By Jason McKeown
The dreadful news about Stephen Darby’s health has rocked everyone connected with Bradford City. At a time of debate about what the club stands for and the values we supporters believe it should live by, Stephen Darby is the perfect embodiment of all that is wonderful about Bradford City. Every standout moment the club has enjoyed since 2012 has included Stephen Darby, providing the foundations and bedrock of success. And since his departure in the summer of 2017, Darby has been missed.
As fans we cannot pretend to comprehend just what he and his family are going through, and there is a feeling of powerless of how we can help. But like a lot of others, we want to do something. So we’re pleased to announce a special evening designed to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association .
Who we are – Stephen Darby appreciation evening
Tuesday 30 October, Valley Parade (7.30pm start)
We had originally planned a launch night for my new book, Who We Are, but the focus has been shifted onto Stephen Darby. A range of well-known personalities with deep connections to the club have agreed to attend as part of a Q&A session, where they will reflect on their best memories of Bradford City, and underline what the club means to them. And we’ll celebrate the career of Stephen Darby with stories from his former team mates.
Confirmed to appear are:
James Mason – the club’s former chief operating officer, and lifelong Bradford City supporter
Paul Jewell – the man who masterminded Bradford City’s promotion to the Premier League in 1999, and who played for City for a decade
Gary Jones – captain of the 2012/13 history makers side, and one of the most popular players in the club’s history
Rory McArdle – another 2012/13 history maker who played for City for five years, making more than 200 appearances and scoring many memorable goals
James Hanson – the joint third-highest goalscorer in Bradford City’s history, who rose from the Co-op to taking the Bantams to Wembley twice
Filipe Morais – pacy winger who played more than 50 times for Bradford City between 2012-2014; one of the scorers in that game against Chelsea
Billy Clarke – another 2015 Bradford City cup hero, who played more than 100 games for the club between 2014 and 2017
Jon Stead – loan player extraordinaire, who memorably netted in five rounds of Bradford City’s 2015 run to the FA Cup quarter finals
Simon Parker – the Telegraph & Argus journalist has extensively covered the fortunes of Bradford City since moving to West Yorkshire in 2000
Bantams Banter – the award-winning podcasters, who have taken City’s exploits to a national audience
Katie Whyatt – prolific Width of a Post writer who has won huge acclaim for her abilities
John Dewhirst – co-founder of the City Gent, and author of several books on the history of Bradford City
The evening will be hosted by Jason Thornton (Bradford City commentator for Pulse Sport).
Tickets for the event are priced at £10 and are now on sale from the Bradford City official website. All proceeds will go to the Motor Neurone Disease Association. There will also be collections on the night.
Subscribers of the new book, Who We Are will be able to collect their copy on the night. If you would like to pre-order a subscriber copy of Who We Are, you can do so by going here and following the instructions.
About Who We Are
Bradford City means so much, to so many people. And in the modern times where the city of Bradford struggles under the cloud of economic and reputational difficulties, the club’s significance and value to the area is arguably more important than ever.
Who we are: Exploring the DNA of Bradford City AFC, tells the story of what makes City unique and features interviews with more than 50 people connected to the club, including Paul Jewell, Stuart McCall and Gary Jones.
The book is non-profit. A first review of the book, by John Owen, can be found here.