After a Covid hiatus, the pre-Bradford City home match Sporting Lunchtime Lectures are back!
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.”
El Dorado, The Colombian Football League 1949-54
When the Colombian Football Association was suspended by FIFA in 1948, it ironically led to a golden age of Colombian 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 Colombian beer? Well, you never know!
Finlandia, The Football Culture of Finland
‘We hate ice hockey, it’s a stupid sport, it’s just about fighting’. A member of the HJK’s fan group ‘Sakilaiset’ railed against Finland’s national sport when speaking to Nordic Football News. Whilst nearly all Finns avidly watch the English Premier League on television, football in the far north is often played in freezing athletic stadiums in front of a few thousand fans at best. Glyn Watkins is a well-known North Parade personality; the pie carrying champion of JB Priestley and St Blaise (indeed, this talk is part of the 2022 Blaise Woolly Fringe Festival). You might not know that he is half-Finnish and has a unique insight into the country and its football culture. Expect exuberant stories of travels, drinking and football in Finlandia. It will be more entertaining that the football that follows at Valley Parade, we can absolutely guarantee that!
Dr Chris Stride,
The Weird and Wonderful World of 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.
Ryan Bell, Paul Norcross,
The Two Gentleman Ultras of Verona
On Shakespeare’s birthday we had to find something that linked the Bard and Seria A. Well, we thing we’ve scored a golazzo, as North Parade’s own Gentlemen Ultras host a round table chat about Football Italia. The Italia 90 World Cup is often flagged up as a pivotal moment in the modernisation of football. The stadia seemed like something from another world, we were transfixed and even more so when James Richardson appeared on Channel 4 sipping a cappuccino whilst leafing through La Gazzetta dello Sport. We relive those heady days, get an update on the current scene in Italy and get the perspective of Italian Bantams. Expect a collaboration via food and beer! A day not to be missed.