A HISTORY OF BRADFORD CITY AFC IN OBJECTS by John Dewhirst records the change and continuity at Valley Parade since 1903 through surviving ephemera, memorabilia and club relics. It provides a fresh examination of the history of Bradford City and the match day experience through an extensive selection of items including BCAFC publications, merchandise and collectables. It tells the previously untold story of organised supporter groups at Valley Parade and the efforts of those who have raised funds to keep the club alive. The aim of the book is twofold. Firstly to tell the history of BCAFC through objects on the basis that they provide evidence about events and circumstances that is often lacking from other sources such as old newspaper accounts. Secondly to make the club’s history accessible to supporters through vivid presentation to demonstrate the acceleration of change since the tragic fire disaster in 1985. It incorporates new findings about the history of the club and has uncovered long forgotten details.
The history of the world was told in one hundred objects but that of BCAFC is told in more than a thousand, each of which is featured in full colour. Old objects can provide a better sense of how things have changed than words, facts and figures alone.
This book goes a long way to help younger supporters comprehend the differences and to remind older fans of what has been left behind. The content of A HISTORY OF BRADFORD CITY AFC IN OBJECTS will appeal to supporters of all ages and it provides a definitive and nostalgic record of City memorabilia. It will also be of interest to followers of other clubs and those interested in the history of the game with its chronicle of developments in soccer merchandising, the evolution of match day programmes and the contribution of supporter organisations.
The book has had some great reviews, including from Simon Parker in the T&A: ‘a unique way of following the club’s path to the present day. I can’t recommend it highly enough’ and ‘a unique way of following the club’s path to the present day. I can’t recommend it highly enough.’
Acclaimed author Hunter Davies (of Beatles fame) described it as ‘the best illustrated history of any club he has ever read’ and City supporters have similarly acclaimed it as possibly the best book published ever about the Bantams.
David Conn in The Guardian wrote ‘A History of Bradford City AFC in Objects, a new book by lifelong supporter John Dewhirst, appears not much more promising than a compulsive collection of memorabilia – but it is much more than the sum of its badges, pennants and other ephemera which the author admits his wife and three daughters would eagerly de-clutter tomorrow. Any risk of appearing parochial is avoided by the care with which the objects are set out, the clean design and Dewhirst’s detailed explanations. It adds up to a labour of love, testament to a cherished institution and the 111 years in which it has played.’ Review here