September 2, 2021 10.29 am This story is over 26 months old

TV presenter Gabby Logan lends support to Stacey West Stand project and remembers Bradford fire

Gabby was at the game when 56 fans lost their lives

Lincoln City’s project to expand the Stacey West Stand has been supported by TV presenter Gabby Logan, who was in the crowd for the game against Bradford in 1985.

A disastrous fire at the match claimed the lives of 56 people, including two Imps who the stand is named after.

On the final day of the 1984/85 season, May 11, 1985, Bradford City and Lincoln City faced each other in a Third Division match that quickly became one of the most tragic stories in sporting history.

Wreaths were laid in tribute of the incident before Lincoln’s game with Bradford on Tuesday. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

A fan had attempted to extinguish a lit cigarette at Bradford’s Valley Parade stadium, but it slipped through the floorboards and ignited rubbish below, prompting the stand to catch fire.

Some 56 people lost their lives that day, with at least 265 people injured, as the game was stopped at 3.43pm.

Two Lincoln City fans, Bill Stacey and Jim West, died at the game and have since been honoured by the club with a stand at Sincil Bank to honour their names; the Stacey West Stand.

A look at how the expanded Stacey West Stand will look. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

Lincoln City have launched a crowdfunding operation to expand the Stacey West Stand at the LNER Stadium, increasing capacity by around 1,500, and TV presenter Gabby Logan, who was at Valley Parade on that fabled day, has lent her support to the project.

Logan, 48, was just 12-years-old when she attended the game at Valley Parade, along with all her family to support her dad Terry, who was assistant manager at Bradford City at the time.

Imps captain Liam Bridcutt carrying the wreath ahead of the club’s Papa John’s Trophy match with Bradford City. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

In a video posted on The Red Imps Community Trust’s social media, the group that are collaborating with Lincoln City on the expansion plans, Gabby recalls the devastating incident and says it is something she will never forget,

Gabby said: “56 football fans went to that match and never came home. I will never, ever forget the Bradford fire, it is etched on my memory. The smells, the sounds and the sights of that day.

“It is fantastic to hear that you have a new project up and running to commemorate the lives of the two Lincoln City fans who were lost that day, and to renovate the Stacey West Stand and to do do honour to those fans.

“It’s really important that Bradford isn’t forgotten, so thank you for that and keep doing your great work.”