Tag Archives: Bradford City

Memorable Matches: Bradford City 4-4 Derby County (April 2000)

Goalscorers: Rory Delap 1, Branko Strupar 6, Dean Windass 11, 18, 44, Peter Beagrie 27 PEN, Craig Burley 36 PEN, 52 PEN

Teams:

Bradford City: Matt Clarke, John Dreyer, Gunnar Halle, Wayne Jacobs (Isaiah Rankin 77), Andy O’Brien, David Wetherall, Ashley Westwood (Dean Saunders 71), Stuart McCall, Peter Beagrie, Robbie Blake, Dean Windass

Derby County: Mart Poom, Horacio Carbonari, Tony Dorigo, Jacob Laursen, Steve Elliott, Craig Burley, Rory Delap (SENT OFF), Seth Johnson, Darryl Powell, Malcolm Christie, Branko Strupar (Georgi Kinkladze 65)

Referee: Alan Wilkie, Attendance: 18,276

Neither Bradford, nor Derby were safe from the threat of relegation in the closing weeks of the 1999-2000 Premier League season. It was the Bantams who were under more genuine risk when the sides met and shared an eight-goal thriller on Good Friday 2000.

Bradford manager Paul Jewell will have been horrified by his team’s sluggish start as they conceded two goals inside the opening six minutes of this must-win match. Rory Delap opened the scoring after just 23 seconds. Darryl Powell’s shot was saved by Matt Clarke but the ball fell perfectly for Malcolm Christie, who unselfishly squared the ball to Delap for the midfielder to tap home. It got worse when Branko Strupar drilled a free-kick home from the edge of the penalty area. Bradford had it all to do but Dean Windass enjoyed one of those afternoons where everything he struck ended up in the back of the net.

With the home side’s first genuine attack of the match, Windass superbly controlled the ball on the half-volley and squeezed his shot past Mart Poom’s left-hand post. Amazingly, it was 2-2 just seven minutes later. Windass pounced on a poor clearing header from Steve Elliott and the striker’s confidence was sky-high. He smashed a shot into the back of the net from at least 35-yards out.

Bradford’s transformation was completed when they took the lead for the first time on 27 minutes through controversy. The hosts thought they had scored again from a well-worked free-kick. However, referee Alan Wilkie disallowed the goal and after further consultation from his linesman, gave Bradford a penalty instead. In the process, Delap had been red-carded for a deliberate handball. Although Poom went the right way, Peter Beagrie made no mistake, finding the bottom corner.

The lead lasted just nine minutes. Strupar’s flick-on into the box found Christie who was tripped in the penalty area by Ashley Westwood. Craig Burley’s penalty was spot-on to haul the 10-men back onto level terms. Just before half-time, Bradford scored the seventh goal of a dramatic first 45 minutes. Robbie Blake picked out Windass who completed his maiden Premier League hat-trick. It was the only the second time in Premier League history that seven goals had been scored in the first half.

There was more drama after the restart but just one further goal. John Dreyer handled in the area and referee Wilkie gave his third penalty of the match – all absolutely justified. Burley stuck away his second penalty of the match to make the scoreline 4-4. Then, the Rams received yet another spot-kick chance when Powell was fouled by Blake. This time round, Burley went for power and was denied by Clarke who made a fine save.

The point was better for Derby’s survival prospects and an Easter Monday victory over Southampton virtually confirmed their safety. Bradford rallied from this draw and three victories from their last four matches also meant they would be playing Premier League football in 2000-2001.

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Shock Results: Bradford City 1-0 Liverpool FC (May 2000)

Goalscorer: David Wetherall 12

Teams:

Bradford City: Matt Clarke, John Dreyer, Gunnar Halle, Andy O’Brien, David Wetherall, Jamie Lawrence, Stuart McCall, Lee Sharpe, Peter Beagrie (Wayne Jacobs 81), Dean Saunders (Isaiah Rankin 78), Dean Windass

Liverpool FC: Sander Westerveld, Jamie Carragher, Stephane Henchoz, Sami Hyypia, Dominic Matteo (Erik Meijer 82), Dietmar Hamann, Jamie Redknapp, Steven Gerrard (Vladimir Smicer 61), Patrik Berger (Titi Camara 61), Emile Heskey, Michael Owen

Referee: Dermot Gallagher, Attendance: 18,276

Tipped by many to go straight back down after promotion to the Premier League, Bradford City went into the final day of the 1999-2000 season still with a fighting chance of survival. However, they had to win against Liverpool FC who were chasing a UEFA Champions League qualification spot. Even a win might not be enough if Wimbledon got all three points in a simultaneous kick-off at The Dell against Southampton.

