Eccentric, entertaining and sometimes even educational, the talks are entirely free (you merely have to buy a pint or two at the bar.
At noon before selected City home games, the talks will carry you from South America to the frozen tundra of Finland; we meet sporting statues and even two gentleman ultras of Verona. We are excited to be back.
As a Newport County fan said: “When I came to Bradford, I didn’t expect to end up eating Ibérico ham and listening to a bloke talking about Hungarian brutalist architecture before the match.”
We’ve managed to both bemuse and delight fans from Peterborough, Oxford, Rochdale and Walsall to name a few.
You can imagine the conversation when they return home: “How was your trip to Bradford?” “Well, there was a bloke talking about philosophy and football in Ljubljana.”
Saturday 21 January
Dr Peter Watson
No Place for a Left-Winger? The Terrace Culture of Colombian Football
In the popular imagination Colombian football is tied up with military dictatorships, FARC Guerrillas and the tragic execution of Escobar; yet it is also the joyful footballing land of Carlos Valderrama’s extravagant hairstyle and the ‘Scorpion Kick’ keeper Rene Higuita. Dr Pete Watson of the University of Leeds guides us through the contradictions of the terrace culture of Colombia.
Saturday 18 February
Prof. Chris Gaffney
Archeology and Football
Now that Valley Parade is officially the University of Bradford Stadium, the university’s archeology department has unfettered access to the hallowed turf. Have they found the legendary Holy Well beneath the pitch? Or the footprints of Jimmy Speirs? Chris Gaffney has undertaken geophysical surveys of the pitches at Park Avenue, Bootham Crescent and now Valley Parade. Chris used to appear on Channel 4’s Time Team, nowadays he appears on lower division football grounds.
Saturday 4 March
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.
Saturday 22 April
My Granddad, the FA Cup Winning Chairman of Bradford City
On the anniversary of Bradford City’s FA Cup Final against Newcastle United (a scoreless draw at Crystal Palace on 22 April 1911), it is perhaps fitting that we hear about … … researches into his grandfather, Wilhelm Pollack, who was City’s chairman when we won the FA Cup. Wilhelm even married the sister of Antonio Fattorini, of the family who designed and made the FA Cup. It is a family tale dominated by the famous trophy, but also one ultimately of heartbreak as Wilhelm, despite keeping Bradford City alive during World War One, also came under criticism because he was German born. Even though he changed his name from Wilhelm to William, he was heartbroken as the country of his birth, fought the country he loved.