and they won the City Supporters' Senior Final, beating Tong 4-3 (their third success). St Bede's won the President's Shield for the 7th time, beating Eccleshill 2-0; they also beat Buttershaw 3-1 in the TSB Trophy final, which they won for the first time.

St Bede's also won the Jim Averis Senior Cup, while Buttershaw beat Rhodesway 5-3 in the final of the Schools' Cup , which they won for the second time.

The two Under 13 titles were won by Drummond, who won the Aurora Trophy for the first time, and by Tyersal, who won the City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy for the 3rd time. The losing finalists were Holy family and St Edmund Campion.

St George and St Blaise met in two finals for the Braithwaite Trophy and the George Tavender Trophy, and St George came out on top in both. They won 3-1 in the former and 2-1 in the other. They also took a half share in the Under 11 Cup, the other sharer being Daisy Hill; the Final at Valley Parade resulted in a 3-3 draw.  " A magnificent game", wrote the Secretary. "in which neither team deserved to lose."

They were also in the Final in the Smith's Crisps 6-a side competition but were beaten 2-0 by Wellington. Finally St Clare's won the Under 10 Trophy for the first time, being victors over Swain House.

The picture as regards the fulfilling of fixtures was a somewhat happier one this season, only 46 games out of a total of 692 projected ones at Under 13, Under 12, Under 11 and Under 10 levels not being played.

During the 1981 / 1982 season 213 teams played in our Leagues, organised as follows: Senior Section (One Division) - 7 teams; Under 16s (one Division plus reserves) -17 teams; Under 15s (two Divisions plus reserves) "22 teams; Under 14s (two Divisions plus reserves) - 22 teams; Under 13s (eight Divisions) 50 teams; Under 12s (five Divisions) 35 teams; Under 11s (seven Divisions) 45 teams; and Under 10s (Two Divisions) 15 teams.

An important change was made in the organisation of the Aurora Trophy, which was brought in line with the Braithwaite Trophy and the George Tavender Trophy Competitions, in that the runners-up as well as winners were to be involved in the play-offs.

The Trophy winners in this season were: Jim Averis Trophy:- St Bede's; Park Avenue Supporters' Trophy:- Buttershaw; Schools' Cup:- Hanson; Walter French Trophy:- Hanson;  City Supporters' Senior Trophy:- Rhodesway; President's Shield:- Rhodesway and Wyke Manor joint holders;- TSB Trophy: St Bede's; City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy:- Nab Wood; Aurora Trophy:- St Blaise; Braithwaite Trophy:- St George's and St Edmund Campion joint holders; George Tavender Trophy:- St George's; under 11 Cup- Swain House; Smith's 6-a-side:- St George's; Under 10 Trophy- St. Clare's and Wibsey joint holders.

St George's had a very successful season sharing the Braithwaite Trophy with St Edmund Campion and winning outright two of the three Under 11 Competitions.

Once again during this season, concern was voiced at the Council meeting on 13th October, at the small number of games being played on Saturdays.

Another concern expressed this season was that of teams arriving without a teacher, and of matches being refereed by non-teachers.

The outstanding school in the 1982/1983 season was Woodend, who won all three Under 11 competitions. Strangely enough this was the first occasion that they had won any of them. Their victims were Wibsey in the George Tavender Trophy, Priestman in the Under 11 Cup and Wycliffe in the Smith's Crisps 6-a-side.

St George won the Braithwaite Trophy for the 5th time, beating Delf Hill in the Final and they also won the Aurora Trophy for the 4th time, beating St. Edmund Campion; the latter however won the City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy for the second time, beating Ladderbanks 2-1 at Valley Parade.

St Clare's, having shared the Under 10 Trophy in the previous year and won it outright in 1980/1981 won it outright again this year, Gregory being the beaten finalists.

St Bede's won one Under 15 and one Under 14 Trophy. They beat Hanson in the Walter French Trophy and grange in the President's Shield.

The other under 15 competition, the City Supporters' Senior Trophy was won by Wyke Manor for the second time (they beat St Bede's in the Final) and the Under 14 competition, the TSB Trophy, was won by Rhodesway for the first time; they beat Belle Vue in the Final.

Salt Grammar beat St. Bede's in the Final of the Jim Averis Trophy, and finally, the Schools' Cup was shared between Thornton and Buttershaw; this was the first appearance ever of Thornton on our list of Winners.

During this season there were complaints about schools not wishing to play on Saturdays, especially amongst the seniors.

Complaints were also voiced at the Council meeting in April at the volume of end-of-season fixtures and it was even suggested that the play-offs should be limited to winners only again.

Rhodesway went 'great guns' in 1983/1984 doing the double at Under 15 level and winning the Schools' Cup for good measure. St Bede's acquired both Under 14 Trophies; they beat Buttershaw 5-1 in winning the President's Shield for the 9th time and they beat Fairfax to win the TSB Trophy for the 3rd time in five years. St Bede's won the Jim Averis Senior Trophy.

In the Under 13 age group St George's won the City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy and Holy family the Aurora Trophy; in both cases Delf Hill were the unfortunate finalists, as they were also in the Braithwaite Trophy, won by Woodend.

Nab Wood won the George Tavender Trophy for the first time, beating Woodend in the Final, and also shared the Under 11 Cup with Priestman, while Woodend won the Smith's Crisps 6-a-side competition for the second year in succession.

St Clare's kept hold of the Under 10 Trophy for the fourth successive year but had to share it this season with St Matthew's.

An interesting development during the 'close' season was an under 9s Tournament held at Scholemoor, which was voted a great success. In addition, several hundred 'Superskills' Certificates were taken up in the first schools.

Information about the 1984 / 1985 season is very sketchy indeed; we do, however, know that: Queensbury won the President's Shield; Nab Wood won the Aurora Trophy; Wellington won the Braithwaite Trophy; Delf Hill won the George Tavender Trophy; Priestman won the Under 11 Cup; St George's won the Smith's Crisps 6-a-side competition; and Buttershaw won the Under 10 Trophy.

