Thursday, May 11 marks the 32nd anniversary of the Bradford City AFC fire disaster at Valley Parade.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Geoff Reid, will attend the memorial service on Thursday, 11 May to remember the 56 people who died in the disaster in 1985.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Lincoln will represent the city of Lincoln at the event. Bradford City were playing Lincoln City in their last home match of the season in 1985 when the fire ripped through the ground killing 54 Bradford City fans, two Lincoln City fans and injuring many more.
The service which starts at 11am will be conducted by the chaplain to Bradford City AFC, the Reverend Andy Greiff and the Lord Mayor’s chaplain Reverend Canon Sarah Jemison and supported by the Venerable Andy Jolley, Archdeacon of Bradford.
The service, which is attended by the relatives and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured, as well as local people, takes place at the Bradford City Fire Memorial sculpture in Centenary Square.
There will be a reading from the Bible and prayers will be led by the Reverend Canon Paul Maybury, Precentor at Bradford Cathedral, before the act of remembrance which will include a minute’s silence.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford will lead a wreath laying ceremony by laying a wreath on behalf of the city and the district. Wreaths will also be laid by the Mayor of Lincoln, a representative for Bradford City AFC, bereaved families and the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. Once these wreaths have been laid, others who wish to lay their own wreaths or floral tributes are welcome to do so.
Following the laying of floral tributes, ‘Abide with Me’ will be sung by those present.
Fire engines will be parked on Centenary Square for the duration of the service and as with previous years, a garland of flowers will be placed on the “Memorial Bell” at the top of the civic staircase in City Hall. The bell was donated to the city by the fire service as it came from the first fire engine to arrive on the scene on the 11 May 1985.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Geoff Reid, said: “It is extremely important to the city and the district that we take time out of our busy lives to remember those who were affected and continue to be affected by the tragic events of 11 May 1985. This act of remembrance is so poignant each year and is even more so this year, due to the loss of Gerald Hodges, one of the three trustees who helped set up the Bradford City fire charitable trust, who died in April this year.”