Tag Archives: Bradford City

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.

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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.

The Managers: Paul Jewell

Premier League Clubs Managed: Bradford City (1999-2000), Wigan Athletic (2005-2007), Derby County (2007-2008)

Paul Jewell’s management career has been a mixed bag, as was his time as a Premier League manager. He experienced a range of emotions – from keeping Bradford City in the top-flight against the odds in 2000 to experiencing the pain of relegation eight years later with a hopeless Derby County side.

Jewell grew up on Merseyside and in his playing days, was an apprentice at Liverpool FC. However, he never broke into the first-team ranks and moved to Wigan Athletic in December 1984. He made 137 appearances for the Latics and would later return to the club in a management capacity. He went to Bradford City in June 1988 which is where he spent the bulk of his remaining playing days.

Paul featured in the squad setup at Valley Parade for the best part of a decade, appearing 269 times in the first-team and scoring 56 times. By this stage, coaching was already interesting him and it would be the Bantams’ where he would experience his first taste of management.

Succeeding Kammy

Bradford won promotion from Division Two in 1996 under the guidance of Chris Kamara. Jewell was already on the coaching team as Kamara’s no.2. When he was sacked, owner Geoffrey Richmond turned to Jewell, initially on an interim basis. He was given the job full-time after impressing in 21 games as a caretaker and their ambition was clear. That was to get Bradford into the Premier League.

A serious promotion challenge was launched ahead of the 1998-1999 season. He broke the club’s transfer record twice that summer and also brought Stuart McCall back to the club following his successful spell in Scotland with Rangers. It took a while for things to gel and Bradford won just one of their first seven matches that season. However, they went on an excellent run of form as autumn turned to winter and established themselves as the leading candidate to be promoted along with runaway leaders Sunderland.

Ipswich Town and Birmingham City were their closest challengers but a 3-2 victory on the final day at Molineux over Wolverhampton Wanderers saw Bradford return to the top-flight after a 77-year absence.

Beating Liverpool to survive

The 1999-2000 campaign was always going to be a battle against survival. That was despite adding further Premier League experience with the likes of Peter Atherton, Ian Nolan and Dean Saunders joining the ranks. Bradford did win on the opening day 1-0 at Middlesbrough and pulled off a shock home victory over Arsenal too but they were at the wrong end of the table for much of the season.

The Bantams’ were battling to avoid relegation along with Wimbledon, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday. Going into the final day of the season, Derby were safe and Sheffield Wednesday relegated. It was down to a straight shootout between Wimbledon and Bradford. Wimbledon began one point ahead and it looked like Bradford had the harder fixture too. With a weaker goal difference, only victory against Liverpool FC would be enough to have a realistic chance of survival. David Wetherall’s header was enough to beat the Reds. Wimbledon lost 2-0 at Southampton, so they went down and Bradford survived against the odds.

However, all was not well between owner and manager. In the media, Richmond called Bradford’s 17th-place finish “a disappointment.” Jewell was furious and tendered his resignation. This was rejected but eventually, he was placed on gardening leave. Richmond believed that even though he was still contracted to the club, Paul has instigated a move to become Sheffield Wednesday manager. Whether it was true or not in terms of this approach is unclear. However, a compensation package was eventually agreed and Jewell left for a new challenge at Hillsborough.

Further ambition with Wigan

The Sheffield Wednesday experience was not good. Jewell was sacked just eight months after arriving with the debt-ridden club struggling near the bottom of Division One. In June 2001, he dropped down to the third-tier with Wigan Athletic. The aim was like with Bradford – to guide a fairly modest club into the upper echelon of English football.

In 2003, the first part of this jigsaw was achieved with promotion to Division One and the Latics’ nearly made the playoffs in their first campaign at this level. In the end, Jewell’s team were pipped to sixth spot on the final day by Crystal Palace – who would ultimately end up being promoted to the Premier League. A year later, Wigan were stronger for that near-miss. On the final day of the season, they held off their rivals to take the second automatic promotion spot and bring top-flight football to Lancashire for the first time.

Wigan’s first game at Premier League level was against champions Chelsea. They played exceptionally well but were denied a point by a late winner from Hernan Crespo. Two games later, they achieved their first victory over Sunderland and it started an incredible run of form which included a six-game winning run. Wigan were in the dizzy heights of second position by mid-November and although form levelled out in the second half of the campaign, they still finished a fabulous 10th in the final standings. There was also a run to the League Cup final but that ended in a harrowing 4-0 loss at the Millennium Stadium to Manchester United.

Stressful second season syndrome

The 2006-2007 season was not as straightforward for Jewell.  His side struggled all season for consistency and flirted with relegation for much of the campaign. On the final day, Wigan travelled to Bramall Lane in the bottom three. For Jewell, it was a similar story to the 2000 escape act with Bradford. Wigan had to win or they would be relegated.

