By David Pendleton
- 26 April 2015, The Bradford Club
- £20 two-course meal, a football ground archaeologist as guest speaker and exhibition billiards match featuring the 2011 English national champion.
- All profits from the evening will be donated to the Bradford Burns Unit.
On Sunday 26 April, the 104th anniversary of the day that Bradford City became the first winners of the current FA Cup, the annual Bantamspast dinner will take place at the historic Bradford Club at Piece Hall Yard in the city centre.
Diners are requested to meet in the club’s bar at 6.30pm for a 7.00pm sitting. A guest speaker will follow the two-course dinner. This year’s speaker is football ground archaeologist Jason Wood. He led an exploratory dig at Bradford Park Avenue in the autumn of 2013 and previously worked on the memorialisation of Middlesbrough’s Ayresome Park ground.
Jason will attempt to explain what inspired him to swap Roman archaeology for defunct football grounds. He will also show a short film shot at Bradford Park Avenue by Neville Gabie, the lead artist for the London 2012 Olympics.
The dinner also falls close to the 100th anniversary of the death of the first Bradford City player to lose his life in the First World War. Gerald Kirk died on 24 April 1915 at Poperinghe in Belgium. He was a centre half at Valley Parade, but was also a keen billiards player.
Reports in the Bradford newspapers suggest that Gerald Kirk played at a high level against some of the best players of the era. To honour his memory an exhibition billiards match will take place in the Bradford Club’s stunning billiards room. It will feature Richard Lodge, the 2011 English national champion and Dave Saxton, the organiser of the Bradford Billiards League.
The historic Hey’s billiard trophy will also be on display. The trophy is a solid silver depiction of a billiards match and was played for annually in aid of the Bradford Hospital and Convalescence Fund. The trophy is still in use to this day and is competed for by snooker teams from across Bradford.
Tickets for the dinner are available from The Record Café, North Parade and the Bradford Club at Piece Hall Yard. The evening is strictly non-profit making and, once the modest expenses have been met, all proceeds will be donated to the Bradford Burns Unit. If the event is a success we would expect that amount to be several hundred pounds.