Skip to content

Bradford City complain to FA over fire chants at Newport County

Newport have issued an apology to Bradford and their manager Stuart McCall

Bradford City manager Stuart McCall
Image: Newport County have apologised to Bradford City manager Stuart McCall

Bradford City have lodged a formal complaint to the FA after some Newport fans were accused of mocking the 1985 Valley Parade fire disaster.

The Sky Bet League Two side say "such repulsive chanting should not be tolerated by anyone and we have made our position clear to The FA", while Newport have issued an apology to Bradford and their manager Stuart McCall following the incident at Rodney Parade.

McCall, who was part of the Bantams squad on May 11 1985 when the fire claimed 56 lives, said the taunts were the "vilest thing" he has ever heard at a football match.

McCall's father Andy suffered significant burns in the tragedy.

Bradford's director of communications, Ryan Sparks, said: "We are absolutely disgusted by what our manager and club were subjected to on Saturday afternoon. Such repulsive chanting should not be tolerated by anyone and we have made our position clear to The FA.

"The Valley Parade Fire Disaster was without a doubt the darkest day in our club's proud, 117-year history. We were astounded to witness the tragedy - which continues to cause anguish to hundreds of people - being mocked, with stewards in close proximity appearing to leave the incident unchallenged.

"We would like to take this opportunity, however, to thank Newport County for their response over the past 24 hours. Newport officials have informed us that Gwent Police are now conducting an investigation into the incident which, as a club, we welcome."

Floral tributes are laid at the Valley Parade Fire Memorial on the thirtieth anniversary of the Valley Parade fire during the Sky Bet League One match between Bradford City and Barnsley at Coral Windows Stadium on April 25, 2015 in Bradford, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images).
Image: The fire in 1985 claimed 56 lives at Valley Parade

Newport confirmed on Monday that they were investigating the incident and have now issued an apology to Bradford and their manager.

"NCAFC would like to apologise unreservedly to Bradford City AFC and moreso Stuart McCall for the unsavoury actions towards Stuart at Rodney Parade on Saturday 22nd February during our Sky Bet League Two match," read a statement on their website.

"These actions have no place in society, let alone in our football club and chairman Gavin Foxall has been in dialogue with Bradford officials and spoken personally to manager Stuart Mcall to offer an apology on behalf the club.

"The club acted swiftly yesterday, working with stakeholders and authorities to identify those involved. Over the coming days we will be taking appropriate action against those identified.

"NCAFC welcomes Bradford's decision to report the incident to the FA, and will work with all parties in order to completely stamp this kind of abhorrent behaviour from Newport County AFC and moreover football as a sport.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the Sky Bet League Two match between Newport County and Bradford City.

"NCAFC would like to reiterate our no tolerance stance on discriminatory behaviour and assure our supporters that we will continue to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

"NCAFC would also like to remind all supporters of our current policies and advise everyone to always behave in a respectable manner both within Rodney Parade and in general.

"On behalf of everyone connected with the club we would again like to extend our most sincere apologies to all at Bradford City.

"No further comment will be made at this time."


Around Sky