In this season there were 7 teams in the Senior section, 13 teams in the Under 16 League, 14 teams in the Under15 League, 15 teams in the Under 14 League (NB there were no reserve sections any more), 50 teams (8 Divisions) in the Under 13 League, 25 teams (5 Divisions) in the Under 12 league, 39 teams (6 Divisions) in the Under 11 League and 16 teams (2 Divisions) in the Under 10 League. Altogether there were 179 teams operating.

However, when the affiliation forms for the following season came in, the Secretary reported they were 'down' because of the teachers industrial action; in the event, he domestic programme for 1985/1986 was completely obliterated.

It was resumed in 1986/1987 with the following entries: Seniors 7; Under 16s 9; Under 15s 16; Under 14s 16; Under 13 42; Under 12s 15; Under11s 31; and under 10s 13; Total 149.

This was very much Wellington's year. They won he City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy beating Swain House 1 - 0 at Valley Parade:- this was the first time they had won the Trophy. They won the Aurora Trophy beating St Edmund Campion 2 - 1 at Valley Parade: - again this was their first win. They won the George Tavender Trophy for the first time beating Gilstead 1 - 0. They won the Smith's crisps 6-a-side Competition for the second time beating St. George's in the Final. Last, but not least, they were also in the finals of the Braithwaite Trophy (beaten 1 - 0 by Ladderbanks) and the Under11 Cup (beaten 1 - 0 by St George). St. Clare's won the Under 10 Trophy for the 5th time (twice joint winners) beating Wibsey 2 - 0 in the Final.

Among the older boys, the Senior League was won by Holy Family and the Jim Averis Cup by Nab Wood, who beat Salts 3 - 2 in the Final. St. Bede's won the Under 16 League, but were beaten in the final of the Schools' Cup by Salts. Rhodesway swept the board at Under 15, winning the League and both Cup competitions. They also won the Under 14 League, but both Cup competitions were shared. Yorkshire Martyrs figured I both finals, sharing the President's Shield with Hanson 4 - 4 and the TSB with Salts. In his Annual report the Secretary commented on the success of the various Finals; he expressed his delight " see over 2,700 spectators attending the finals at Valley Parade."

And so to the 1987/1988 Season, the last I shall be dealing with. In his report, Andy Mettas, the Secretary mentions, amongst other things, "...the splendid turnouts we had at Valley Parade to support the teams playing in our local finals and the enthusiastic performances by the less fortunate finalists that had to play their finals at less glamorous venues."

Looking through the 'honours' list we find the name of Rhodesway amongst the winners no less than five times, while Nab Wood, St George, Clayton, and Wibsey appear more than once.

Wibsey did the double in the Under 10 age-group beating Stoney Lee in both the League and play-off. With their Under 11s Clayton won the 6-a-side and shared the George Tavender Trophy with Ladderbanks, while St. George's won the Under 11 Cup. They also won the Braithwaite Trophy. Ladderbanks appeared in both Under 13 Finals but, while they beat Wellington to win the Aurora Trophy, the lost to St. Edmund Campion in the Final of the City Supporters' Intermediate Trophy.

Rhodesway almost monopolised the Under 14s. They were equal with Nab Wood in the League but won both Cup competitions beating Nab Wood in the President's Shield and Salts in the TSB Trophy. They did pretty well with their Under 15s too, winning the League and reaching the final of the City Supporters' Senior Trophy, where they were beaten by Hanson. The Walter French Trophy was shared between Hanson and Holy Family. Rhodesway also won the Schools' Cup though Nab Wood gained the League title.

Finally, Yorkshire Martyrs (in the League) and St. Bede's (in the Cup) shared the Senior Honours. The actual pattern of matches played was very much as in previous years; in the Senior League Holy Family played all 10 of their games and Nab Wood 9, the other participants playing 3, 4 or 5; in the Under 16 League three schools: Tong, Hanson and Queensbury played all their 16 games the smallest number being played being 11; in the Under 15 League: Rhodesway and Oakbank both played 12 / 13 games and in the Under 14 League the same schools played all their 13 games.

Prior to the 1988/1989 season the Council undertook an extensive re-organisation of the Under 13,12 and 11 Leagues. The Leagues, as they appear in the Handbook, were the basis of a 'Phase One' in which each team played the other teams in its Division only once, these fixtures being scheduled for completion by October 21st.

Thereafter 'Phase Two' would be base on a team's performance in the first Phase; three levels of competition would be organised: Divisions A, made up of the leading teams in each Phase One section, would go on to play for the main trophies i.e. the Aurora Trophy, the Braithwaite Trophy and the George Tavender Trophy; Divisions B, made up of the middle placed teams in Phase One, would go on to play for the Intermediate Trophies in each age group; and Divisions C, made up of the also-rans in the Phase One Leagues, would fight out matches for Supplementary Trophies. Each Phase Two section would consist of 3 or 4 teams which would play each other home and away to decide Section winners and runners up by mid April. Thereafter there would be normal play-offs followed by finals at each level.




Though from time to time reports on discipline have continued to be received, the majority of them are reports of action taken by Head Teachers. For example, on 27th October 1973, it was reported that a Priestman boy had been banned from future schools games; similarly on 9th December 1975 an Eccleshill boy had been sent off, in this case his Head Master had suspended him for a week.

Crowd disorder at school matches was now a rare event for so many schools had their own grounds and crowds at school matches were much smaller. There was one incident in October 1972 when the Head Master of Buttershaw complained that one of his boys had been assaulted by spectators at Nab Wood with the result that two of his teeth were broken. It emerged that none of the spectators concerned were or had been pupils at Nab Wood School.

