A footballing wilderness
By John Hamilton
My first impressions of Bradford (aged fifteen) were of the most
almighty dump, fit for nothing. As Mike Reid once said,"'They could
drop an atom bomb on Bradford, and do fifteen quid's worth of
damage!". And yet for some bizarre reason I came to University here
to do Civil Engineering, and it was my first choice! You see, I came
again a couple of years later, and saw one of the greatest places in the
world to be a student.
There is a bit of a footballing wilderness up here mind you, the
Bradford Bulls (nee Northern) draw 10,000 crowds for rugby league, and
the pub talk is of tries, not goals. The local attractions include Harry
Ramsdens, Bronte Country and several museums of note. The best of
which is the National Museum of Film, Photography and Television;
which boast the country's only IMAX cinema (five stories high).
Apart from Bradford City, the locals mainly support Leeds and Merchandise
Utd. Two teams I hate with a comparable passion to the Scum. Leeds
supporters I find to be smug getts who can't take losing. The one
occasion I did venture out to see City play, it was like a group of
ten year olds playing, with everyone forgetting which position they
were, and chasing after the ball. Looked like rugby to me!
Bradford (the place) didn't disappoint me, and with a BEng under my arm,
I didn't disappoint it. I wish during the same time I could say the same for
the Hornets. Things reached a head last summer. The one consolation
of relegation I reasoned was that I would only have a five minute
drive to Valley Parade to see the Golden Boys stuff The Bantams. This
went by the way when Bradford City fought (valiantly) through the
playoffs, and we passed each other in purgatory.
By this time, of course, I am now married, and living out of Bradford
and in a village near Bingley called Gilstead. Here you can buy a two
bedroom semi with garage and 60 foot garden for £38,000 (I know cos I did). The
local hostelry specialises in Timothy Taylors (Make mine a pint of
Golden Best). Trips to see the 'orns include Huddersfield, York,
Barnsley and Burnley.
Life's pretty good here, although I think a trip to my shrink is
order soon. I keep having this recurring nightmare that I'll have to
go to Stockport to see the golden boys play year after year, whilst
Bedfordshire becomes the centre for footballing excellence as first
L*ton then Baldock Town go on to win the Champions League, no, no,