It was a turbulent afternoon against relegation rivals Sheffield United. Paul Scharner gave Wigan an early lead, before Jon Stead pegged the home side level with a brave header. On the stroke of half-time, David Unsworth struck a penalty to put Wigan back infront. They managed to hold on in the second half, despite being reduced to 10 men. Ultimately, it was the Blades’ who were relegated. The relief on Jewell’s face on the final whistle was palpable as he was embraced by Wigan’s coaching staff. The stress of being under pressure had evidently shown. A day later, he resigned as manager.

He told the club’s website: “I have made this decision with a heavy heart but I feel it is time for me to have a break from football.”

The impossible job at Derby

Jewell stuck to his word and took six months out of the game, despite being linked to various roles, including jobs with Leicester City and the Republic of Ireland international position.

In November 2007, he answered the call of Derby County; two days after Billy Davies departed the Rams. However, the task he acquired was virtually impossible. This Derby squad is still the worst-ever team to have played in the Premier League. They went down with just 11 points and Jewell failed to win a single match between his appointment and relegation being confirmed in March 2008. His sole win was on penalties in an FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday.

He stayed on despite the relegation but left right at the end of 2008 after a stuttering start to the Championship season which left Derby in 18th position in the table. His last managerial role came at Ipswich Town between January 2011 and October 2012. Although there was a League Cup semi-final appearance, not much else went right in Suffolk. He celebrated his 550th game as manager during his Ipswich reign but left by mutual consent after a couple of heavy away defeats shortly afterwards.

Paul Jewell’s most successful period in his management career was at Wigan Athletic but it will probably be his final day escape act with Bradford City that will be his best achievement when it comes to looking back at his managerial legacy.

Premier League Files: Neville Southall

Premier League Career: Everton (1992-1998), Bradford City (2000)

Neville Southall had a proud and distinguished career in football and whilst he achieved his main honours before the Premier League began in 1992, that doesn’t take away the impact he had guarding the posts at Everton for the best part of 17 seasons.

He was voted as Everton’s all-time cult hero in December 2004, was selected as the goalkeeper choice for four years in a row in the PFA Team of the Year during the 1980s, won two championships and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1985. His performances during Everton’s trophy-laden 1984-1985 season saw Neville crowned as Player of the Season by the Football Writers’.

He was renowned for his ability in coming off the goal-line and smothering the space for attackers. His agility couldn’t be questioned and even in his later years, could still produce remarkable saves that others could only dream of.

By the time the Premier League was formed in 1992, Neville had already been an Everton stalwart for 11 years and the club in general had seen far better and healthier days. He was part of the squad that only just about survived relegation in the 1993-1994 season. In the final match of the campaign against Wimbledon, Southall showed his leadership qualities by taking the ball and hinting that he would face up to the pressure and take the spot-kick that would get the Toffees back into the game. Eventually, Graham Stuart plucked up the courage to take the responsibility and fortunately, he scored.

Southall’s performances were still consistent, even if they weren’t quite at the level he was displaying a decade earlier but even he suffered a decline in his form in the early weeks of the 1994-1995 campaign. Everton went 12 games without a win at the start of the season and Southall later admitted that after a confrontation from a fan after a home defeat, he was subject to death threats. Things improved when Mike Walker was sacked in November and by the end of the season, Everton had survived relegation under the guidance of Joe Royle and won the FA Cup. The season also saw Southall take a record of appearing in the Merseyside Derby more times than any other player. Everton’s 2-0 victory over their neighbours in November 1994 was his 35th appearance in the fixture.

He remained an ever-present during the next campaign which Everton finished sixth. However, Royle saw the goalkeeper spot as an area where the team could improve and Neville would have slipped down the pecking order if a deal to sign Nigel Martyn from Crystal Palace could go through. The move collapsed and Southall remained Everton’s no.1 goalie but Royle was desperate to strengthen in this position.

In 1996-1997, he was dropped after a run of six successive defeats from the Christmas programme onwards. Despite his uncomfortable relationship with the manager, Southall continued to support Joe Royle in the media but when Royle resigned in March 1997, he received the support of caretaker boss and fellow long stalwart Dave Watson. He was put back in the team to steer the Toffees’ to another uncomfortable survival.

His final appearance for Everton came in November 1997 during a 2-0 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Howard Kendall offered him a coaching role in the aftermath of the game but Southall rejected the offer, insisting he still could offer something to a club looking for a goalkeeper to play professional matches.

He made 53 appearances for Torquay United between 1998 and 2000 but had one final Premier League fling for Bradford City. When all three of Bradford’s senior goalkeepers sustained injuries at the same time, Southall played for the Bantams in a Yorkshire derby against Leeds United in March 2000. He became the fourth oldest player in Premier League history, at the age of 41 years and 178 days.

After retiring from the game in 2002, Neville worked as a coach and occasional manager in the non-league. His last role was eight years ago, as a caretaker manager for Margate. In 2012, he released his autobiography, “The Binman Chronicles” which was the sixth bestselling football book of the year.

Neville Southall saw it all and achieved many great things during a wonderful playing career. He gave so much service to Everton, achieving league titles and seeing the darker period at the start of the 1990s. He certainly made his mark between the goalposts on Merseyside.