Crowd trouble tended to be confined to matches played at either Park Avenue or Valley Parade; it occurred, as we have seen, at the Braithwaite Trophy Final between St George's and St Blaise at Park Avenue in 1974. Subsequently things improved as spectators were confined to the Stand or the standing area immediately in front of it.

One of the profitable lines of approach regarding discipline was the increasing liaison between the Association and the Bradford and District FA. In 1981 it was agreed that BSFA should have a representative on the Bradford Youth League Committee and that the League should have a delegate (who would have to be a teacher) on our Council. Tim Leigh (Gilstead) occupied this very valuable position (and went on to become the Association's Secretary in later years).




Refereeing inter-school matches continued to be the primary responsibility of the 'home' school. The Council usually contained a goodish quota of referees within its ranks; Bill Campbell, Keith Biggs, Dave Gilling, Dave Priestley, Mick Walsh, John Atkinson, Steve Richardson, Ken Wilcock, Tony Worrall, Ced Gelling, Malcolm Collins, Malcolm Thompson and Bill Brophy (not to mention the three secretaries) are among those who come to mind as frequent wearers of 'the black'. One or two of them were fortunate enough to receive ESFA 'plum' matches. Increasingly the Association has made use, in some of its 'big games', of the services of the referees of the Bradford and District Referees Association, whose effort, given so willingly, have been greatly appreciated.


The ESFA Individual Schools' Competitions


The ESFA first introduced competitions for individual schools in season 1968/1969 with an Under 19 competition. This was followed in season 1972/1973 by a similar competition for Under 16steams. This competition was, for the first two years of its life, sponsored by the Pepsi-Cola Company; this was the ESFA's first venture into sponsorship. The format of the two competitions was the same, a county competition in the period before Christmas, followed by an inter-county competition after Christmas. Bradford schools, on the whole have not shown the greatest enthusiasm for these competitions although some of those who have taken part have done quite well.

In season 1974/1975 Rhodesway won the Bradford area Under 19 competition and beat Pinder School, Scarborough before losing to St Michael's College Leeds. In the following year St Bede's became the first Bradford school to reach the national competition (Under19) in which they beat the Cleveland champions only to lose to the Durham representatives in the second round. They repeated this feat in the following season beating a Cumbria team in the 1st round but losing to the Northumberland winners in the 2nd. Their Under 16s reached the County Final this season being beaten by Archbishop Holgate's School, York.

In 1977/1978 Salt Grammar School were losing finalists in the county under 19 competition (to a Sowerby Bridge School) and reached the 3rd round of the national competition, beating Archbishop Holgate's and St Bede's School (Sunderland) before losing to (Sowerby Bridge) again. In1978/1979 Wyke Manor reached the county final (losing to Sowerby Bridge) and entered the national competition only to fall at the first hurdle. Rhodesway had a good run in the Under16 competition in 1979/1980, reaching the county final in which they were beaten by Cardinal Heenan School, Leeds, who went on to reach the national final. Buttershaw also reached the county final in the following season, losing to Brigshaw Comprehensive, Leeds in the Final. In the national competition they beat a North Yorkshire school before losing to one from Durham.

It was Wyke Manor's turn to reach the under 16 Final in 1981/1982 when they drew with Houghside School, Leeds. The best run that a Bradford school has had in an Individual Schools' Competition (now Known as The 'Nabisco Group Trophy Competition.) They had to play six matches to win the West Yorkshire championship, viz: v All Saints Huddersfield 7-1; V Corpus Christi Leeds 3-1; v St John's Huddersfield a walk over; v Holmfirth3-2; v Hemsworth 3-2; and v Temple Moor Leeds (played at Valley Parade03-2. In the national Competition they achieved the following results: Round 1 v St John's Stockport (Greater Manchester's B Representative) 5-5 followed by a 4-2 win; Round 2 v Thomas Sumpter School, Grimsby (Humberside's A Representative) 5-0; Round 3 v Temple Moor Leeds (West Yorkshire's B Representative) 5-2; and in the Quarter Final v Norfolk College, King's Lynn (Norfolk's B Representative) they lost 0-1 at home.


The Council (Committee) at work.


In season 1973/1974 the committee gave itself the new title of Council. which was thought to be more prestigious and perhaps more in line with the volume of work that was being undertaken. The new title in no way altered the constitution or powers, which the committee had possessed. This was one of a number of changes in the organisation of the Association in the past twenty years. There was a proposal in 1974 that the title of our leading official should be changed from 'Chairman' to 'President', but, as there was no strong feeling in favour of change, nothing came of the proposal. However, the Chairman's prestige was reinforced in 1983 by the purchase of a Chairman's Badge of Office (at a cost of 35), a project greatly desired by certain members of Council.

There were some important changes in the structure of officers and Council during the period. At the 1972 AGM it was decided to appoint two Fixture Secretaries, one to deal with the age groups of Under 13 and below, the other to handle the age groups from Under 14 upwards. At the 1973 AGM the committee was increased in size from15 to 18 to accommodate representatives of the Senior Section; a change to rule 5 required that "at least tree members of the Council shall be from the Senior Section" at the 1976 AGM it was decided not to elect Selection Committees. This was recognition of the existing situation in which selection was left in the hands of Team Managers. In my final season as Secretary (1979/1980) an 'Assistant Secretary' was added to the list of officers and the Association continued to appoint both 'Assistant' and 'Local' Secretaries when Tony Cryer became Secretary.

At the 1984 AGM it was decided to dispense with the office of local Secretary and hand over the work to four' Cup Administration officers', Derek Shuttleworth looking after Under 18s, Under 16s, Under 15s, and under 14s, Mick Curtin Under 13s, Malcolm Collins Under 12s and Ken Wilcock Under 11s. In 1974 Council accepted my proposals for a regular pattern for its meetings as follows.

1, there was to be a regular meeting on the 2nd Tuesday in each month with a fixed agenda of Minutes, Correspondence, Reports and AOB.

2 there were to be special meetings to discuss matters of great importance or such as were likely to produce long discussion.

