The Verdict sees a group of Width of a Post writers don the pundit chair to share their views after every home game, big away games and, throughout the season, on Bradford City matters in general.
Meet the Pundit Team:
Alex Scott is stumbling through his mid-20s down in that there London. He spends most of his spare time thinking about football and being stuck on the District Line.
On his still-too-rare trips back up North, he sits in the upper Main Stand. His favourite ever City player is probably a toss up between Dean Windass and the artist formerly known as Nahki Wells, and he is currently more emotionally invested in the career of James Hanson than he is in his own.
Andrew Baxter is 19–years–old, and spends his home games in the Main Stand, constantly praising his idol, Stephen Darby, and pretending to know more about the opposition than he actually does, thanks to obscure Football Manager references, and the occasional tactical remark.
Andrew has been following City ever since he was little, with the Premiership years his first memory of Valley Parade. Moving to Stirling University to study history limits Andrew’s time at Valley Parade now, but away from City, he is heavily involved in the student radio station at Stirling, Air3 Radio, where he is Head of Sport.
Damien Wilkinson is 45, lives in North Yorkshire and currently sits in block D of the Main Stand, having worked his way through all the other stands over the last 28 years or so. Despite perhaps not feeling it at the time, Damien has enjoyed the roller coaster nature of being a City fan over such a turbulent time right and remains confident that the club is finally on an upwards curve. He will get behind anyone who gives 100% and shows pride in the claret and amber and seeks to avoid taking either extremity of the boom/bust bantam-o-meter that still surfaces after each win/defeat.
Outside of football, Damien is currently acting as Finance Director of a company in Chesterfield, and has two daughters, who he continually tries and fails to get to accompany him to Valley Parade!
Gareth Walker is a stay-at-home-dad to two young children. In his early 30s, he has supported City for over 20 years. When not being run ragged at home or watching CBeebies he can be found in the Kop for all home games and in the away end for a decent amount of away days. His favourite players of recent years include Gary Jones, Nathan Doyle and James Hanson, but no team or individuals match up to the promotion team of 1999 in his eyes.
Often taking on the role of devil’s advocate and sometimes even labelled as a pessimist, Gareth stands by his mantra of “Not negative, just realistic”.
Katie Whyatt is 17-years-old and sits in the Main Stand. She has been blogging about Bradford City under the pseudonym ‘Bantams Blogger’ for two years, and has been writing for Width of a Post for just over a year. Her favourite Bantams player is Stephen Darby, although she has been hugely impressed by this season’s new signings – particularly Gary Liddle and Billy Knott.
Outside of football, Katie is her school’s Head Girl, and is currently taking A Levels in English Language, English Literature, History and Philosophy.
Nick Beanland started watching City as a six–year–old on the Bradford End in the early 80s (at which point his main focus was Bobby Campbell and popping empty Ribena cartons, though not necessarily in that order). By the late 80s he’d graduated to the Kop and had developed a John Hendrie fixation. Come the new millenium he’d moved to the Midland Road, just in time to watch City slide down the leagues and he’s now luxuriating in the high class surroundings (the seats have armrests) of the Bantams Bar.
Away from Bradford City, Nick is mostly thinking about Bradford City (with apologies to his wife and infant son, Bobby Ribena Beanland).
Phil Abbott’s life is a balancing act between family, work and sport. If he was as prolific a participant in sport as he is an observer, he would be world champion in at least one game! His love for Bradford City has grown since he took himself off to his first match over 20 years ago.
Phil currently lives and works in Nottinghamshire but is a season ticket holder at Valley Parade. He is also an active member of the Bradford City Supporters Board. As a Primary School Headteacher, he enjoys the banter with the local Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest fans, and is always mindful to remind them of the school colours; claret and amber!
As a writer on Bradford City matters, Phil’s positivity for his club is often very evident, however he works hard to ensure that his writing spectacles are not always of the rose-tinted variety.