|Description:||Photograph of (l-r) Ian Ormondroyd, Terry Dolan, David Markham, Ian Cooper, Mick Lamb, Don Hutchins and Tom Hallett|
|Contributor:||West Yorkshire Archive Service|
|Rights:||West Yorkshire Archive Service|
We recorded a fascinating group interview, which includes Ian Cooper, Tom Hallett, Don Hutchins, Terry Dolan, Greg Abbott and Ian Ormondroyd. You can listen to the full length recording and read the transcript below (each ex-player's speech is indicated by their initials in bold type). PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE FOLLOWING RECORDING CONTAINS SOME SWEARING - DISCRETION IS REQUIRED.
IC: Came down here in about 1966, some time around then. I can’t actually remember it – dates and that I’m not that good on. My memory’s going a bit. And it just sort of went from that. I remember the old ground – the running track round it was all cinders. It was terrible. Even when we worked down here it was bad. We used to train down – they used to call it George the Fifth on Canal Road. That was just as bad. If it rained, we really struggled for somewhere to train. But I remember as a younger lad, I remember coming back. We used to come back in afternoons. This is not long after…well Willie Watson only lasted a year.
TH: Grenville Hair.
IC: Who was the other one who came…?
TH: Grenville Hair.
IC: No, it was before Grenville Hair cause I’m sure there was somebody else but anyway…I can remember going down to the playing fields one afternoon and there were about six of us and it were a Wednesday afternoon because they used to play on Wednesday afternoons. They were in half holiday league or something like that. There was a team playing down there, amateur side, and we were just doing some practices – some routines and moves, free kicks and things. One of their lads came over to see us and he said, ‘Look, team we’re supposed to be playing haven’t turned up. Do you lads fancy giving us a bit of a game?’
So I said – bearing in mind there were only six of us – and we said we’ll go and just see how it went. And I think we only played twenty five minutes because they were absolutely shattered. The only time they got it out of our half was when it was a goal. I think we won eleven or twelve-nil and I can remember walking off with some of their lads and one of them was saying, ‘You know I come down there every week. I won’t do it again. I never realised the difference between the football we play and the football you play.’
And it’s one of those things that sticks in your mind because you play on a Saturday and there’s now twelve thousand people who can do your job better than you can. I mean when I played there might be five or six, sometimes maybe a lot less. But you watch people play and because they’re all on a par – we’ve just been talking about it now, the England game – how they’re playing and everybody can do the game better than you can and it’s just one of the things that sticks in my mind. I don’t know…somebody come in and say something. Hello, my name’s Ian Cooper.
TH: I re-iterate everything that he said.
TH: I will say one thing at that particular time, when I came down we only had one set of jerseys, one set of strip. One set of jerseys and we played down in Southampton in the summer. It must have been in the nineties and this strip was like horse blankets.
I said…we were alright up ‘til half time. The second half we were knackered. I remember saying to Stafford about this strip and fair play he did, he changed the strip and got us some new strip. But everything Ian says. They were good times weren’t they?
TH: The rules started changing. When we used to play, there were no substitutes. You know, the manager used to say ‘Get warmed up’ and it was quarter to three.
And if the weather’s bad, we went out at five to. My name’s Tom Hallett and I’m going to hand over now to Terry Dolan.
TD: Terry Dolan. I’m just relating to what Ian was saying. I was an associate schoolboy in ’67 and Willie Watson was the manager. I’d arranged to leave schools half way through my A-levels and Willie left in the summer. Now I don’t know whether he got sacked or did he leave of his own accord?
IC: He retired to go to South Africa. He moved to South Africa.
TD: Right, so he’s left and Jimmy Wheeler was the new manager. Yeah, because…
IC: I thought Jimmy Wheeler came after Grenville Hair.
TH: He did.
ML: Well Willie Watson retired in January ’68. I mean Tom might know who selected teams. Were you part of that?
TH: No, Jim McAnearney and myself took over when Grenville died for a matter of months at the end of the season and then Jimmy Wheeler came in.
TD: So Willie Watson was going to take me as an apprentice. He left and I’d arranged to leave school so I was in limbo. I had to go and get a job at Manningham Mills. Then Jimmy Wheeler came – that was my next recollection of the manager – and he said ‘You’re not good enough. We don’t want you.’