Some features of the administrative work gave us concern from time to time. For one thing, it was not easy to find people willing to serve on Council, for instance at the 1982 AGM four vacancies were left to be filled by co-option. There were also periodic 'rumblings' about Council members whose attendance at meetings was sporadic. These 'rumblings' came to a head in the 1975/1976 season, when the retiring Chairman Mick Walsh put down rule alterations which attempted to deal with the problem: "Any elected or co-opted member who does not attend two consecutive Council meetings shall be deemed to have resigned unless an explanation satisfactory to the Council is received. Any elected or co-opted member who fails to attend at least half the meetings of Council in a Season shall render himself ineligible for membership of Council for the following season unless the AGM deems him eligible on receipt of a satisfactory explanation."


Clashes of Interest.


There were one or two clashes of interest which gave the Council concern from time to time. The main 'clash' was that between the claims of City teams and those of the local Youth League. There was a discussion on the subject on 22nd June 1970, as a result of which it was agreed that boys in the City Squad must be told that they must not play for such clubs immediately before City games. The problem recurred in the 1977/1978 season and it was resolved "that Under 15 schoolboy players should not play for an outside club until any commitments with the City side are completed and these stipulations should be sent to the parents of players, to the Head Masters of all schools involved to all sports masters involved and to the Bradford and District FA.

The B & DFA were increasingly helpful in sorting out this problem, but of course, this did not preventing individual boys being over-played by clubs and indeed schools. At them* of 11th November 1980 Steve Dewhirst, the Under 11 team Manager, gave an example of one boy who had played for TWO school teams on Saturday morning, followed by TWO matches for clubs on the following day.

Early in 1981 a formal approach was made to the Bradford Youth League and a 'friendly and useful' meeting of delegates was held, which agreed the following points:

a) a boy is not expected to play for more than his school, the Bradford Schools' team and one club;

b) the request from the Schools' FA that boys involved in English Trophy games and later rounds of the Yorkshire Trophy or other important fixtures should not be played in club teams was accepted. Teams with such boys in them may be excused their Sunday fixture;

c) the Schools' FA would have a delegate on the Bradford Youth League and the Bradford Youth League would have a delegate on the Schools' FA Council. (This delegate would have to be a teacher.)

As we have seen, our schools themselves were not blameless in the matter of over playing boys, and at the end of the 1981/1982 season there was a report of a boy playing in his school's Under 11 and Under 12 team in successive finals; this incident prompted Council to introduce a rule change specifically forbidding this practice "Playing Rule 4(l)."




Association Handbook 1971-72It will be remembered that the Handbook, though regarded as an essential, was somewhat of an embarrassment to the Association; there was always a small knot of reluctant payers and the publication of the Handbook usually produced a small financial loss. In George Perrott's first year as Secretary (1969/1970) the handbook ran to 100 pages and cost 9 old pence; sale of handbooks produced 70 and adverts 57, the cost of printing was 135, a small profit being realised.

In season 1972/1973 the handbook was costing 5 new pence Association Handbook 72/73and the Treasurer asked the committee to "look closely at the whole question of the handbook"; the committee's response was to appoint a sub committee (Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, S. C. Clarkson and P. Wilkinson) to act on its behalf. There was a long discussion at the next committee meeting (4th October 1972) but no firm decision was taken at the moment.

At the meeting on 1st February 1973 the Treasurer reported the receipt of very favourable terms (2,000 books for 140) from the Treasurer's Department at City Hall. These terms were gladly accepted for the current year, but a year later the cost had risen to 325.
Association handbook 73/74
    This meant that a handbook on traditional lines was out of the question, so in 1974/1975 a much smaller book of 40 pages (with historical material omitted) was produced and sold at 5p. At the Council meeting on 20th May 1974 there was a full discussion of the handbook situation, and the nettle was finally grasped with a resolution that schools should be required to purchase a minimum number of handbooks.
    At the AGM the following rule was introduced to deal with the situation: "... The Association shall issue a Handbook, the price of which shall be fixed by the Council. Schools shall purchase handbooks at the rate of ten per team entered in the Association's Leagues for the current season. All handbook money must be paid by 30th November. Failure to comply with this rule will disqualify schools from inclusion in the competitions for the following season."

    The price of the handbook was increased to 8p in 1977/1978 and to 10p in 1979/1980 and to 15p in 1980/1981. These increases were obviously a matter of concern to Council and they welcomed the information (14th October 1980) that a Southport firm was prepared to produce a handbook at no cost to the Association. At the meeting on the following 14th July 1981 it was reported that "... no problems were anticipated" but come September, the Handbooks were still not available; indeed they were delayed so long that Council were forced to put out an Emergency Sheet containing essential material. In spite of this, Council, in a mood of unjustified generosity, decided to give the publisher another chance in 1982/1983, the consequence being that the Handbooks were not delivered and Council had to undertake the production of an 8 page booklet containing merely cup-draws and fixtures .Association Handbook 88/89

It was hardly surprising that at the December meeting it was reported that the publisher had gone bankrupt. The 1983/1984 handbook consisted of 16 pages (but in a larger format) with here full page and three other adverts; money was saved (about 100) by Council undertaking the collating and stapling of the pages and, to the astonishment of member schools, distribution had taken place before the end of the Autumn term.

The 1984/1985 handbook was of similar size but contained 30 pages; this was a glossy affair with four full-page and 30 other adverts and was again distributed before term began. At the 1984 AGM the rule requiring schools to pay for handbooks by 30th November was rescinded and schools were required to pay for handbooks (and medals) when they affiliated i.e. before the season began.

    Subsequent handbooks have continued in a similar format; the current one (1988/1989) contains 26 pages, 3 pages of photographs, 6 full page and 18 other adverts. Council has not been in a position to return, even for a single issue, to the 'jumbo' handbooks of the years up to 1973/1974.




