Racial Abuse Row to Hit Bradford City?   –   by Rob Atkinson

Garath McCleary complains to a match official about abuse from the Bradford support

Garath McCleary complains to a match official about abuse from the Bradford support

As a fan of Leeds United, I always get an incredulous reaction if I highlight racist behaviour or racial abuse from other quarters. Leeds fans simply have that name – and mud that sticky just sticks like hell.

But, in common with a surprisingly vast majority of United fans, I’m a non-racist football supporter who is always looking to root out examples of such ignorance and uncivilised behaviour. And there might just be a scandalous example coming out of the Reading v Bradford City FA Cup replay, covered live by BBC1.

One of the incidents captured by the Beeb’s cameras towards the end of the first half was a fan in the Bradford end apparently directing some less than complimentary remarks loudly in the direction of young Garath McCleary, Reading’s second goal-scorer tonight. McCleary reacted with such anger and distress that there has to be a suspicion of racial abuse – given that an irate football fan and a black footballer were involved in what was clearly a flashpoint. McCleary seemed to be urged by the assistant ref to report the matter to officials in the tunnel area. That advice appeared to be reinforced as the teams went off at the interval, with McCleary still obviously upset.

As this is written, Bradford have just gone 0-3 down and appear to be facing the end of their Cup adventure – particularly as they have also had a player dismissed. But that may yet turn out to be the least of the Bantams’ worries on an evening when disgrace threatens to engulf them.

There may well be more to be heard and said about this in the next few hours and days. It emerged today that a fan was arrested and ejected from the ground at half time.

9 responses to “Racial Abuse Row to Hit Bradford City?   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. Terry Bostock

    Pure conjecture


  2. I’m not sure 1 lone dickhead constitutes a disgrace rob. Bradford don’t have form for this nonsense, its not like the Chelsea thing where there was a whole mob of them and the club has a long history of racism and has a racist captain. The one guy, yeah dickhead, but on the whole bradford fans are decent supporters.


    • I don’t feel the disgracefulness or otherwise is a function of how few or many give offence – though I might concede the more, the worse. But one is far too many and you could see the lad was angry and upset. Doubtless it’ll all be swept under the carpet because it was a plucky bantam and not a vile animal. Which leads me to recall that our lone dickhead at the Wendies didn’t stop us all being tarred as vile – admittedly by a dickhead manager. Sauce for the goose, amigo.


      • Well we unfairly still have a reputation as a “hooligan” club. we know things have cleaned up a lot in the past 25 or so years, but somehow it’s stuck, despite us cleaning up our act in general with all northern clubs. why its stuck with us, probably the media, there’s still problems with some London clubs, there were other northern clubs that were as bad (or worse), but somehow were portrayed as some sort of northern millwall.


  3. A Reading fan mate of mine was close enough to hear the incident and it was indeed as described, I think the term wog was used. The perpetrator was apparantly arrested.


  4. Exactly Rob . It’ll be swept inder the carpet . Along with the bottles and other objects being thrown onto the pitch. Imagine if that was the Leeds end ? Oh but of course , it wasn’t. M.O.T


  5. Would seem you’re right rob ,, very strange considering the ethnic diversity in the city of Bradford


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