DCSIMG

SARAH HALL: Why we should all be singing if City are winning

Aston Villa v Bradford City .  Capital One Cup, Semi Final second leg.  Villa Park.  Bradford City's Garry Thompson celebrates victory and a trip to Wembley.
8 January 2013. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Aston Villa v Bradford City . Capital One Cup, Semi Final second leg. Villa Park. Bradford City's Garry Thompson celebrates victory and a trip to Wembley. 8 January 2013. Picture Bruce Rollinson

You can tell it’s been very cold of late because I’ve been spotting an awful lot of people wearing scarves. Not unusual in February, you may think.

But the thing is all of these scarf wearers have had something in common. Their items of neckwear have all been very clean, very pristine – very new looking in fact.

And they’ve all been claret and amber.

Yes, the Bradford City shop must be pretty much cleaned out of scarves – as well as hats, flags, car stickers, mugs and ‘I was at Wembley, honest’ T-shirts - by this time.

Maybe there’s always been entire familes wandering around Cleckheaton wearing full Bradford replica kit and I’ve just never noticed before. But I don’t think so.

Now you’re probably thinking that I’m about to go off on a tirade about glory-hunting football supporters but actually I’m not. In fact quite the opposite.

Because I think that for 90 minutes on Sunday we should all be Bradford City supporters.

It’s a terrible cliche to go on about cup final fairytales but what the club has achieved in getting to the Capital One Cup Final (can we not just call it the League Cup please?) at Wembley is remarkable.

It’s the kind of sports story that people who don’t like sport become interested in. It’s got the whole David and Goliath thing going on - another cliche but one that never fails to grab people’s imaginations.

Then there’s the human elements, from the club striker who was working in the Co-op a couple of years ago to the fans who slept outside Valley Parade in sub-zero temperatures to make sure they got their precious Wembley tickets.

How can anyone not love it? No matter what team you support you really should love it. Anything else is just churlish. And probably just based on bitterness and envy.

I’ll be honest in a way a lot of football supporters will absolutely refuse to be – jealousy is an overriding emotion every time I see yet another news report of over excited City fans.

Every time I think ‘I wish that was me’. I do. I wish I followed a club that actually achieved things. A slightly treacherous way of looking at it perhaps, but an honest one.

My team’s not going to be getting to a Wembley final anytime soon and that’s a fact but instead of stewing in resentment, which I could easily do, I shall instead revel in the joy of others. How mature is that!

But I am also choosing to see it like this – despite what my own team’s supporters sing, there isn’t only one team in Yorkshire and so I’m going to argue Bradford are doing it for us all. I can sense my fellow Leeds fans (as well as those that choose to follow that blue and white lot) shaking their heads at me now but come on...let’s have some generosity of spirit over this.

If Bradford win on Sunday I will be genuinely delighted for each and every supporter that it means so much to, I’ll be delighted for James Hanson, who will never have to go back to working in the Co-op and I will actually be delighted for Bradford itself, a city that has some good things going for it but gets an awful lot of bad press.

And this all coming from a Leeds lass born and bred.

So good luck Bradford, do it for West Yorkshire - and for every poor trophy-starved football supporter.

It gives us all a bit of hope that one day your fans will be sat at home watching bitterly while it’s our turn to bathe in cup final glory all over the telly.

 

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