So I moved to Park Avenue and I remember making my debut for Park Avenue in April ’68 or ’69 and I went on the bus with my boots in a bag. Went on the trolley bus from Bradford town centre up to Park Avenue.
TH: Good old days.
TD: How about those times?
DH: My name’s Don Hutchins. I came to Bradford in ’74 from Blackburn Rovers. At the time the deal was a swap between Graham Oates, who was playing at Bradford and I was at Blackburn and we did a swap and I think Bradford received seven thousand as well, which was maybe valued at four thousand I think.
So, the two main highlights when I was at Bradford really are obviously the cup run in ’76. Just leading up to that though I remember in the dressing rooms and I know – that even after the games – even the tie-ups Bryan Edwards used to wash them because we had no money. We had sellotape for our shin pads to keep our shin pads up. As I said, tie-ups, Bryan used to go mad if you threw them away. He used to go round collect tie-ups and wash them.
IC: He did. Yeah.
DH: So the club was in a bit of a financial state. Anyway, we ended up…we started playing against Chesterfield, who were in the same league as us I think. We beat them 1-0.
ML: Who scored the winning goal Don?
DH: Yeah, yeah.
I managed to score a header. I just shut me eyes and put me head to it. It went in the top corner so that was a good start. We then went to Rotherham, who were a league higher than us and to be fair we played like Real Madrid. We were absolutely fantastic. We beat them 3-0 didn’t we?
IC: Yeah we did.
DH: At Millmoor didn’t we?
We played really well. Joe [Cooke] got a couple or Gerry [Ingram] got a couple in. After that we went to Shrewsbury, which again was the higher league than us. We ended up beating them 2-1 and then I remember us sat in the coach after the game and Peter Downsborough…the draw for the next round of the Cup was always straight after the match. And we were sat in the coach waiting for the draw for the next round and the next round was Swindon or Tooting and Mitcham because they’d drawn. And I was sat next to Peter Downsborough. Well, Peter Downsborough was a hero at Swindon and I remember him saying ‘If we play Swindon, they’re never gonna score.’
Anyway, as it happened, Tooting and Mitcham beat em, who were a non-league team, and then we played Tooting and Mitcham here. I think there was about eighteen thousand here. Would that be right? Big crowd anyway.
So we ended up beating them 3-1. Yeah I managed to score two.
And then of course the big one. We’d drawn against Norwich and the game was supposed to be on a Saturday. I remember leading to it a couple of the lads had gone down with bit of flu. So those that were in training, Bobby Kennedy came up to me and said ‘You’ve got flu.’
I said ‘I haven’t. I’m fine.’
He said ‘No, you’ve got flu.’
To two or three of the other lads as well. So we had to go to the FA and say the team’s down with flu – five or six, seven players down with flu. We can’t play. Well of course it upset John Bond didn’t it?
John Bond, who was the Norwich manager, said ‘They shouldn’t be in the league if they can’t put a team out.’
So it got all our backs up I suppose. So it was put back a week or so and we played on, I think, it was a Tuesday night at Norwich and it was twenty seven thousand there. Bearing in mind they were in the First Division, which is like the Premier League now. We were in the Fourth, which was the bottom of the league. So we went there and we ended up…we turned them over didn’t we?
I managed to score again.
Going on a bit about it aren’t I?
Anyway we ended up winning 2-1, which was fantastic and I think if you do manage to speak to some supporters after this that went down on the train and coaches – they had a fantastic time. I think it’d probably be a good idea to get hold of some supporters to talk about it 'cause all of them who you speak to say it was fantastic don’t they?
And of course then we were drawn…we were in the quarter finals then and played against Southampton and to be fair we played really well but we were unfortunate to lose. We lost by a dodgy free kick. I don’t know if you remember – flicked it up and volleyed in by McCalliog I think and they ended that year winning the cup so…and I think financially it did help from going to having our tie-ups washed, we managed to have fresh tie-ups every week.
And then the following season…I mean we got a good side together and obviously with the cup run it helped confidence. The following season, I think it was the following season we got promotion from the Fourth. We ended up drawing against Bournemouth the last match of the season, which got us promotion. So they were two fantastic seasons. Especially, they are the ones I remember most. Unfortunately, the season after that we got relegated. I think basically Bobby Kennedy never really brought in enough new players to strengthen the side.
