Bradford Remembered 24 Years On – 11.05.85

The Whole Stand Is On Fire

“the whole stand is on fire” he cried upon my radio
but how it started to this day we still may never know
and who here can imagine the fear the heat the pain
but pray that such a day as this will never dawn again

what should have been a joyous game promotion celebration
claimed lives of fifty six that day and shocked this sorry nation
and in that dark inferno blaze too horrible to dream
the lessons learned will ne’re replace those lives that should have been

as bravery and tragedy unfurled before our eyes
where fans risked life and limb and more to save so many lives
so hard to not let anger grow at things we can avoid
nor find a way to measure the depth of all destroyed

I used to be nostalgic for lovely wooden stands
those ancient crumbling terraces that stretched across these lands
the rusty turnstile mayhem and big crowd anarchy
that bumbled on for years and years the way it used to be

for from that day we realised in sadness and disgrace
while arguments may rage on long they never can replace
nor bring back those who sat and cheered all as that game began
when scarves were waved and sunlight shone on trophy and on fan

no mighty modern structures no chrome nor steel designs
can ‘ere erase or truly face those tragic frightful times
we learned a million lessons we looked to shoulder blame
to those who died and those with scars we hang our heads in shame

and some will say that something came that changed our football homes
but what a price for luxury if only we had known
if only this – if only that for words will always fail
and can’t bring back the ones now gone tis all to no avail

“the whole stand is on fire” he cried upon my radio
and how it started to this day we still may never know
but still we can’t forget those scenes the fear the heat the pain
and pray that such a day as this will never dawn again

© CT Crispin Thomas 05

“The whole stand is on fire” were the actual words of the radio commentator that day, 24 years on this week Remembering 11th May 1985.Valley Parade.Bradford.56 died ,over 250 injured and burned.

There have been some incredibly moving and heartbreaking poems on this site over the last five years, from our inception in June 2000, dedicated to those who lost their lives at Hillsborough and Heysel. I struggled to recall or search and find existing poems about that awful day at Bradford however .Please let us know if there are any other poems here about this awful day that I missed..

I felt it necessary to put down some thoughts. It would be so easy I feel, to pick fault with anything we say or write as bystanders, having not actually been at Hillsborough, Heysel or Bradford personally on those days and night. The images however are still as vivid and frightening though to this day. I cannot imagine for a moment what the experience of either of these tragedies must have been like for those thousands there and those who are no longer with us or indeed those among the 250 plus who suffered serious injuries and burns. Anyone who has experienced a real fire in a building will begin to sense how everyone in the ground and those watching on television would have been forever changed by these events. I just wanted to put my feelings down, that’s all, on what was such a sad and terrible year in football and life itself. For more info and commemorative details visit the Bradford City FC official site.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/news/2009/05/11/bradford-remembered-24-years-on-11-05-85/