Before kick-off, both teams paid their respects to the 56 victims of the fire at Valley Parade 15 years earlier. From the outset, the Bantams put Liverpool under early pressure and they grabbed a vital lead in the 12th minute. From a free-kick on the left-hand side, David Wetherall escaped some pretty slack marking from Liverpool defenders and planted a powerful header into the back of the visitors’ net.

Gerard Houllier’s side had failed to score in their last four matches and were playing in the first half like a side that had lost any confidence in shooting, let alone scoring. Nevertheless, they nearly equalised when Michael Owen raced clear of the defenders from Emile Heskey’s flick-on and rounded goalkeeper Matt Clarke. However, his effort was cleared off the goal-line by Gunnar Halle, who had played a key part in Oldham’s dramatic final day escape seven years earlier.

The Valley Parade crowd was in party mood which increased further when Wayne Bridge scored a free-kick on the south coast to put Southampton ahead against Wimbledon. Having been the more attacking side in the first half, the Yorkshire side had to focus on heroic defending efforts in the second half. Owen clipped an effort just wide of the post as news came through Southampton had doubled their lead through Marian Pahars. With the Saints doing their bit, the main question now was whether Bradford could hold on. Dean Windass, whose goals recently had given Bradford a fighting chance of beating the drop, nearly caught Sander Westerveld out with a long-range lob from distance. The goalkeeper just recovered in-time to tip his effort over the crossbar.

There was a minor pitch invasion when fans mistakenly thought the full-time whistle had been blown early by referee Dermot Gallagher but moments later, he did blow and the fans could race onto the field to celebrate their unlikely but deserved survival. Champagne corks starting popping in the home dressing room as Bradford players celebrated their remarkable achievement. Manager Paul Jewell sadly left the club a few weeks’ later after disagreements with the owner and took the vacancy at relegated Sheffield Wednesday.

Relegation did follow in 2001 but this was a momentous day in the history of Bradford City Football Club. Liverpool’s defeat meant they finished fourth and were pipped to Champions League qualification by Leeds United.

Premier League Files: Dean Windass

Premier League Career: Bradford City (1999-2001), Middlesbrough (2001-2002), Hull City (2008)

In November 2008, Dean Windass became one of the oldest goalscorers in the history of the Premier League when his scrambled equaliser earned his hometown club, Hull City a 2-2 draw away at Fratton Park against Portsmouth. He was 39 at the time, becoming the Tigers’ oldest-ever scorer in the process. He is back at Hull now, working as a Club Ambassador which he has held since 2015.

It was a career that went full circle. He started his career at Hull, signing his first professional contract in 1991 at the relatively late age of 22. Previously, he had been playing at part-time level for North Ferriby United whilst holding down jobs packing frozen peas and working on building sites. With the club in financial difficulty and after scoring 64 goals in 205 games, he was sold to Aberdeen for £700,000 in December 1995.

He became a fans’ favourite at Pittodrie but a fiery temperament was always part of his game and none more so than in a league game in November 1997 against Dundee United. Incredibly, he was sent off three times in the same match! The reasons were foul play, abusing an official and kicking the corner flag as he left the pitch. He received a six-game ban from the authorities. He moved to Oxford United in the summer of 1998, scoring 15 times for them before being transferred again, this time to Bradford City in March 1999 as Paul Jewell seeked a final boost to his attacking line-up ahead of a promotion bid to the Premier League.

Windass scored twice in 12 matches including a goal in a crucial away win at Bury as Bradford won promotion as runners-up in the First Division. Rather than go on holiday, he decided to train all summer, preparing for his debut bow in the Premier League. He finished as the Bantams top goalscorer in 1999-2000, finding the target 10 times including a Good Friday hat-trick in a 4-4 thriller with Derby County. Bradford beat the odds and avoided relegation on the final day of the season.

In March 2001, he was sold to Middlesbrough for £600,000 but only made 38 first-team appearances for the club which included loan spells at both Sheffield clubs during his spell on Teeside. Sheffield United turned his loan into a permanent transfer but after being dropped by Neil Warnock for the play-off final defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers, he elected to return to Bradford for a second spell at Valley Parade.

Bradford’s fortunes had nosedived dramatically as they struggled financially but Windass enjoyed arguably the best spell of his career in terms of goals. He ended up as top goalscorer in League One in 2004-2005, with 27 goals in 41 matches and ended as the club’s third highest all-time goalscorer before rejoining Hull in 2007.