TH: Tape’s run out Don. [Tape hadn’t run out]
DH: Has it?
So they’re my main highlights. I’m sorry for boring you!
TH: You’re right what you say about the old days. What I used to do at the beginning of the season, the first game of the season, was get in early cause the kit used to be laid out and I used to go and pick the best pair of shorts there was and I kept them all year. My wife used to wash them.
TD: Terry Dolan again. Just following on from Don – I’d gone to Huddersfield in 1971 and having taken Huddersfield from the First Division down to the Fourth in five years…
…Bobby Kennedy did spend some of that money that they got from the cup run, spent ten thousand on me. I came back to Bradford City and we got promotion that first season. Unfortunately the following season we were relegated, weren’t we?
TD: But one of the stories from that time is that Stafford Heginbotham who was the chairman. He’d promised us a holiday at the end of the season if we got promoted in Magaluf, which is where everybody used to go in those days. So come the end of the season they didn’t have the money to take us away but Stafford said ‘Look’ he said, ‘I’ll honour the suggestion that you go away on holiday and we’ll go next season.’
So the following season we get relegated and we’re thinking: well, there’s no way we’re going away on holiday. But to be fair to Stafford, he took us away in the year we got relegated.
DH: We’d got relegated into the Fourth Division and Ipswich Town, who’d won the Cup, were in the same hotel as us.
And they wouldn’t take their wives. We were allowed to take our wives weren’t we?
We were all there with our wives. Groundsman went – even Roy Wyatt the groundsman went. Ipswich there weren’t allowed to take their wives and they’d won the Cup and they were in the same hotel as us.
TD: And all the Ipswich players lined up in the bar when they’d got there that night and the secretary was handing about five hundred quid to each player – expenses for the trip.
But during that period I’d had a reputation of scoring from penalties hadn’t I?
TD: And I scored nineteen on the bounce and then I missed my twentieth against Wimbledon Dave Beasant. Then I scored my next one then that was it. I never took any more after that. Twenty out of twenty.
But we did have one game during that spell where we played Liverpool in the League Cup. First or second round – it was two legged and Ray Clemence couldn’t hold one of my free kicks and Bobby Campbell tapped in the rebound. We beat them 1-0 in the first leg at home but Dalglish didn’t play in that. Then in the second leg at Anfield, Dalglish turns out and gets out a trick in the first half and we get beat four. They went on to win it that year but at least we beat them in one of the legs.
IC: It’s Ian Cooper again. Going back to Don’s story about Norwich. One other thing I remember about that was the Huddersfield chairman had actually gone down to watch us that day and he put a bet on that we would beat Norwich and he came in and he gave us his winnings – I don’t know how much he won. He came in and he actually gave every person who was playing a tenner. He gave us all a tenner. Bearing in mind we were probably on…I don’t know what we’d be on in those days – thirty odd quid, forty quid. Something like that, forty pounds a week. So, ten pounds, it was a lot of money. But it sounds good that we actually get it from an opposing director rather than our own. They were probably worried about the bonuses we had to pay. But we always got a decent bonus that week.
DH: I would have thought so. I don’t know how much.
IC: But another one I remember a promotion, was when we played Darlington. Played up at Darlington. You’ll be in this one won’t you? When we went 1-0 down?
TH: John Roberts dropped a goal in.
IC: That’s right.
TH: Right into Terry Mellor, who was five foot two.
IC: Yes, I remember that and he came in, spotted this goal and then they demolished the stand didn’t they, the supporters?
Well, it was the barrier that went round – about a three foot barrier – collapsed. And they abandoned it, well…we went off the pitch for about quarter of an hour didn’t we? Then when we came on…
TH: I’ll tell you a tale about that…
IC: I’ll just pass it over to Tommy.
TH: With being captain, I went to toss up with their captain, which was Alan Sproates. We played at Swindon together and Sproatsy says to me ‘What do you want today Tom?’
I said ‘We’re on ten pound a point.’
And he dropped the coin. He says ‘You what?’
I said ‘We’re on ten pound a point.’ I said ‘What’s wrong?’
