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Valley prayed 11.05.85

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 “The fire spread
faster than a man can run” –
faster than John Hendrie chasing the through ball
faster than his tracking defender
faster than the lino
faster than the ref
faster than the supporting midfield
faster
than the unfortunates
trapped in the stand
all of them dastardly tackled
by the swirling, acrid, lung contracting smoke
that sent choking wisps wrapping around the victims
like modern day defenders-at-corners.
But the penalty went, to the Devil himself
who took so many worthy souls
and we remember them still
more than any goals.

In memory of the 56 supporters who died in the fire at Valley Parade, 11/05/1985.

Fifty-six people died. More than 250 others were injured in one of the biggest disasters at a British football ground.
Bradford City were supposed to be celebrating on 11 May 1985. The team was presented with the Division Three championship trophy – their first trophy in 56 years – in front of 11,000 jubilant fans before the start of their match against Lincoln City.

The 1984-85 season had been one of the most successful in Bradford City’s 82-year history. Led by former England international Trevor Cherry, the Bantams won only their third divisional title and earned a return to the second tier of English football for the first time since 1937.

Former Bradford midfielder John Hendrie, who was playing in the match: “We had already won the league, all the hard work had been done. We went there to win the last game in front of a home crowd.
“We went out on to the pitch and I could see so many happy faces. We were given the trophy before the game in front of the supporters and had to do a lap of honour.

About 3,000 people were in Valley Parade’s main stand, escaped by climbing over walls on to the pitch or through the usual exit gates. The government inquiry into the disaster concluded the fire spread “faster than a man could run”.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/valley-prayed-11-05-85/