In 2007-2008, he helped shoot Hull to a surprise promotion to the top-flight, scoring 11 times in 37 appearances. During that season, he made his 700th career appearance and scored his 200th goal in English football. The fairytale concluded with a spectacular winning strike in the play-off final victory over Bristol City which secured the Tigers promotion to the top-flight for the first time in their 104-year history.

The goal at Fratton Park was one of his final Premier League contributions. In total, he played just five times in the top-flight and was allowed to leave in January 2009 to join Oldham Athletic. He finished his professional career later that year, briefly working afterwards in the player-coach capacity at Darlington. He has hoped to get into management but made unsuccessful applications for managerial positions at Grimsby Town, Shrewsbury Town and Hartlepool United. Alongside his ambassadorial commitments with Hull, he is also overseeing the development of his son Josh, who currently plays for SkyBet EFL Championship side Wigan Athletic after a spell in Scotland with Rangers.

Shock Results: Bradford City 2-1 Arsenal (February 2000)

Goalscorers: Dean Windass 10, Thierry Henry 13, Dean Saunders 57

Teams:

Bradford City: Aidan Davison, Gunnar Halle, Andy O’Brien, David Wetherall, Wayne Jacobs, Gareth Whalley, Jamie Lawrence, Stuart McCall, Peter Beagrie, Dean Saunders, Dean Windass (John Dreyer 90)

Arsenal: David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Martin Keown, Gilles Grimandi, Stefan Malz (Dennis Bergkamp 67), Emmanuel Petit, Ray Parlour, Freddie Ljungberg, Thierry Henry, Davor Suker

Referee: Andy D’Urso, Attendance: 18,276

After achieving promotion to the Premier League in May 1999, Bradford City were among the favourites to be relegated back to Division One. Paul Jewell’s side were hard-working but struggling to get consistent results when high-flying Arsenal arrived at Valley Parade in February 2000.

The Gunners knew this was a must-win match. They’d played a game more than Manchester United and were trailing the Red Devils by six points. They couldn’t afford any slip-ups but came up against a Bantams side that were about to beat them at their own game.

In the 10th minute, Dean Windass was fouled by Gilles Grimandi on the edge of the penalty area. David Seaman was organising his wall but wasn’t ready for Andy D’Urso allowing Bradford to take a quick free-kick. Windass’ curling effort beat the hesitant England first-choice goalkeeper and scored the 100th league goal of his professional career.

It was a shock lead for the Yorkshire side but it didn’t last long. With Kanu absent through injury and Dennis Bergkamp left on the bench after a nine-week injury absence of his own, Thierry Henry was playing as a lone striker. The Frenchman was beginning to make his name at Arsenal and three minutes after Windass’ goal, he brought Arsenal back onto level terms. His low shot flew past Aidan Davison in the Bradford goal.

Back in the game, the Gunners should have taken the lead before half-time. Davor Suker was sent clean through on-goal but fired wide of the post when it looked easier for the Croatian superstar to find the back of the net. Davison was in great form too. Having denied Henry from point-blank range early on in the match, he then made a flying save 10 minutes into the second half to keep out a diving header from Freddie Ljungberg.

Moments later, Arsene Wenger’s side were stunned as Bradford went back infront. Gareth Whalley’s incisive pass spilt apart the Arsenal centre-backs and latching onto it was the evergreen Dean Saunders. The Welshman struck the ball underneath the advancing Seaman to score his sixth Premier League goal of the season and surely, his most important for the club.

Ljungberg almost equalised straightaway but he had a header cleared off the goal-line by Wayne Jacobs and although Bergkamp did make his return to first-team action in the 67th minute, the Dutchman couldn’t make the sufficient impact to drag Arsenal back into the contest.

With Manchester United beating Coventry City on the same afternoon, Arsenal fell nine points adrift after this embarrassing loss. By the end of the season, that gap between the two sides had doubled, although the Gunners still finished runners-up. On the final day, Bradford added Liverpool FC to their list of scalps and earned themselves a second successive top-flight season off the back of shock results like this triumph over Wenger’s expensively-assembled squad.

