A former detective who investigated the Bradford City fire disaster has told ITV Calendar that its wrong to suggest it was anything other than an accident.
Raymond Falconer interviewed the supporter whose dropped cigarette sparked the tragedy in which 56 fans died.
He says it is sad that a controversial new book is pointing at the possibility it may have been caused deliberately:
There have been more calls for an investigation into the cause of the Valley Parade stadium fire.
It comes after allegations this week that the then chairman of the club was linked to a number of other businesses which had been damaged by fires.
But one of the detectives who investigated the blaze has told Calendar that, 30 years after the disaster which killed 56 people, he is still certain it was an accident.
Chris Dawkes reports:
The secretary of the Bradford City supporters’ club at the time of the 1985 stadium fire has said that former club chairman Stafford Heginbotham "was out to make money."
Patsy Hollinger, who also worked at the club as their groundsman, says he was banned from the ground after he challenged Heginbotham’s various accounts of the fire.
Hollinger has urged Bradford fans to demand a full investigation into the fire tragedy:
It comes after claims in a new book that the fire may have been an arson attack because it was one of at least nine fires at businesses owned by or associated with Heginbotham.
Labour's Andy Burnham has supported calls for a fresh investigation into the 1985 Bradford City stadium fire which killed 56 people.
The shadow health secretary called on the police to "re-examine the quality" of the original investigation into the blaze at Bradford's Valley Parade stadium.
The original inquiry judge Sir Oliver Popplewell ruled it was an accident but a new book by victim Martin Fletcher, who lost family members in the tragedy, has claimed that it was one of nine that occurred at businesses owned or linked to the club's then chairman Stafford Heginbotham.
Mr Heginbotham's son James has dismissed the claims as "just absolutely ridiculous".
These are allegations of the most serious kind, and if a bereaved family member feels that they need to be investigated then they should be.
I have always felt that the original Popplewell inquiry was conducted with undue haste, and there is a concern that these matters were not thoroughly looked into at the time.
I would call on the police to re-examine the quality of the original investigation into the fire at Bradford City, and in the light of this new information, consider whether a new investigation should be reopened.
West Yorkshire police have said the force would consider any new evidence concerning the fire while Patsy Hollinger, the secretary of the Bradford City supporters' club at the time of the fire, called on the people of the city to demand a full inquiry.
The son of the former chairman of Bradford City has defended his late father over allegations that the fire disaster at Valley Parade was not an accident
56 fans died 30 years ago next month, in the worst ever fire tragedy at a football stadium. The most likely cause was a discarded cigarette.
A new book by survivor Martin Fletcher, who lost four members of his family, claims the former chairman Stafford Heginbotham was connected to a number of buildings which burned down before the disaster.
Prime Minister David Cameron has told ITV Calendar that any new information about the 1985 Bradford City fire disaster is for the police to look at - and that needs to be the starting point:
Hours after flames engulfed the main stand on May 11, 1985, Yorkshire TV commentator John Helm spoke to Stafford Heginbotham on the pitch.Read the full story ›
A new book claims the 1985 fire at Valley Parade in which 56 people were killed may have been an arson attack.
It is alleged in Fifty-Six - The Story of the Bradford Fire that the fire was just one of at least nine fires at businesses owned by or associated with the club's then chairman Stafford Heginbotham, who died in 1995.
The author, Martin Fletcher, was 12 when he escaped from the disaster with his life but lost three generations of his family; his father, grandfather and younger brother.
The book, being serialised in The Guardian, does not make any direct allegations but Fletcher says Heginbotham's history with fires, which he claims resulted in payouts totalling around £27 million in today's terms, warranted further investigation.
An inquiry at the time by high court judge Mr Justice Popplewell concluded that the fire was an accident.
West Yorkshire Police says the force would consider any new evidence about the fire.
The jury at the inquest in 1985 delivered a verdict of misadventure. However should any evidence come to light which was not available to Her Majesty's Coroner at the original inquest, then we will consider its significance and take appropriate action.
Former QPR chairman Gianni Paladini is in talks with Bradford over a possible takeover, according to Bantams joint-chairman Mark Lawn.
Paladini left QPR in 2011, following the takeover by Tony Fernandes, and has previously been linked with moves for Birmingham and Millwall.
Lawn told the Telegraph and Argus: "We have signed a confidentiality undertaking and we are talking to him."
Paladini's previous attempt at a takeover was reported to be at Millwall, but chairman John Berylson played those down in January 2014.
Berylson said: "I have absolutely no interest in selling Millwall to Mr Paladini, who I have never even met nor have any intention of meeting, or anyone else."
Bradford are currently 11th in the Sky Bet League One table following Tuesday's 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Bristol City, which sealed the Robins' promotion to the Championship.
Bradford City are in negotiations about a possible takeover, it has been confirmed.
Co-chairman Mark Lawn has confirmed that talks have begun with former QPR chairman Giovanni Paladini about a possible takeover.
We have signed a confidentiality undertaking and we are talking to him.
Paladini, 69, is the former agent of Benito Carbone.