Record Cafe Sporting Lunchtime Lectures 2020
‘When I came to Bradford I didn’t expect to end up eating Serrano ham and listening to a bloke talking about Hungarian brutalist architecture before the match’. 

A quote from a Newport County fan who wandered into The Record Cafe and was met by the odd mix of education, entertainment and the outright eccentric, that is the monthly sporting lunchtime lectures. I doubt there is anything like it anywhere else in the country. We’ve managed to both bemuse and delight fans from Peterborough, Oxford, Rochdale and Walsall to name but a few. You can image the conversations when they return home. 

‘How was your trip to Bradford?’ ‘Well, there was this bloke talking about philosophy and football in Ljubljana’. 

For the uninitiated, the talks are free events, staged at the popular Record Cafe on North Parade. They commence at noon on selected match days and finish by around 1pm. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, the ethos being quality, but accessible history. That history is, of course, sporting, but we have often strayed into art, archaeology and even architecture. 

In the first year we’ve heard about: archaeological geophysics and the ghost pitch at Bradford (Park Avenue); the politics of football street art in the former Yugoslavia; how tramways facilitated the Bradford Cricket League; the global spread of football and why we have different codes in Europe, America, Canada and Ireland; shaping the supporter culture of Bradford City; the invincible Australian Rugby League team of 1982 and how they changed the face of a sport. And quite a bit more as well. 

In 2020 we will range from Manningham Mills to Minnesota and the Ukraine to Undercliffe. There might even be an all day event, complete with film, art and Subbuteo. That’s something in the planning, keep your eyes peeled for that one! Come along and join us, for the price of a pint (or two), you may learn something new, you will definitely be entertained.

Saturday 18 January Terry Dolan, Player, Coach, Manager, Director, a life in Bradford football
Bradford born Terry Dolan has seen it all: from youth football at Manningham Mills; professional footballer at Bradford (Park Avenue), Huddersfield Town, Bradford City and Rochdale; player-coach at Harrogate Town; youth coach at Bradford City; coach at Bradford City; manager at Bradford City, Rochdale, Hull City, York City, Guiseley; director of football at Bradford (Park Avenue).  

Saturday 29 February Peter Chymera, Football and the Ukraine 
Peter’s grandparents came to Bradford from the Ukraine in the wake of the Second World War. Like many second and third generation Ukrainians he actively supports Bradford City and the Ukrainian national team. We will hear about a dual identity and how each overlaps the other. There will also be a kind of Ukrainian tap takeover on the bar. So come along to hear and taste the Ukraine. 

Saturday 14 March Andy Tyne, Football and World War One
Five years ago fans of the Bantams and the O’s held a joint event to highlight the losses both clubs endured during the Great War. Andy Tyne, well-know organiser of the Corn Dolly Travel buses, is a volunteer at Undercliffe Cemetery and annual visitor to the battlefields of the Great War. Andy will reflect on how City fans commemorated the centenary of the Great War and the players killed in the conflict and what the legacy is likely to be. 

Saturday 21 March Dr Chris Stride, Sporting Statues
Pele has eleven, though one has had its arms cut off. Sheffield United have three; Sheffield Wednesday have none. Sven Goran Eriksson has one in his local swimming pool. China’s 2002 World Cup squad have one each, even though they lost all three matches! Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of football statues. Monuments which tell us as much about the nations, clubs and fans who erect them as they do their subjects. 

Saturday 4 April Margaret Kilyon, El Dorado, The Columbian Football League 1949-54
When the Columbian Football Association was suspended by FIFA in 1948, it ironically led to a golden age of Columbian domestic football. Margaret Kilyon tells a tale of striking Argentinian footballers, Alfredo Di Stéfano and several English players from Everton, Manchester United and Stoke City. Will the bar stock Columbian beer? Well, you never know!

Saturday 25 April Dr David Pendleton, ‘Birds, Booze and Bucks’, the North American Soccer League, 1968-1984
For some it was ‘rock and roll football’, for others a last chance to cash in on a fading career, the North American Soccer League might have been a brash mix of excess, hype and stardust, but it was also an innovator. Remember the 35 yard offside line? Five-second shoot outs to decide drawn games? Whatever the NASL was, it was impossible to ignore. 

2020 Sporting Lunchtime Lectures -