The Clubs: Bradford City

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
76 14 20 42 68 138 -70 62 2

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Stuart McCall 71
Dean Windass 62
David Wetherall 56
Andy O’Brien 54
Peter Beagrie 52
Gunnar Halle 51
Robbie Blake 50
Wayne Jacobs 45
Dean Saunders 44
Jamie Lawrence 39

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Dean Windass 13
Peter Beagrie 8
Robbie Blake 6
Benito Carbone 5
Lee Mills 5
Jamie Lawrence 4
Ashley Ward 4
Eoin Jess 3
Dean Saunders 3
David Wetherall 3

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Bradford City 3-0 Wimbledon 30th April 2000 1999-2000
Bradford City 3-1 Leicester City 23rd October 1999 1999-2000
Bradford City 2-0 Newcastle United 18th December 1999 1999-2000
Bradford City 2-0 Chelsea 22nd August 2000 2000-2001
Bradford City 2-0 Charlton Athletic 13th April 2001 2000-2001
Bradford City 2-0 Derby County 21st April 2001 2000-2001
Bradford City 3-2 Watford 22nd January 2000 1999-2000
Bradford City 2-1 Arsenal 5th February 2000 1999-2000
Bradford City 2-1 Coventry City 2nd December 2000 2000-2001
Leicester City 1-2 Bradford City 1st January 2001 2000-2001

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Manchester United 6-0 Bradford City 5th September 2000 2000-2001
Leeds United 6-1 Bradford City 13th May 2001 2000-2001
Bradford City 0-4 Sunderland 2nd October 1999 1999-2000
Manchester United 4-0 Bradford City 26th December 1999 1999-2000
Coventry City 4-0 Bradford City 18th March 2000 1999-2000
Bradford City 0-4 Manchester United 25th March 2000 1999-2000
Everton 4-0 Bradford City 15th April 2000 1999-2000
Bradford City 1-4 Sunderland 26th December 2000 2000-2001
Bradford City 0-3 West Ham United 28th August 1999 1999-2000
Leicester City 3-0 Bradford City 6th May 2000 1999-2000

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Paul Jewell 1 18th June 2000
Chris Hutchings 1 6th November 2000
Jim Jefferies 1 24th December 2001

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Bradford City 0-2 Liverpool FC 1st May 2001 22,057 2000-2001
Bradford City 1-1 Middlesbrough 5th May 2001 20,921 2000-2001
Bradford City 0-3 Manchester United 13th January 2001 20,551 2000-2001
Bradford City 1-2 West Ham United 24th February 2001 20,469 2000-2001
Bradford City 1-4 Sunderland 26th December 2000 20,370 2000-2001
Bradford City 2-2 Newcastle United 31st March 2001 20,160 2000-2001
Bradford City 0-3 Aston Villa 3rd February 2001 19,591 2000-2001
Bradford City 2-2 Manchester City 17th March 2001 19,117 2000-2001
Bradford City 2-0 Derby County 21st April 2001 18,564 2000-2001
Bradford City 2-0 Newcastle United 18th December 1999 18,286 2000-2001

 

Intro

Bradford City were one of the more unlikely clubs to reach the Premier League when Paul Jewell guided them to promotion in May 1999. The Bantams were tipped by many to go straight back down but a final day victory over Liverpool FC ensured survival for a second top-flight campaign. A messy 2000-2001 season saw relegation follow and the club have experienced tough times since, including a spell in the fourth-tier of English football and administration but they did reach the League Cup final against the odds in 2012-2013.

 

1999-2000

Bradford made a wonderful start to their maiden Premier League campaign as Dean Saunders’ late winner saw them defeat Middlesbrough on the opening day of the season at The Riverside Stadium. They were gifted another away victory a month later at Derby County by a Horacio Carbonari own goal but they managed just two more victories before Christmas. As anticipated, Bradford spent most of the season at the wrong end of the table and also lost a thrilling contest at West Ham 5-4, despite leading 4-2 at one point. However, they unexpectedly beat Arsenal and three wins from their last four games saw them edge out Wimbledon and maintain their place in the top-flight.

Dean Windass finished as top goalscorer, having also netted in the win over the Gunners and David Wetherall’s header beat Liverpool FC at Valley Parade on the last day to create unbridled joy at the ground. The win was tempered a month later when Paul Jewell walked out on the club to take charge of relegated Sheffield Wednesday.

 

2000-2001

It was Jewell’s assistant, Chris Hutchings who would take charge of the club in 2000-2001 and they spent money to bring in the likes of Benito Carbone, Dan Petrescu and David Hopkin to the club. They beat Chelsea 2-0 in their first home match of the season but that would be the only victory Hutchings would experience as manager.