He says ‘We’re only on five pound a point.’
And he went back and he’s telling all his team mates. Then he says ‘The money that these lads are on here.’
Might have had a bit of influence on the game.
Terry Dolan is just signing off.
IO: Ian Ormondroyd. Played at Bradford City in two spells – ’85 to ’89 and ’94 to ’96. My memory’s a bit more sketchy really. I obviously played other periods. Came in ’85 just after the fire, which was obviously, you know, a massive disaster for the club. I signed in September. Trevor Cherry and Terry Yorath signed me. I was playing non-league football for about three seasons and had given up hope really of ever becoming a professional footballer. At twenty nearly twenty one, this chief scout Maurice Lindley actually came towards me a few times and decided to recommend me to Terry Dolan, sorry, Terry Yorath and Trevor Cherry and they actually let me play in some pre-season games. Played a few pre-season games. I played in a game down at Barnet. I’ll always remember it – don’t know if Greg was playing. I always remember playing in the game and we won something like 4-1 in the pre-season game at Underhill on the slopey pitch and I had a good game. I just played alright that game and everyone was coming back on the bus and Trevor Cherry, the manager at the time, came over and sat next to me and says to me ‘What money do you get paid at Grattan?’
I was working at Grattan at the time. He says ‘What money do you get paid at Grattan?’
Stupidly I said ‘Hundred pounds a week.’ Told the truth and said ‘Hundred pounds a week.’
He says ‘If I give you your new contract, do you want to come and play at Bradford for hundred and ten pounds a week?’
I snapped his hand off and said ‘Yeah I will. Yes I will do.’
And that were it. That was the conversation. Came in on the following Monday morning, signed a contract and signed a year’s contract.
The first year was a learning curve for me. Difficult coming into a changing room with all that group of lads who are, you know, experienced. So a lot of young lads but a lot of experienced players as well. Bobby Campbell was a massive character at the time they played and I was playing his position. I always remember the first day’s training. We were having a practice match. It was the main first team against the rest. I was in the rest and Bobby was on the centre and it was about to kick off and he looked over at me. He says ‘This shirt’s mine son. You’re not getting it off me. No chance.’
‘No chance at all’ – that’s the first thing he said to me. The first comment he made to me, which at the time you’re thinking you either sink or swim a little bit but it made me think to myself: well, I’m going to have a go at you. I’m going to train the hardest and do the best I can to try and be a player, and gradually got into the team eventually. Didn’t play many games that year. I actually got in the team. We had a few cup runs. We played Everton in a cup game didn’t we?
Beat Everton when they were in the top division. My memory’s, like I say, a bit more sketchy. We played Tottenham as well and I remember playing to Graham Roberts down the pitch and then I signed for Aston Villa in ’89. Terry got sacked on the same day. Isn’t that right Terry?
It sounds a bit bizarre but it’s a true story. I went to Aston Villa for six hundred and fifty grand. Did you get sacked before I went or after I went?
TD: I got sacked the day before.
IO: Did you? I didn’t know that at the time. I thought it was the same day, so…which was a bit bizarre. Then I went to Aston Villa. Then came back in ’94, ’95 and then we managed to get to Wembley that year, which was fantastic. Got through the playoffs. I remember playing a game at Hull when we got given the Hull end and they weren’t happy with that at all, in ’95, and we managed to win that game and there was a pitch invasion.
I always remember as well a stupid, funny story. Loads of fans had come on the pitch. Just going out after they’d cleared the pitch to warm up and looks down at the pitch as I’m running out and there’s a twenty pound note on the floor. So I thought ‘well what do you do with it?’
I thought ‘well pick it up, put it in my sock’ – a tight Yorkshire man as I am. Picks it up, puts it down my sock, plays the game with the twenty pound note down my sock. The win was 4-2 was it?
IO: 3-2 was it? Yeah.
TD: A close game.
IO: Yeah it was a close game but we managed to win the game. It was a close game actually. We took the lead then Hull went 2-1 up I think. We won 3-2. A close game. A lot of pressure for us because we knew if we won the game, we were in the play offs. But I always remember twenty pound note. Gets in after the game. We’d won. Pulls the twenty pound note out and shows to the lads. ‘Right lads, we’re going to have a beer after the game.’