As we have seen, as far as medals were concerned the Council was in a cleft sick. Medals had always been awarded and indeed the number of medals presented had increased in recent years, although the Bradford City Supporters' Association, when they donated their two trophies in 1965, included in their gift four sets of medals up to a maximum cost of 20; indeed, subsequently in 1972 the number of medals was increased to 13 per team in line with committee policy.

The matter of the cost of medals was discussed at its meeting of the 23rd June 1969 and it was decided that plaques only should be awarded to League and section winners, whilst medals would be presented to the finalists in the Schools' Cup and Junior Trophy only; this decision was implemented by a rule change at the 1970 AGM. There seemed to be no particular logic in selecting these two competitions for medals and not the Aurora Trophy, Braithwaite Trophy, etc. Non the less this anomalous situation continued until 1977, when Council decided to institute a combined affiliation for each team to cover both medals and handbooks. At the AGM that year a rule change was introduced to implement the proposal, as follows: Plaques only will be awarded to League and section winners. Medals, (13 in number) will be awarded to the finalists of all competitions which are organised wholly or partly on a knockout basis. Schools entering such competitions will be required to pay an entry fee (to be determined by Council), which will be used solely to purchase the necessary medals. Thus the Association no longer had to worry about the cost of either medals or handbooks. They were paid for by schools (in advance) and the charge could be raised whenever it was necessary.

In the Treasurers 1977/1978 balance sheet the income from handbooks and medals totalled 332.20 (to which must be added 50 for adverts in the handbook). The Handbook cost 190 to print and medals and plaques cost 143. In all there was a profit of about 50 on medals and handbooks.


Presentation Evenings


The Association's first Presentation Evening was held in 1982. The idea of such an evening was first mooted at the meeting on 8th December1981 when the suggestion put forward by the Secretary, Tony Cryer, was enthusiastically supported. The function was put on at Poplars Farm First school on Thursday, 20th May and the guest list included John Helm (YTV), Roy McParland (the current Manager of Bradford City), Mick Jones, Barry Gallagher, Peter Jackson and Gary Watson. Presentations were made to a 'Player of the Year' and 'The most Improved Player' in each age group as well as to all competition winners.

Some 250 boys, parents and guests attended. The second presentation evening was held at Hanson Upper School, which offered rather more space and a bar. The Evening could now be regarded as a permanent feature of the Association's calendar.

NB. The Evenings were held at Hanson for a couple of years with members of the Association running the bars but have since been held at larger venues with their own bars such as Eccleshill Cricket club, The City Band Club and The Pile Bar.


The Soccer Camp.


Another innovation in recent years has been the series of soccer camps/schools arranged in collaboration with the Bradford City Football Club. The first of these was held on three days in the Easter holidays of 1982, with the 11-13 age group in mind. An integral part of the course was a coaching demonstration by Roy McParland and the players of the City club. This was to become a regular feature of our activities, though in the following year the course was held at the start of the summer holidays with the venue being the 'Astroturf' surface at Scholemoor Sports Centre.


Football and Girls.


An interesting subject which has cropped up for some years now has been the position of girls in school' football. As far as Bradford was concerned, the problem first emerged in 1972, when it was reported that Odsal House School, a very small special school, was including girls in its team. Accordingly, the committee instructed me to take the matter up with the Head, suggesting, among other thins, that the position as regards insurance for these girls should be looked at. I was assured that, as far as the LEA was concerned, girls were insured in the same way as boys and he intended to continue to involve them in friendly games while reluctantly withdrawing the team from the League.

The issue was raised again in 1974, when it was reported that St Columba's, who would be involved in end of season play offs, had been including girls in their team (apparently with no objection from their opponents). As the Head Master pointed out, "this was done openly with the approval of the opposing team's representative." However, the committee decided reluctantly, at its meeting of 6th march 1974, that St Columba's action contravened our General Rule 1 and all points gained as a result of playing fixtures with girls in the team be deducted. This meant that Bierley and not St Columba's were awarded runners-up position in their section. The decision was accepted by the school with sorrow, if not with indignation. "The administration of justice leaves much to be desired and this decision I find difficult to explain to the team as a fair one"(Head Master).

The issue had now become a 'national' one and on 26th October 1976, in a General Circular, the ESFA gave a ruling on 'Girls' participation within ESFA. It made it clear that, from its inception in 1904, ESFA had been concerned with school BOYS and this was still the case. ESFA's concern was with football as an extra-curricula activity. Decisions about the participation of girls in curricula activities were the Head Teachers responsibility, though the ESFA advised "serious consideration" of the matter. This policy statement was repeated in a circular dated 14th September 1977 following further enquiries.

On 30th October 1980 it was thought necessary to reiterate ESFA policy on the matter. In the meantime the FA had, in 1978, won an appeal in a Nottinghamshire Court. The Appeal judge ruling "that the game of football is outside the ambit of the Sex Discrimination Act." ESFA summarised their view of the matter as follows: "Girls cannot play in matches under the jurisdiction of the ESFA. They can, however, play in friendly matches where the Head Teacher takes full responsibility." One feels that this is hardly likely to be the end of the matter.

NB. At the 1991 ESFA AGM in Norwich instructions were issued that after serious discussions and consultations with he FA, the ESFA were to go along with the FA ruling that' mixed' football could be played under FA jurisdiction up to the age of 11. This was qualified by the ESFA to include the proviso "where local Associations so wish."




It is hardly surprising, in view of the great increase in the Association's activities in the past twenty years, that the financial implications of these are on a much larger scale than previously.

