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Andy Burnham calls for fresh Bradford City fire probe

The 1985 Bradford City stadium fire killed 56 people. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images

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.

– Andy Burnham in The Guardian

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.


Bradford ready to take action against fan over 'racism'

Bradford chairman Mark Lawn says the fan arrested for allegedly racially abusing Reading winger Garath McCleary faces a lifetime club ban.

McCleary made the complaint just before half-time, at which point a supporter was arrested and ejected from the ground by police.

Mark Lawn will sanction the fan. Credit: PA

"I heard about that and when we find out who it was we will take action," Lawn told Press Association Sport.

"I understand the police are prosecuting so we can't do anything at this stage, but if that person is found guilty we will take action.

"There is no place for that in the game, it is unacceptable.

"I would think we're looking at a lifetime ban if he's found guilty but that decision can only be made after consultation with the club's board."

FA to speak to clubs regarding Reading pitch invasion

An individual invaded the pitch during the game. Credit: PA

The Football Association will contact Reading and Bradford to seek their observations following the pitch invasion after Monday's FA Cup quarter-final replay at the Madejski Stadium, Press Association Sport understands.

Reading fans ran onto the pitch after the final whistle in their 3-0 win over the Bantams which secured an FA Cup semi-final clash with Arsenal at Wembley.

A supporter also invaded the playing surface during the game and the FA will speak to both clubs to collect their views.

Reading report 'racist' abuse during FA Cup game

Garath McCleary played a key role in the match. Credit: PA

Garath McCleary was the target of alleged racist abuse during his side's 3-0 win over Bradford.

The winger reported an incident to the assistant referee after he'd gone to collect the ball to take a corner just before half-time.

Reading confirmed they had reported the matter to the police. who confirmed a man gad been arrested.

An incident was reported to the match officials just before half time, who in turn told Reading staff. A man was then arrested and ejected during the half-time interval.

– Reading statement
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