By Jason McKeown
Bradford City’s 2012/13 season will never be repeated. For a fourth division team to reach a major cup final – defeating three Premier League teams along the way – and then to come from nowhere to win promotion was the most incredible of stories. Against a backdrop of 12 years filled with misery, financial problems and relegations, 2012/13 was all the more special for us long-suffering supporters.
But as those incredible memories inevitably start to dim over the years, the importance of having mementos and keepsakes of the historic season will grow. The kindest thing to say about BBC Radio Leeds’ Dave Fletcher’s book, Bantams over Wembley, is that it is factual. But for re-living the emotions of what we experienced in 2012/13, it doesn’t scratch that itch.
It’s therefore fantastic news that Bradford City Football Club has produced a commemorative DVD of the 2012/13 season – We Made History – which will shortly be available to buy. Width of a Post was extremely grateful to be given an advanced copy to review, and it is much a relief as it is a joy to confirm that the club has made a very good job of it. The disc – which features over two hours of footage – is a superb record of a superb season.
For many years, I always bought the club’s ‘Goals of the Season’ video/DVD; even the ones covering those relegation seasons. Produced by Cavasport and featuring the commentary delights of Keith Coates, they had always made for a great watch, before sadly declining in quality and then been stopped altogether. The away game footage they showed looked taped from the TV, with the crowd noises obviously taken from a different match and dubbed over (unless Dagenham really did play Tom Hark every time we scored at Victoria Road).
The care and attention taken by Fruition Media and the club to create We Made History is obvious. There have been mumblings of discontent from supporters over how long production has taken, but it’s far better to get it right than to rush something out substandard. The wait is worth it.
We Made History is split into two parts. The first, a 45-minute documentary based on a programme produced by Pulse FM at the end of last season, tells the story of the season. It begins with a horror collection of bad goals conceded over previous seasons, which provides some context of just how wonderful 2012/13 was to be. Goals from the majority of games feature within this documentary; plus in-depth reflections of the Wigan, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Swansea, Burton and Northampton matches. I still have many of these games on my Sky planner and have watched them several times, so it surprised me just how emotional I felt re-living those great moments during the documentary.
What helps the enjoyment of We Made History is the decision to use Pulse commentaries from the time over the goals. The worst thing City could have done would have been to hire a commentator to talk over these matches months later, as it would have lacked the raw emotion. To hear Tim Thornton’s screams of delight (oddly Ian Ormondroyd laughs a lot whenever City score) really takes you back to the feelings of ecstasy we experienced at the time. However, it is Dean Windass who steals the show. Employed by the Pulse to co-commentate for the big cup games, he makes no attempt to hide his partisan support for City and his reactions are hilarious.
The documentary also includes Pulse interviews with Phil Parkinson immediately after certain games, which are great to listen back to. And with the happy ending of promotion at Wembley, you can’t fail to have a beaming smile on your face as you watch this documentary.
Part two features action from all 64 matches of City’s historic season, again with Pulse commentary added. In the main this is a run-down of all the goals for and against, but there is also footage of 0-0s and in-depth highlights of the cup and play off games. The pictures from some of the away games are not great quality (was Accrington away filmed on a mobile phone?), but it’s still great to see all the goals. I guess you wouldn’t want to watch both parts of the DVD in one sitting, as there is plenty of repetition; but the option of sitting down to watch either part will give this DVD plenty of longevity and ensure you keep re-watching it.
We Made History is due to be available to buy this month, with the exact timings due to be confirmed shortly. Those people who pre-ordered will receive an email when it is ready for them to either collect or have delivered. If you haven’t pre-ordered, get yourself down to the Valley Parade club shop to buy it as soon as it comes out, so you have a permanent record of a season that we will all be talking about for decades.
If you don’t buy it, you may regret it for a long, long time.
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