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    Bradford City football disaster commemorated

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    ODN

    by ODN

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    The 25th anniversary of the Bradford City fire disaster is being marked with a series of special events in the city.


    The tragedy at the Valley Parade ground in 1985, which left 56 football fans dead, shocked the nation.


    More than 11,000 football fans had packed the stadium to watch Bradford receive the Division Three Championship trophy at the beginning of the team's match against Lincoln City.


    TV cameras at the match famously captured the moments when it became clear one of the stands was on fire. Smoke and flames then raced through the wooden structure, leaving 56 dead and around 265 people injured.


    It is believed a spectator dropped a match or a cigarette through holes in the stand on to the rubbish which had accumulated below. The stand was burning from end to end within four minutes.


    Spectators were evacuated on to the pitch but many turned the other way only to find exit doors which were locked or toilets which provided no means of escape.


    The tragedy happened just 18 days before 39 fans died in Heysel, Belgium, and four years before the Hillsborough Disaster, in Sheffield, which left 96 people dead.


    Events in Bradford will include a service in Centenary Square, in the city centre, a tour by VIPs of the football ground and its Memorial Board and another service, this time in Bradford Cathedral.