He was sacked after a 2-0 defeat to Charlton Athletic in early November and replaced permanently by Jim Jefferies, who moved down from Scottish football. Bradford had dropped into the bottom three in mid-September and they would not escape the drop zone again for the remainder of the season. Jefferies only oversaw four victories in his 24 matches’ in-charge and their relegation was confirmed after defeat to Everton on 28th April.

He wasn’t helped by the departure during the season of Andy O’Brien to Newcastle United, Hopkin back to Crystal Palace and Dean Windass to Middlesbrough.

Premier League Files: Peter Atherton

Premier League Career: Coventry City (1992-1994), Sheffield Wednesday (1994-2000), Bradford City (2000-2001)

Peter Atherton made 318 appearances during a Premier League career that lasted nine seasons. He scored nine goals during this time and is now part of the coaching staff at Wigan Athletic that is hoping to make a return to the Championship under the guidance of Paul Cook.

Working for his hometown club must be a joy for Peter and it was at Wigan where he started his playing career at. Signing as a trainee, he made his Latics debut in 1988 and spent three seasons with them before attracting the interest of First Division side, Coventry City. Atherton moved to the Midlands in 1991 for £330,000.

He featured regularly for the Sky Blues in the first two Premier League campaigns and even earned a single England Under-21 cap before Sheffield Wednesday paid Coventry £800,000 for his services in the summer of 1994. A capable player, who enjoyed his time at Hillsborough, he was an adaptable component of the Owls squad for several seasons. Whilst right-back was his most familiar position, Atherton could do a solid job as both a centre-back and central midfielder.

In November 1994, he scored one of the greatest goals of his career infront of the Sky Sports cameras at Villa Park against Aston Villa. Making the most of a dubious clearance by Villa goalkeeper Mark Bosnich, Atherton took one touch to get the ball out of his feet before launching a dipping shot that flew into the back of the net beyond Bosnich’s desperate attempt to scramble back into his goal. It earned the visitors a fighting point.

He made over 200 league appearances for Sheffield Wednesday before moving in the summer of 2000 to Yorkshire rivals Bradford City on the Bosman ruling following Wednesday’s relegation from the Premier League. He started out as a regular fixture in the Bantams line-up too but Jim Jefferies sent him out on-loan to Birmingham City on his arrival as manager in November 2000. As he had already played in the League Cup that season for Bradford, he couldn’t play for Birmingham in their 2001 League Cup final defeat to Liverpool FC because he was cup-tied.

Released by Bradford in 2005, he finished his playing career at Halifax Town but played just 14 times for them over three seasons and retired from playing in 2008. By the time of his retirement, he was already getting a taste for coaching at Halifax, serving as assistant manager in 2007 and occasionally would put his boots on again to play in Masters Football tournaments for both Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan Athletic.

Atherton returned to Wigan as an Under-18 coach in 2014 before becoming Development Squad coach in 2015. He also had a brief role as interim assistant manager at the backend of last season when Graham Barrow had a spell as first-team boss.

Great Goals: Stan Collymore – BRADFORD CITY vs. Leeds United (October 2000)

Signing Stan Collymore in October 2000 was seen as the final throw of the dice for manager Chris Hutchings, who badly needed a result to save his position in the post. Bradford were bottom ahead of this Yorkshire Derby with Leeds United.

Collymore made an instant impact on his debut with this glorious goal. Leeds presented the opportunity to the home side with some sloppy passing. Benito Carbone picked out Collymore with a brilliant cross and the forward produced an instinctive overhead kick which was straight out of the top-draw.

His stay at Bradford was largely forgettable apart from this moment and although Leeds did recover to earn a share of the spoils on this Sunday afternoon, this remains one of Collymore’s finest Premier League efforts.

Premier League Rewind: 5th-6th February 2000

Results: Aston Villa 4-0 Watford, Bradford City 2-1 Arsenal, Derby County 3-3 Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester City 2-1 Middlesbrough, Liverpool FC 3-1 Leeds United, Manchester United 3-2 Coventry City, Southampton 2-1 West Ham United, Sunderland 2-2 Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Chelsea, Wimbledon 0-3 Everton

The 1999-2000 Premier League season turned into a processional victory for Manchester United. In the first 25 years of Premier League football, no side has ever won the league title by a greater margin. Their final tally was 18 points above that achieved by second-placed Arsenal.

However at the start of February 2000, their advantage at the top of the table was only three points. David O’Leary’s Leeds United were having an excellent season and keeping the men from Old Trafford honest in their quest to win a sixth Premier League title. However, this particular weekend saw the first signs that Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were about to disappear from the chasing pack.