The Income and Expenditure account for 1970/1971 illustrates the position just before the radical change in our finances, which came about in the70s. It will be noticed that the new arrangements by which schools paid for handbooks and medals had not yet been introduced; in this year sales of handbooks (plus adverts) produced 130.51, while the printing cost 133.87. Medals cost us 54.15. There was no grant from BSAA and the main item of income was the proceeds from the various Cup Finals, etc which amounted to 192.94. Trophy matches were far less profitable; one English Trophy game v Hull away produced a profit of  3.15 and two of the Yorkshire Trophy games made profits (v Huddersfield 14.60 and v Sheffield 19. 46), but the other three produced losses (v Keighley 3.70, v Halifax 3.50 and v Don and Dearne 13.01). The newly introduced Yorkshire Junior Trophy had proved an expensive proposition; there were profits in two matches:  A 7.50 v Rotherham (a replay) and 9.10 in the first leg of the final at Hull, but four games resulted in losses, v Sheffield 11.60, v Rotherham 4.36 v Rotherham (second replay) 16p and v Hull (Final second leg) 17.31. The profit on the season was 3.10.

Finance was a pretty regular topic for discussion in the ensuing years; there was one such example on 1st February 1973 when Norman Emmett explained that "the most worrying fact about the Association's general finances was that our assets of 482 had only been achieved with the help of income from "non-football" sources such as grants, interest on investments and from patrons. Without them we would have been in a serious situation, especially had we not been blessed with gifts of kit etc."   The point that particularly alarmed the Treasurer was "the cost of the growing number of friendly fixtures." This growth was of course to continue. At the same meeting we were asked to submit a figure to BSAA for a grant from the new Bradford authority 1n 1973/1974; the amount asked for was 250.

The treasurer was even more depressed at the next meeting 8th March), especially concerning City games on senior grounds which "had not earned sufficient revenue to cover the cost of printing tickets", in fact, the printing of tickets was largely dropped from now on. Fortunately, as was often to be the case, income from end of season finals made the Treasurer rather more cheerful; the Junior semi-finals alone had brought in 27.

At the 1973 AGM he ascribed the healthy financial situation largely to or BSAA grant. By February 1974, however, Norman was happy to present a "gloomy picture" once again; as usual, the end of season finals largely relieved the gloom. We had placed a request to BSSF (successor to BSAA) for 750 for season 1974/1975, but had been asked by that body to prune our estimate. After a lengthy discussion it was resolved that we were unable to prune our estimate unless there was a guarantee of financial cover

a) for matches beyond the 3rd round of the English Trophy Competition;

b) for matches beyond the regional stage of the Yorkshire Trophy competition; and

c) for the Glasgow game

At the 1974 AGM the Treasurer pointed out that our assets had declined by 130 over the past two years. The Association's application for BSSF grant for 1975/1976 was placed at 800. At the meeting on 11th March 1975 the Treasurer, while viewing with concern the rising cost of coaches, suggested that this year's BSSF grant might well be about 500. At the AGM he announced a balance of 84.20 on the season's working, both local finals and results to the Press showing increased amounts while Trophy matches "inevitably showed losses." The loss of Park Avenue as a venue and the unavailability of Valley Parade had not helped the situation. At the meeting on 10th February 1976 he reported that the cost of friendly inter-city games was in the region of 300.

At the 1976 AGM Norman reported "disappointing support and much reduced income" at domestic finals despite increased admission charges. On 14th September 1976 he reported that a request for grant had been placed with BSSF for 850 plus 250 for the Senior Section. The full amount asked for was received and the Treasurer was in the happy position of being able to invest 800.

Season 1977/1978 was a good one financially, showing a balance of 245.77; of our total income of 2,068.64 the BSSF grant accounted for 1,280, the only other sizeable items of income being A 399.75 for results to the press and 133 from various local finals. The running of City Boys' team (training and friendlies) cost 329, and the various Trophy matches incurred losses of about 266. The grant requested for 1979/1980 was 1600.

At the 1979 AGM a loss on the season of 425 was reported however this figure was an unrealistic one. By the time the carry over of finance into the close season made it difficult to produce a realistic balance sheet on May 31st each year. In this particular season there was still money to come in from some local finals, and from Bristol (ESFA Trophy semi final) game, so the Treasurer placed the actual loss on the season at about 72. However, the loss on the past season induced Council to scale down its rather generous list of gratuities at the September meeting.

The 1979/1980 season produced another unrealistic Balance Sheet, showing an excess of income over expenditure of  2,168. This was largely explained by the fact that the income from the Draw in connection with the King George V playing Fields had been received ( 2,132) and had at that time not been spent. The realistic profit was about 36.

We have selected the 1980/1981 Balance Sheet for examination. It showed an income of  4,168 and expenditure of 4,742, hence a loss of 573. The BSSF grant accounted for 2,255 of the income, whilst bank Interest accounted for 222 and results to Press 168. Income from local finals amounted to 317. The Association banked two sets of payments for handbooks and medals. 518 for 1980/1981 and 528 for 1981/1982, to which must be added 82.80 for advertising in the handbook. The main items of expenditure were 1,496 on fencing at King George V Playing Fields, 417 on plaques and medals, 402 on a fresh supply of Association ties, 778 on the expenses of the City Boys' team, 350 to the Senior section, 299 on kit and the washing of kit, 280 on the printing of the handbooks, 293 on the Easter Tour, and  124 on administration.

1981/1982 was a more 'normal' year and produced a small profit of  133. Of the total income 0f 5,178, the BSSF grant accounted for  2,600, payments for the Easter Tour 1,015 and affiliations (ie. payments for affiliations and handbooks) for 1982/1983 brought in  512. Bank interest earned  204, results to Press  15, payments for the Soccer Camp  250, and takings at local finals 170.Expenditure amounted to  5,045 the largest item being  1750 on the City Boys' team,  1322 on the expenses of the Easter Tour,  473 on medals and plaques, and  350 for the grant to Senior Section. New kit and its washing through the season cost us about  400, expenditure on the Soccer camp amounted to  211 and the cost of the Presentation Evening was 52.84.

