Leeds & West Yorkshire

Minute's silence held for Bradford City fire anniversary

Fire at Valley Parade and fans on the pitch Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fifty-six people lost their lives in the 1985 fire at Bradford City's Valley Parade stadium

A minute's silence has been held before all Premier and Football league matches to mark the 30th anniversary of the Bradford City fire.

Fifty-six fans died in the blaze at Valley Parade on 11 May 1985.

It is thought the fire started accidentally after a spectator dropped a lit cigarette under a wooden stand.

England manager Roy Hodgson and FA chairman Greg Dyke laid a floral tribute at the ground before Bradford's League One win over Barnsley.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fifty-six fans died in the blaze on 11 May 1985
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption FA chairman Greg Dyke and England manager Roy Hodgson paid their respects before the Bradford City match
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Floral tributes were laid at the Valley Parade fire memorial

A new book claims the fire was just one of at least nine blazes at businesses owned or associated with former club chairman Stafford Heginbotham.

The judge who led the inquiry into the fire said claims it may have been started deliberately were "nonsense".

The book has been written by Bradford fan Martin Fletcher, who lost his brother, father, uncle and grandfather in the fire, which broke out during Bradford's match against Lincoln City.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Bradford and Barnsley players and crowd marked the minute's silence before the game at Valley Parade
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A banner was laid on the pitch to mark the 30th anniversary of the fire

Mr Dyke said he found the allegations "very hard to believe".

The silence was held before the date of the 30th anniversary in order to coincide with Bradford City's last home game of the season.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A minute's silence was held at Premier League games including Southampton v Tottenham
Image copyright PA
Image caption The fire tore through the main stand at Valley Parade

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