Leeds lost their third match in four games, going down 3-1 to Liverpool FC at Anfield. Liverpool tried their luck with long-range shots and it paid off. Both Danny Murphy and Patrik Berger scored spectacular efforts which left Nigel Martyn without any chance of saving. The win ensured another league double for Liverpool over their opponents – their third in four years over the Yorkshire side. It also meant they closed the gap on O’Leary’s side to three points.

Whilst Leeds always had a tricky fixture, everyone expected Arsenal to overwhelm struggling Bradford City at Valley Parade. Since October, Bradford had only beaten bottom-placed Watford and Newcastle, so weren’t given too much hope of defeating Arsene Wenger’s side. However, Bradford had other ideas. Experience counted in their forward ranks, as Dean Windass and Dean Saunders both got on the scoresheet to help Bradford to a famous 2-1 victory. After the match, Wenger conceded the title challenge from Arsenal was over for another season, whilst Paul Jewell revelled in the victory, admitting: “Our performance was outstanding, as was the players’ work-rate.”

So, Manchester United could extend their lead at the top of the table to six points and they did so, although in slightly unconvincing fashion. They beat a much-improved Coventry City side 3-2 at Old Trafford. Two goals from Andy Cole proved to be the decisive contribution from United, who had now taken seven points from three games since their return from a disastrous FIFA World Club Championship competition in Brazil a month earlier.

Chelsea climbed into fifth place with their traditional victory over Tottenham Hotspur. The only goal at White Hart Lane came from the unfamiliar source of Bernard Lambourde. Gianluca Vialli’s side were now unbeaten in six matches and had beaten Spurs twice during that period. They swapped places with Sunderland who drew 2-2 in the Tyne & Wear Derby with Newcastle United. The Black Cats recovered from two-goals down to salvage a point, thanks to another double from the Premier League’s top goalscorer, Kevin Phillips.

Down at The Dell, the Southampton supporters greeted Glenn Hoddle as their new manager. The ex-England boss had succeeded Dave Jones, who was relieved of his duties to clear his name against child abuse allegations on Merseyside. Hoddle started with a victory too, as they defeated West Ham United 2-1. Gary Charles’ own goal four minutes from time settled the contest.

Elsewhere, relegation candidates Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Pride Park, whilst a 4-0 loss to Aston Villa left Watford 10 points adrift of safety. It was an unhappy return to Villa Park for Graham Taylor. He left that afternoon with any hopes of Premier League survival looking slim to nil.

What else happened in February 2000?

  • Tarja Halonen is elected the first Finnish female president.
  • “The Wizard of the Dribble” Sir Stanley Matthews dies aged 85 after falling ill while on holiday in Tenerife.
  • The chief of British Nuclear Fuels resigns over a safety scandal at Sellafield.
  • Greg Dyke takes over as Director General of the BBC.
  • Italian motorcycle manufacturing company Aprilia wins a lawsuit filed against The Spice Girls over a sponsorship deal that fell apart when Geri Halliwell left the group.

The Managers: Jim Jefferies

Premier League Clubs Managed: Bradford City (2000-2001)

Scottish manager Jim Jefferies only had a brief stint in the Premier League with Bradford City. The majority of his career, both in playing and management was based in Scottish football and he enjoyed some success, especially in domestic cups.

In his playing days, Jim spent most of his time figuring for the Edinburgh giants Hearts. He didn’t win any honours as a player but did reach the Scottish Cup final with the Jambos in 1976. However it ended in a 3-1 defeat to Rangers. He left the club in 1981, having made 227 appearances, scoring five times. Jefferies ended his playing days in 1983 after two seasons with lowly Berwick Rangers.

Early steps in management

His first management breakthrough came in 1983 with amateur side Gala Fairydean. He spent five years there before returning to Berwick Rangers to begin his professional management career. They were struggling at the time of his arrival but he steered them to an impressive 21-match unbeaten run during the 1988-1989 season and this grabbed the attention of more profitable and successful sides.

Falkirk took a chance on him in 1990 and Jefferies continued to build on his solid reputation. He won the Scottish First Division title in 1991 and 1994, achieving Premier League football for them. There was also a 3-0 victory over St Mirren in the 1993 Scottish Challenge Cup final.

In August 1995, he left Falkirk to take over as manager of Hearts and three years later, achieved his biggest managerial honour as the Tynecastle side stunned favourites Rangers to win the Scottish Cup final of 1998.

In November 2000, the call came to try his luck in the Premier League.