He says, ‘Where’ve you pulled that from?’
I said, ‘From down my sock. Someone dropped at out their pocket before the game.’
So if it was a Bradford fan or whatever, if it wasn’t, I apologise.
IO: But, yeah, it was strange. But then obviously we got to Wembley. The Blackpool game was where we got beat at home. I played in that one and then we won away when I didn’t play so what does that tell you?
But we got to Wembley and I have never known – it was the highlight of my career to play at Wembley in front of the Bradford fans against Notts County. I like to have a little bit of a bet every now and again but it was an absolute dead certainty that Bradford would beat Notts County. It was so nailed on. I’ve never felt more certain about anything in my life. After the Blackpool game, there was no way in the world that Bradford were not going to win at Wembley against Notts County. It was a nailed-on bet and obviously we did them 2-0 easy and the history of the club turned from there a little bit really. Got eventually later on into the Premier League. That’ll do for me I think.
TD: It’s your turn Greg.
GA: I think the first memory…
IC: You’ve got to introduce yourself.
GA: Sorry Ian! Greg Abbott. Came to the club in 1982. It’s nice to see some of the old faces here. Terry, my old manager – nice to listen to him talk about one or two tales. I’ve heard a few tales about money. My first recollection of Bradford, walk through this ground. It wasn’t actually in such a splendorous shape as it is now. It’s a fantastic place now. It was the old stand and Roy McFarland managed to convince me to come up from Coventry to sign. It was raining and he got the contract out in the stands. This was as true as we’re stood here, and he got the contracts out. We’re going through figures and all that and I’m looking at it and the raindrops are coming down. I think I’m getting five hundred pounds a week back in 1982. What had happened is the rain had come down, smudged the nought on the fifty, pushed it over a little bit and it was actually fifty I was coming for. So I signed for a little bit less than I thought I might be getting but that was the first thing. I thought ‘where’ve I come to here?’
It’s a club that has a lot of memories. Watching Sticks [Ian Ormondroyd] come through the door for the first time and you were right Sticks actually – he had no chance of getting Bobby Campbell. That was a true thing he did say and he did come in through the door. We had some characters in the club at that time. Bobby Campbell was here and Les Chapman was here and Mickey Lester was here. I think it was just a period where the older squad, you guys, just before them. The older sort-of guys were moving on, had come to the back end of their careers and they were moving on and the young fledglings were coming. It was a bit of a…I call it a bit of a rag arse and bobtail team threw together from a lot of free transfer players and a lot of players who’d lost their way. That was in ’82 and then by the ’85 season we’d Stuart McCall come for nothing, Mark Ellis local lad done good, myself, Martin Singleton, John Hendrie, Tony Clegg. People like that, that had really been thrown together but had a lot of spirit. I think, listening to everybody’s stories here, the one thing this club would hold close to me would be the spirit and the way it’s battled through the ups and downs through the years. I don’t think we’re the best footballers in the world but we had a magnificent team spirit and then we had John Hendrie who was outstanding and Stuart McCall and Bobby with an old head scoring the goals. Sticks came in and added his weight to the game. We got a big move, which enabled the club then financially to bring some better players into the club. I think that was the start of the club going towards better things.
We won the league in ’85. Obviously then the club had probably its worst period but after that, as Sticks rightly said, I think the spirit that kept everybody going came back and eventually Terry got a team together. I think we were the first team, Terry, weren’t we when you were manager that didn’t go into the Premiership off the play off system? Was that right?
It was the first year of the play offs. It would have been normal three up, three down and we’d have been Premiership players, or Division One players as we were called then. There’s no difference. I’m not calling them Premiership players actually. They played yesterday.
But we would have been Division One players, which I think would have made a massive difference to our lifestyles. I think what we had then was a group of players not made fortunes out the game. I think every penny they earn and I would have to say they deserve to earn because we didn’t have it easy. We weren’t on fortunes but we missed out on being a Division One player, which does mean a hell of a lot to your credibility and your earning powers and that. I don’t want to go on about earning powers because we didn’t really play for money. You guys certainly wouldn’t have done ‘cause there wasn’t money about. Certainly in our era – ‘80s and ‘90s – it was just starting to get where that was starting to come as part of the game.
