News Updates…

News of the next titles in the History Revisited series

Bradford shieldThe objective of the History Revisited series is to publish a series of complementary books that provide a definitive history of football and the origins of organised sport in Bradford, an authoritative reference to provide understanding of Bradford’s sporting heritage.

Each volume provides a different, original approach to the telling of the history. What the books have in common is a commitment to challenge what has been written by others previously, challenging the myths that have evolved and the superficial narratives. Quite literally they seek to revisit, and re-present the historical evidence.

To date there have been five volumes written between John Dewhirst and Jason McKeown.

  • The first provides a history of Bradford City in objects through surviving relics and artefacts.
  • The second tells the story of how Bradford City AFC was re-invented in the aftermath of the rebuilding of Valley Parade and the momentous events of the thirty years that followed.
  • The third volume traces the origins of sport in Bradford and the emergence of the rivalry between Manningham FC (at Valley Parade) and Bradford FC (at Park Avenue).
  • The fourth volume narrates their subsequent rivalry – first as Rugby Union clubs and then in the Northern Union – before conversion to soccer.
  • The fifth volume looks at how the history of Manningham FC / Bradford City AFC has shaped the football club of today and what it stands for, demonstrating the extent to which it remains hostage to history.
  • The sixth volume – is written by Rob Grillo who examines the origins of association football in Bradford and specifically the amateur game.

We now have firm plans for at least another three volumes to be released during the next four years and news of the next volume to be published later this year will be announced in May, 2020.

As with previous titles in the series there will be an opportunity to subscribe for copies.

Online orders

** The publication of Wool City Rivals / Fall from the Top has been deferred with the scope of the original title having been expanded. This will now include a wealth of new research findings, an updated history of each of the principal Bradford stadia as well as archive images.



On 8th June author Rob Grillo is giving a talk at Bradford Local Studies Library about his new book, LATE TO THE GAME which is the sixth volume in our History Revisited series. Details about his talk and how to book can be found from the following link:

Bfd Local Studies Library Flyer June 2019


The fifth volume in the series WHO WE ARE: EXPLORING THE DNA OF BRADFORD CITY AFC by Jason McKeown was published in October, 2018. We have now sold out of stock although (as at 25 January, 2019) Waterstones at the Wool Exchange, Bradford had a few copies.

Two further volumes are planned for release in 2019 and there are plans for at least three others between 2020-22.

The sixth volume, LATE TO THE GAME is being published in late May.

Late to the Game

Order a copy online or download an Order Form (SOFT COVER EDITION ONLY) and send by snail mail with a cheque for £20. Contact by em [books at this domain] for details of arranging a bank transfer or confirmation of non-UK postage.



The fourth volume in the History Revisited series, LIFE AT THE TOP narrated the conversion from rugby football to association at Valley Parade and Park Avenue in 1903 and 1907 respectively. Until the end of the nineteenth century rugby had remained the dominant winter sport in Bradford and to all intents and purposes, ‘soccer’ had been crowded out. (In West Yorkshire rugby was known as ‘football’ and the term soccer thereby avoids ambiguity.)

After aborted attempts to launch the so-called dribbling code in Bradford in the 1880s and 1890s, what made professional soccer a feasible commercial option in Bradford – and what hastened the Manningham and Bradford clubs to abandon rugby – was the fact that the round ball game was so popular at a junior, local level among younger generations. It was also a far more fashionable sport and considered to be a modern alternative.

Rob Grillo has previously written about the origins of amateur soccer in the Bradford district. In his new book, LATE TO THE GAME – which will be the sixth volume in the Bantamspast History Revisited series – he provides extensive detail of the launch of the original amateur soccer clubs and competitions. He thereby complements the findings published in ROOM AT THE TOP and LIFE AT THE TOP about the origins of professional soccer and the affairs of Bradford rugby clubs in the late Victorian era.

Rob addresses a number of key themes, most notably the growth in amateur soccer and of how Bradford became a leading centre of the sport in West Yorkshire. He sheds new light on the personalities involved with soccer in Bradford who encouraged its spread, making up for the fact that the district had been late in taking up the game. He also looks at the links with rugby and the parallels of how the two codes developed. He covers the six decades through to the outbreak of World War Two with detail of many long forgotten amateur sides who enjoyed considerable acclaim in their time.

LATE TO THE GAME will appeal first and foremost to those fascinated in the history of Bradford sport and in particular the detail of the origins and evolution of amateur soccer in the district. Those interested in the history of Bradford City AFC will discover how it was that the formation of the Bradford & District Football Association in 1899 helped make possible the level of public interest in the new club in 1903. His book will equally appeal to anyone interested in local history seeking to discover the patterns and places of leisure of earlier generations. Similarly, LATE TO THE GAME will be of interest to sports historians seeking to understand how it was that Bradford became such a hotbed of soccer enthusiasm after so long being wedded to rugby.

This new book will provide an important record of a part of Bradford’s sporting heritage that has tended to be overlooked. As the sixth volume, it will ensure that the Bantamspast History Revisited series goes a long way to achieving the objective of documenting the development of sport in Bradford and re-evaluating our earlier understanding of what happened to provide an authoritative, go-to source of reference.

Order a copy of LATE TO THE GAME online or download an Order Form (SOFT COVER EDITION ONLY) and send by snail mail with a cheque for £20