The battle in Bradford

In November 2000, Bradford City were already staring relegation in the face. They had gambled on Paul Jewell’s former assistant Chris Hutchings but ditched him after a terrible start to the 2000-2001 campaign.

Jefferies was given the opportunity and he wasn’t going to turn it down. He had resigned from his position at Hearts two weeks earlier in an effort to push the move forward. On his appointment, he said: “I’m delighted to be getting the opportunity to manage in the Premier League. It doesn’t happen that often that you can come down here from Scotland. Bradford are everybody’s favourites to go down, but hopefully we’ll prove them wrong.”

He became the Bantams’ fifth manager in seven years and the job looked like a very difficult one from the outset. He had to trim the wage bill and that meant some of Bradford’s higher-profile players being sold. Benito Carbone and Dan Petrescu were among the casualties, whilst Stan Collymore was told he had no future at the club despite having arrived just three months later. He saw a move to VfB Stuttgart collapse due to his excessive wage demands.

Bradford ultimately went down, relegated by Everton in April 2001. Jefferies stayed on into the following campaign but resigned in December after a poor start to their season back in the First Division. It was a job that didn’t work out despite his best efforts.

Collymore was not as complimentary though. 12 years after his departure from Bradford, he admitted: “He was one of the most useless managers [he] worked under”

In total, he won just four of his 24 games in the Premier League, achieving a disappointing win ratio rate of 16.7%.

Back to his homeland

He returned to management in Scotland in February 2002, taking over at Kilmarnock and staying there for nearly eight years before leaving via mutual consent in 2010. He had a second spell at Hearts and then a two-year stint with Dunfermline Athletic which ended in December 2014 following a crippling financial crisis which saw the club suffer back-to-back relegations to the third tier of Scottish football.

Although he has no plans to go back into management, he returned to football in February 2017, joining League Two club Edinburgh City in a Sporting Director capacity.

Premier League Files: Stuart McCall

Premier League Career: Bradford City (1999-2001)

Having made a staggering 763 league appearances in his career, there isn’t much that Stuart McCall hasn’t achieved in his footballing life. He has played in the Premier League, represented Scotland at two major international tournaments and is now back at Bradford City as manager, aiming to guide the Bantams out of League One.

It is the club McCall will always claim to be his home, having made his professional debut with Bradford back in 1982. His first spell with the Yorkshire team ended in 1988, appearing 238 times and being appointed club captain at just the age of 21 during that time. He won promotion to Division Two in 1985 but that was overshadowed by the horrific fire at Valley Parade when the main stand was engulfed by flames on the final day of the season. McCall’s father sustained serious burns in the blaze.

He joined Everton for £850,000 in June 1988 after getting frustrated with a lack of ambition at Bradford. He scored twice in the 1989 FA Cup final against Liverpool FC but Ian Rush’s own double ensured the trophy would return to Anfield after a 3-2 victory. Unfortunately, he had joined Everton at a time where their decline was starting to emerge and that near-miss in the FA Cup final was the closest he would get to winning silverware on Merseyside. In 1991, he moved to Scottish football, joining Rangers and he would spend seven wonderful seasons at Ibrox. This came at a time when Rangers were the dominant force in Scotland. McCall won six successive league titles, three Scottish Cups and two League Cups in a glorious spell where he was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame.

Although he had one more year on his deal in Glasgow, new Rangers manager Dick Advocaat allowed McCall to leave on a free transfer in the summer of 1998 and he would ultimately return to Bradford and as club captain too. His inspired performances in the centre of midfield would win him the club’s Player of the Year award and a final day victory at Molineux over Wolverhampton Wanderers would seal a surprise promotion to the Premier League.

McCall’s experience would be essential in 1999-2000 if Bradford were to avoid an immediate relegation. He helped the club claim 26 of their 36 points at Valley Parade, including a late 93rd-minute equaliser at home to Tottenham Hotspur. By now, he was already showing an interest in coaching. After Paul Jewell’s resignation shortly after the season ended, he was appointed assistant manager to Chris Hutchings. When Hutchings was sacked in November 2000, he even had a couple of games in caretaker charge before Jim Jefferies was appointed as Hutchings’ successor. Bradford were relegated with just 26 points and he even had a fight with teammate Andy Myers on the pitch during a 6-1 defeat to Leeds United which went unpunished by the club.

McCall was released by Bradford in May 2002 and he would play another 71 league matches for Sheffield United over the next two seasons. He retired just a few weeks before his 41st birthday in 2005. At international level, he won 40 caps for Scotland and played at Italia 90 and EURO 96, scoring in a group stage victory over Sweden in the former competition. He retired in 1998 after being left out of the squad for the World Cup finals in France.