Memories of Bobby [Campbell] was phenomenal when we first walked through the door and I remember giving the ball to John Hendrie. I was playing behind John Hendrie. John says, ‘Let me do the attacking.’
Well, I told John, ‘You do the attacking, I’ll do the defending. Nobody’ll get past me. Soon as you get it, you go past your defender.’
We had a little bit of a bond. We knew each other from Coventry. I kept getting the ball, kept giving it to John Hendrie, kept coming inside and shooting. First time, Bobby said, ‘Johnny – go down the wing. Don’t come inside with your left foot. Go down the outside, cross it with your right foot. I’ll head it in. Simple.’
I gets the ball, gives it to John Hendrie. Drops his shoulder, comes in. Left foot – over the Midland Road stand. It wasn’t as big as it is now. Bobby said, ‘That’s twice John. No more.’
So the third time, I gets the ball, gives it to John Hendrie. John comes inside into the Midland Road stand – over the top, down Valley Parade. Ball went miles away. Surprisingly Bob never said a word. This was before half time. Three times John’s done it, twice he’s been warned. Third time he kept doing it, Bobby never said a word. Comes in at half time, goes to get a little glass of water as my young man has just got me there. Turns round with my glass of water, John is on a peg! On a peg! ‘I f*****g….’
Oh can I swear?
TD: Too late now.
GA: It’s too late. It’s gone on. I do apologise. ‘I told you to cross the ball,’ in Bob’s rough Northern Irish accent.
I think John actually got the hang of it, started crossing the ball. Bob scored his goals and it wasn’t ‘til Bob had left that John started scoring goals ‘cause he was a little bit frightened. But that was the effect Bob had on all the players. But I’ll tell you that we used to go out together. Lively, I’d call that group, that era – Mark Ellis, Stuart McCall and myself and John Hendrie – lively. I remember we used to think we could fight the world because we looked over our shoulder and we had Joe Cooke, we had Bobby Campbell, Paul Tomlinson. People like that. We thought ‘we can cause havoc in here.’ It was a good group ‘cause every time we stepped out of line, Bob would come and say, ‘You’re out of line.’
Or if it was someone else out of line, ‘You’re out of line.’
For all the things that we did right and wrong, I think we had a great respect for people like Joe and Bob and the older players we had. I think they probably played a bigger role in that era then…well they can’t have played a bigger role than anybody would given them credit for. They didn’t half help us lads along. Stuart went on to better things; obviously John Hendrie went on to better things. [They] Probably give this club a name of how tough and how competitive it was going to be and how spirit was in the camp. As we went on through the years, that spirit was needed in abundance.
The older chaps are here now. Ian – I think you’ve come to a lot of games haven’t you?
You’re always coming back as often as you can. Don as well, I think we got to know through Bryan Edwards. I think he’s a little bit poorly isn’t he at the moment?
GA: Bryan was a legend for us. We’d go into Bryan’s room and he’d tell stories like we’re telling stories about his Bolton days. He’s an FA Cup winner, Bryan. He’s played five hundred games at the highest level. We loved him to bits but you had big character in the game who, I think, every single person probably at that time was in the game for the right reasons. If I make reference to England yesterday, if they had the same spirit and humbleness that that group of people that came to this club right from the ‘70s…think we’re going back to the ‘70s aren’t we? Late ‘70s as well?
Early ‘70s for some. I’m trying to be nice.
IC: We’ve obviously worn well.
GA: But I think we would have given ourselves a better fisting of the World Cup. I think sometimes now the way the players are; the money involved – not necessarily the players’ fault – but the way it’s all gone. It’s sometimes sad to see. You look at why we aren’t doing well at that level and I can give you some obvious answers and they all make sense. But nobody can take away what we had and that was coming to a club that you loved and enjoyed. I still love coming back to the club and Terry moved on to another club but still has a big affection. Sticks went on and played at different clubs. We all come here and probably talk of Bradford with a massive fondness because of everything that we all went through. Even if you weren’t part of the team that restructured this place, I think everybody feels part of the whole scenario and building the team and the city up after that. I certainly come here at every opportunity with a fondness and enjoy my time coming back. I’ll leave you with that.