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  1. ITV Report

From shelf stacking to Wembley

Bradford City's goalscorer James Hanson celebrates after the game Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

James Hanson was stacking shelves in his local supermarket as little as three and a half years ago but last night he headed the goal which made history and sent Bradford to the Capital One Cup final at Wembley.

The 25-year-old levelled matters early in the second half of last night's semi-final second leg at Aston Villa and although the hosts went on to triumph 2-1, it was Hanson's crucial goal which ensured the Bantams progressed 4-3 on aggregate.

In turn, Bradford became the first fourth tier team to reach a major cup final at Wembley as they clinched a place in their first showpiece final since 1911.

Yet it could so easily have been a different story for 6ft 4in Bradford-born striker Hanson, who admits he had almost given up on playing on the big stage when he was pacing the aisles of his nearby Co-operative supermarket not that long ago.

Three years ago I was working in the Co-op while playing non-league for Guiseley, so it's days like this why you want to be a professional. Thankfully all the hard work I've put in has been amazing.

– James Hanson
Bradford City's Gary Jones (right) and Aston Villa's Charles N'Zogbia battle for the ball Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Bradford captain Gary Jones provided the inswinging corner from which Hanson lost his marker, Ron Vlaar, to head home from close range.

Jones held back tears of joy at the full-time whistle as he celebrated the West Yorkshire club's incredible achievement with their 6,500 travelling fans.

The 35-year-old can look forward to a trip to Las Vegas at the end of the season after Bradford co-chairman Gary Lawn promised to reward his players' efforts.

But first up will be the eagerly-anticipated final on February 24 against either Swansea or Chelsea.

"A fourth tier team getting to Wembley is quite incredible," Jones said.

"To beat three Premier League teams along the way, and to beat Aston Villa over two legs, words can't describe it.

"You've got to dream about winning it, why not? Who would have expected us to have come this far?"

The skipper added: "I was emotional at the full-time whistle because things like this don't happen every day. It'll probably never happen ever again in this competition.

"We've got to savour the moment and then we've got a league game on Saturday, Wycombe at home! It's a bit of a come down."

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