The last Balance sheet we will look at showed another deficit in the 1984/1985 season of  679. By this time income had risen to  7,572 and expenditure to  8,252. A far cry indeed from the income of  128 and expenditure of  63 in season 1934/1935! The BSSF grant was now  3,250, domestic finals produced  421 and bank Interest  162. Perhaps, however, the most interesting items of income were those in connection with various tours:  550 for Glasgow, 826 for Largs,  410 for Tyneside and  925 for Nantes. The cost of running representative sides had now increased to  1,528, kit absorbed 451, the Senior Section received 400 and the Presentation evening cost 374.

Despite the vastly increased scale on which the Association was now working, the Balance Sheet on may 31st 1985 showed assets of 2,504.14 of which 1,959 rested in a Deposit Account in the Midland Bank.

The Bradford City Disaster Appeal.

Following the tragic disaster at Valley Parade in May 1985, Council voted 100 to the Disaster Fund. In addition   200.30 was received from the Wolverhampton Schools' FA and ultimately 373, plus our own donation, was handed over to the fund.




The issue of insurance came to the fore again when the ESFA, in a circular dated 24th November 1971 asked member Associations to report on the situation that existed in their particular areas as regards insurance cover being offered by LEA's to teachers involved in 'out of school' activities. There was obviously a great deal of back-stage activities at this time involving the ESFA, the Association of Municipal corporations, the County Council Association, the Association of Education Committees and the Welsh Joint Education Committee, the outcome of which was that, in a letter from the four Associations dated 11th September 1973, "it will be seen that in a large measure what is now being recommended to all Authorities will go a long way to meet the needs of school teachers engaged in out-of-school activities."

The ESFA went on to stress however, "that the document has yet to be ratified by all Authorities, while new Authorities emerging in 1974 (the year of Local government reorganisation) will have to give consideration to what is being placed before them. "Obviously the Council of the ESFA were reasonably pleased with the progress that had been made and asked Member Associations "to refrain from further investigations."

Not all of the 'new' Authorities sets up in 1974 were in a hurry to carry out the recommendations mentioned above. In 1976 the British Association of Advisers and Lecturers in Physical Education and the ESFA carried out an enquiry to see what progress had been made. Four of the five West Yorkshire LEA's had accepted the recommendations but Bradford had yet to furnish the information. At the Bradford Council meeting on 14th September 1976 I was instructed to write to the Authority to ascertain whether Bradford's reply had now been submitted.

The matter of insurance was raised in a personal way in 1979; at the Council meeting on 13th February the Secretary reported receiving a letter from ESFA, which was a photo-copy of a letter they had received from their insurance brokers with regard to a claim concerning mark Townend, who was injured playing for Bradford Boys in 1978. They had advised the ESFA that they did not appear to be liable against any claim. The Council were somewhat disturbed about the matter and instructed the Secretary and the relevant Team Manager (Geoff Schofield) to follow up the matter with the boy's parents and report back to Council.

However, before this particular issue had been resolved, the issue of insurance of pupils had taken on a wider connotation as a result of the Rugby Football Union's action in advising the Schools' Rugby Football Association to take out policies to cover schoolboy players. It appeared that, contrary to our beliefs, the Authority, in their insurance arrangements, covered teachers but not pupils. Pupils apparently [played football and other games at their own risk, a situation of which, it was thought many parents were unaware.

The Mark Townend matter was discussed again at the Council meeting of 12th June 1979; there was some possibility that the boy had suffered a permanent disability. It was generally felt that Council had been at fault in not communicating with the parents (an omission which the Chairman offered to put right), but there was, at the moment, little hard information to give them. At the next meeting Ken Wilcock, the Chairman, reported on his meeting with Mr &Mrs Townend. They had contacted a solicitor but had been advised that the Association had no legal responsibility. However, members of Council generally felt not only that we had got a moral responsibility with regard to Mark Townend, but also as Geoff Schofield pointed out, we had a moral responsibility towards other boys who might represent the Association in future years.

By the time the next meeting was held (on 11th September) the Secretary had received another letter from ESFA and their insurers, asking for exact medical details about mark. This enquiry had been forwarded to the boy's parents and their reply was awaited. In the meanwhile any action by the Association was held in abeyance until ESFA had concluded their investigation.

The next step was that Mrs Townend phoned to say that a medical report on Mark would cost 30, but she would obtain this if it would help to expedite the matter. The report was accordingly acquired and forwarded to ESFA. Meanwhile the broader issue had come to the fore again. Once again it was the position of boys playing Rugby Union Football that sparked off the controversy, an article on the subject appearing in "School Sport". The Secretary forwarded a copy of this article to the Director of education, who suggested a meeting of Associations connected with 'contact sports'.

On 24th January 1980, the ESFA issued a document on 'insurance' to its member Associations. ESFA had decided to take out a Personal Accident Insurance Policy for schoolboys. The document went on to explain the position of Insurance Cover for teachers, emphasising the problem of teachers involved with Local or County Schools' FA's, whose activities of course took teachers outside their own LEA's. Association Secretaries were asked to check with LEA's concerning the cover available. Finally, "all Associations are advised to inform parents of boys appearing School and Association teams of the fact that no insurance cover is available for schoolboys." On receipt of this information we asked our Director of Education whether he intended to inform parents of the situation and we were informed (8th July 1980) that he did not intend to do so. It was decided therefore that we should notify parents by means of the Authority Newsletter and through our own Circular. Two schools, Drummond and Thorpe, intimated their intention of notifying their own parents and asking for signed statements recognising the situation. In fact ESFA changed its mind about not implementing a Personal Accident Insurance Scheme and made the offer to Associations of free cover for one nominated team. Some 236 Associations availed themselves of the offer, of whom 137 elected to arrange cover for additional teams at the attractive premium of 2 per team; the general response "cold have been more encouraging." Bradford had taken advantage of the scheme.