He stayed with the Blades’ after retirement and became Neil Warnock’s assistant manager, leaving in 2007 after Warnock’s resignation following their crushing relegation from the Premier League. His first managerial post was at Bradford in 2007, and he also spent four years as boss of Motherwell. He returned to Valley Parade for a second managerial spell in 2016 after Phil Parkinson’s departure for Bolton Wanderers. He only narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championship in his first season back in May 2017, losing the play-off final to Millwall.

Stuart McCall was a player with plenty of heart and determination to succeed. He also seems to have plenty of commitment as a manager and will be hoping to get Bradford into the Championship at the end of the 2017-2018 campaign.

Iconic Moments: The fastest Premier League goal (December 2000)

Over the years, there have been many contenders for the fastest Premier League goal in history. You might think that one of the top forwards holds the record like Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, Thierry Henry or Wayne Rooney?

Well you’d be wrong. It is a defender who holds the record and the honour goes to Tottenham stalwart Ledley King. He achieved the feat in December 2000 when Tottenham Hotspur visited Valley Parade to play bottom-placed Bradford City.

From kick-off, Tottenham played a long ball forward which the Bantams’ defence struggled to clear. 20-year-old King, playing in a defensive midfield role on the day, decided to try his luck and it was his day. His shot deflected in from 20-yards out to beat Matt Clarke and give Tottenham a very early lead. The goal was timed at just 10 seconds, a shade quicker than Shearer’s effort for Newcastle against Manchester City in January 2003.

Premier League Files: Peter Beagrie

Premier League Career: Everton (1992-1994, 1997-1998), Manchester City (1994-1996), Bradford City (1999-2001)

Peter Beagrie spent 23 years in professional football, playing for no fewer than 10 teams. In the Premier League, he featured for Everton, Manchester City and Bradford City. Beagrie is also well-known for bringing acrobatics into his game with the somersault goal celebration that he’d show off whenever he scored.

Raised in Middlesbrough, he began his career as an apprentice at Boro in 1983 but left acrimoniously following their liquidation in 1986. Arriving at Sheffield United for a tribunal fee of just £35,000, he was voted Player of the Year by the club’s fans in his debut year. He scored 11 times for the Blades’ but was sold in the summer of 1988 by Dave Bassett, who felt Beagrie’s inconsistency was going to be a problem going forwards. His next port of call was Stoke City. He was given high praise by his then teammate Chris Kamara, who stated: “He is the best winger in the country – even better than John Barnes.”

He was Stoke’s top goalscorer in 1988-1989 but was sold to Everton in November 1989 for £750,000 as Stoke elected to cash in after making a rotten start to the season. Beagrie remained with Everton into the transformation of the Premier League and he even scored the first goal of the 1993-1994 season, netting after 10 minutes of the Toffees’ 2-0 victory over Southampton. Mike Walker didn’t rate him though when he succeeded Howard Kendall and decided to sell him to Manchester City on transfer deadline day in March 1994. He was sold for £1.1 million to allow Walker to fund a move for Swedish winger Anders Limpar, who was leaving Arsenal in an aim to get minutes under his belt before the World Cup finals in the United States. Everton fans were not impressed as Beagrie was one of their favourite players.

He made an early impression on City and Brian Horton and put in an incredible performance against Tottenham Hotspur in October 1994, setting up two goals and giving Tottenham’s full-backs the runaround in a 5-2 victory. Unfortunately, he couldn’t replicate his form on a regular basis and only played five times in their relegation season of 1995-1996 when Alan Ball had succeeded Horton as City manager. After a brief loan spell back at Everton in 1998, Beagrie’s final Premier League stint came with Bradford City. He scored seven times in their debut Premier League season as the Bantams’ avoided relegation on the final day of the 1999-2000 season. He left after their relegation a season later and would drop down three divisions to join Scunthorpe United. He played 172 times for Scunthorpe between 2001 and 2006 and eventually ended his lengthy playing career with a brief nine-game spell at Grimsby Town.

By then, Beagrie was another ex-footballer who was trying his hand at media work, especially for Sky Sports, making regular appearances on Soccer AM and the channel’s Football League coverage. In August 2017, Sky sacked him after Beagrie was found guilty of assaulting his girlfriend during a drunken incident.

He was a journeyman for the bulk of his career but Peter Beagrie often produced the spectacular, especially after he scored with his entertaining celebrations.