By Daniel Tunna
BT Sport is to broadcast the next instalment in its BT Sport Films series, One Day in May: The Story of The Bradford City Fire,on May 11 at 9.30pm on BT Sport 1.
On May 11, 1985 at an end of season Third Division football match between Bradford City and Lincoln City, a fire took hold which got so quickly out of control that it consumed the two hundred foot long main stand at Bradford City in less than four minutes. Fifty six people died and many more were injured.
Gabby Logan, who witnessed the tragedy first-hand, revisits the worst fire disaster in English football history. The film, aired on the 30th anniversary of the fire, is the first time a full length documentary has been made about the events of that day. Gabby relates the countless heroes – including her father, the former Bradford City Assistant Manager Terry Yorath – who risked their lives to save others that day. Gabby interviews some of the key figures about their memories, visiting key locations with them. The story of the fire, and its legacy, is told through eyewitness testimony and illustrated with archive, some of which has not been seen since 1985. One Day in May: The Story of The Bradford City Fire is the thirteenth in the BT Sport Films franchise.
- Former Bradford City captain Peter Jackson and midfielder Dave Evans, both of whom rescued many fans from the fire that day, and visited the injured in hospital.
- Paul Firth, lifelong City fan and fire survivor, and author of Four Minutes to Hell, a book about the fire.
- Matthew Wildman, a young fan who was saved not once, but twice by local hero Dave Hustler (who also features).
- Constable Glynn Leesing who was the first to spot the blaze.
- St Luke’s Hospital plastic surgery nurse Sylvia Coleman, who went on to nurse many serious burns victims back to health, and plastic surgeon David Sharpe, who led the team in ground-breaking new techniques to treat the injured.
On May 11 the film will air without commercial breaks and be made available free to all online at btsport.com and on TV via Sky and Setanta (in Republic of Ireland only). BT TV customers will be able to watch the film as normal.
Gabby Logan said: “’The Bradford Fire story has never been told like this before. It is in many ways the quiet tragedy and that reflects the personality of the city. The people of Bradford were incredible in the way they reacted on the 11th May 1985 and they have been remarkable in the way they have allowed us to tell the story in 2015. It was a tragedy that changed football forever. I was there with another eight members of my family and we emerged unscathed. 56 other families and lives were devastated, and we will never forget them. I hope this film pays their memory the respect and attention they deserve.”
Grant Best, executive director of programming and creative, BT Sport, said: “This is an event which still has a profound resonance for the people of Bradford. This film is a dignified and restrained account – to reflect the quiet manner in which the remarkable people of Bradford dealt with their sorrow, injury and loss. This film does not seek to investigate who was to blame for the fire. It is a testament to the spirit of the city and its people that Bradford now has a world-leading burns research unit.”
In support of the work of the University of Bradford Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU), BT is making a donation to the unit. In addition, viewers of the film on May 11 will be offered the opportunity to donate to the unit via the BT MyDonate fund-raising platform. To make a donation visit: www.bt.com/BradfordFire30.