It was reported at the meeting of November 10th 1981, that for 2 per team the Association had received cover of 5,000 per player plus 250 out-of pocket expenses for a player's parents. At the beginning of 1982 the ESFA entered into further discussions with their Insurance Broker's, Norman Frizzell Ltd., "to explore the feasibility of expanding the present scheme to embrace overseas tours and individual School activities." These discussions did, in fact, produce an extension of the existing scheme for season 1982/1983. The ESFA would pay the premium of 2.50 per team. Norman Frzzell's were to conduct investigations into the extent of the Personal Accident Scheme to embrace individual schools.

Early in the 1982/1983 season the ESFA reported that 160 Associations had accepted ESFA's offer to pay premiums for additional teams "a slightly higher number than in the preceding year, Bradford was one of this number. The scheme was continued in the 1983/1984 season but buy 1985/1986 it had lapsed through lack of support. This meant that Bradford had to make its own arrangements. This was done by March 1986, when the Treasurer reported that the insurance of all the Associations teams had been completed through the Norwich Union Company at a cost of 14.60 per team. Thus hopefully, both teachers supervising schools' football and the boys participating are insured against all foreseeable accidents "a far cry from a century ago, when any accident to a boy footballer was followed by a series of money raising activities.


Financial Statement 1980/ 1981


Income and Expenditure Account.

Income                                                                                                     Expenditure

Grant and supplement from BSSF            2255.00                                   Grant to Senior Schools                                                    350.00

Handbooks and Medals                               518.95                                   Handbook Printing                                                            280.00

Handbook Advertising                                   82.80                                    Affiliations                                                                           81.40

Bank Interest                                               222.97                                    Easter Tour                                                                       293.20

Results to Press                                          168.85                                    Stationery                                                                           55.64

Donations                                                      27.00                                    Plaques and Medals                                                        417.06

6-a side Tournament                                     30.00                                      Kit                                                                                   223.04

Late receipts 1979/1980                                 3.00                                      Kit washing                                                                       76.80

Finals and Semi-finals                                149.34                                      Expenditure on KGV Playing Field                               1496.60

City Supporters' Final                                 113.09                                    Administration                                                                   124.40

Aurora Trophy final                                       55.68                                     Ties                                                                                 402.97

E.S.F.A. U16 & U 19 entries                         14.00                                       E.S.F.A. AGM Expenses                                                  5.60

Handbook and Medals 1981/1982              528.05                                       Life Membership (W Campbell)                                    26.25

  ?                                                                   0.73                                      Coaching Courses                                                          18.00

                                                                                                                    City Boys expenses                                                      778.15

                                                                                                                     E.S.F.A. Trophy (4 matches)                                          54.75

                                                                                                                    Victory Shield                                                                  37.50

                                                                                                                    Under 11 YSFA Final                                                       20.79

Balance of Expenditure Over Income       573.42  

Total                                                        4742.15                                                                                             Total                       4742.15

Profit and loss account

Balance 31/5/80                                     2483.09 

Balance of  Expenditure over  Income    (573.42)

Balance 31/5/1981                                 1909.67

Balance Sheet

Assets                                                                                                             Liabilities

Midland Bank Current a/c                        525.27

Midland Bank deposit a/c                      1217.97

York County                                             156.43

Cash in Hand                                             10.00

Shares in Bfd City                             10 nominal

Stock of Association Ties  47 @  3        141.00

                                    103 @  2.75       283.25 

                                                                                                                    Excess of Assets over  Liabilities                                  2333.92

Totals                                                      2333.92                                                                                                                              2333.92

King George Playing Fields a/c

Income                                                    2132.00                                        Expenditure                                                                   1496.60

Balance                                                     635.40

Financial Statement 1984/1985.

Income and Expenditure Account.

Income                                                                                                             Expenditure

English Trophy(2 Matches)                         91.64                                             English Trophy(2 Matches)                                          86.80

Per T & A (Results)                                  131.50                                              Kit Washing                                                               128.63

Bradford Boys Income                                87.71                                              Bradford Boys                                                         1528.28

Sale of Bags and Ties                                 25.00                                              Administration                                                          110.87

Extra Medals                                               15.30                                              Affiliations                                                                   45.00

Bank Interest                                             162.16                                              Kit                                                                            451,79

Handbooks (Sportshoes)                            20.00                                             Medals                                                                      150.00

Skill Certificates                                            1.00                                               Bank Charges                                                            4.50

Wembley (1st Trip)                                    274.50                                               Delegates Expenses                                                 57.50

Late Affiliations                                              7.00                                               Senior Section                                                        400.00

Finals and Semi-finals                               298.35                                                Presentation evening                                             374.21

Glasgow (away)                                         550.00                                               Handbook                                                                 93.35

Largs                                                          826.54                                               Wembley (1st Trip)                                                 337.05

Tyneside                                                    410.50                                                Expenses                                                                 52.50

Wembley (2nd Trip)                                    273.00                                                Glasgow                                                                557.80

France(Nantes)                                         925.00                                                 Largs                                                                     947.07

Grant (BSSF)                                          3250.00                                                  Tyneside                                                               945.17

Finals Bradford City                                  123.70                                                  Wembley (2nd Trip)                                               477.00

                                                               7572.90                                                France (Nantes)                                                    1384.71

                                                                                                                            Final (Valley Parade)                                               48.50

  Excess of Expenditure over  Income    ( 679.83)                                           Expenditure on Ties                                                 72.00

Totals                                                         8252.73                                                                                                                         8252.73

Balance Sheet

Assets                                                                                                                 Liabilities

Midland Bank Current a/c                             199.49

Midland Bank deposit a/c                           1959.72

TSB                                                              156.43

Cash in Hand                                                   0.00

Stock of Bags  29 @  6.50                           188.50 

Excess of Assets over  Liabilities               2504.14

Totals                                                          2504.14                                                                                                                         2504.14

King George Playing Fields a/c

Income 2132.00                                                                                                       Expenditure                                                   1496.60

                                                       Balance 635.40