Did you know, if you're a man living in the UK there's an 8/1
chance that you'll be affected by prostate cancer?
In 2013 Prostate Cancer UK is aiming to lengthen those odds by
launching the Sledgehammer Fund, which
aims to wake up the nation to a disease that kills 10,000 men every
year. And as we're the Official Charity Partner of The Football
League and the Capital One Cup in 2012-13, who better to help us
spread our message than fans of the beautiful game?
It's proved to be the year of the underdog in the Capital One
Cup. Swansea upset the odds by overcoming European champions
Chelsea in their semi-final, while npower League One Bradford
defeated three top-flight opponents - Wigan, Arsenal and Aston
Villa - on their way to the Wembley showpiece.
Appearing in the final will rank among both clubs' finest
achievements. To celebrate, we asked the Guardian's resident
football history buff Scott Murray to give us the lowdown on each
of the team's most memorable moments.
Look out for Swansea's most memorable moments next week; for
now, it's Bradford's time to shine…
Wembley-bound: Bradford celebrate their semi-final win over Aston Villa. Photo courtesy of Action Images
Second Division champions
Bradford didn't hang about in the early days. Formed in 1903, they
were elected to the Second Division of the Football League before
the club had played a single match. Just five years later they won
promotion to the top flight as second-tier champions under
legendary manager Peter O'Rourke, who would soon bring City's first
(and as yet only) piece of major silverware to the club…
FA Cup glory
The FA commissioned a new FA Cup for the 1910-11 season, having
failed to copyright the design of the previous one. The trophy was
made by a silversmiths in Bradford - and in the sort of tale you
couldn't script, it stayed in the city after the Bantams made it
all the way to the Crystal Palace final. They drew 0-0 with
Newcastle before winning the replay at Old Trafford thanks to a
single goal from captain Jimmy Spiers.
More cup success
More - albeit slightly less glamorous - cup success came in 1939,
when Fred Westgarth's side landed the now-forgotten Third Division
North Challenge Cup. Bradford had been relegated two years earlier,
and it was hoped the victory would inspire the club to promotion
the following season, but the war intervened and Bradford wouldn't
make the second tier again for another 46 years. Still, silverware
The League Cup: an early scalp
City have been knocking the big names out of the League Cup from
the get-go. In the competition's inaugural season, 1960-61, the
Third Division outfit put out a Manchester United side managed by
Matt Busby and featuring stars such as Johnny Giles, Dennis
Viollet, Bill Foulkes, Harry Gregg and Shay Brennan. In hail and
rain, they came from a goal down to win 2-1, with Gerry Smith and
Bobby Webb the goalscoring heroes.
Cherry on top
After 48 years in the bottom two divisions, Trevor Cherry's
marvellous young side - featuring up-and-coming stars such as
Stuart McCall, Don Goodman, John Hendrie and Peter Jackson - romped
to the Third Division championship in 1985. Their feat would be
cruelly overshadowed by the fire that broke out at Valley Parade on
the day captain Jackson lifted the trophy, a blaze that claimed 56
A phoenix rises
In the wake of that disaster, Bradford bravely rallied. Cherry's
successor, Terry Dolan, kept the club in the Second Division, then
took the team to within a point of promotion to the top flight in
1988. The run ended in a bittersweet failure - a home defeat in
their final game against Ipswich proved pivotal - but to have
regrouped after the tragedy of three years earlier and come so
close was a remarkable feat in itself.
Paul Jewell took over as boss of second-tier Bradford in the
summer of 1998, and immediately signed the now-veteran McCall on a
free transfer from Rangers. The following May, City required a win
at Wolves on the final day to go up - and goals from Peter Beagrie,
Lee Mills and Robbie Blake ensured a 3-2 victory that gave the
Bantams top-flight football for the first time in 77 years.
Wetherall keeps Bradford up
Jewell's first act as a Premier League manager was to break the
club's transfer record for £1.4m Leeds defender David Wetherall. It
proved money well spent. Wetherall's thumping header on the final
day of the season beat a Liverpool side with Champions League
aspirations, and kept jubilant Bradford in the division.
Bantams punch above weight to reach final
Bradford are now back in the fourth tier, but they can still
trouble the big boys. Three Premier League sides have been
vanquished: Wigan, Arsenal, and over two legs - a simply stunning
feat - Aston Villa. Whatever happens in the final, Bradford's
giantkilling cup run is probably the greatest of all time.