INTRODUCING YORKSHIRE… BRADFORD CITY

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Bradford City are a Football Club in West Yorkshire who currently ply their trade in the games third tier, Sky Bet League One.

A BANTAMS GUIDE:
Club: Bradford City Association Football Club
Founded: 1903
Joint Chariman: Julian Rhodes & Mark Lawn
Manager: Phil Parkinson
Ground: Coral Windows Stadium (Capacity: 25,136)
Division: Sky Bet League One

A BANTAMS HISTORY IN TWENTY POINTS:
. The Bantams were formed in 1903 following the FA’s decision to promote Football in a Rugby League dominated area.
. The decision came following Manningham FC’s decision to switch codes from Rugby to Football.
. Peter O’Rourke guided the club to the top flight for the first time in 1908 after leading the club to the Second Divison Championship.
. In 1911, the club won the FA Cup when Jimmy Spiers goal secured a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United in the Final Replay at Old Trafford.
. The Clubs record victory was an 11-1 demolition of Rotherham United on the 25th August 1928.
. Following a poor run following the First World War, O’Rourke returned as manager and guided the club to promotion from the Third Division (North) with a record goals haul of 128.
. In 1958, the Bantams were placed in the new Third Division but were relegated after just three seasons.
. In the League Cup’s inaugral season of 1960/61, the club stunned Manchester United.
. On the 30th December 1961, the club suffered their record loss of 9-1 away at Colchester United.
. Following years of Yo-Yoing between the bottom three tiers of the Football League, Stafford Heginbotham & Jack Tordoff saved the club from recievership.
. Then in 1984/85, the club secured promotion as Champions of the Third Division.
. However, on the day the club were presented with the trophy, tragedy struck against Lincoln City when 56 fans tragically lost their lives when a fire engulfed the main stand at Valley Parade.
. In 1994, Geoffrey Richmond bought the club and promised Premier League football in five years.
. In 1996, Chris Kamara lead the club to promotion from Division Two as they defeated Notts County 2-0 at Wembley in the Play Off Final.
. In 1999, Paul Jewell guided the club to promotion into the Premier League following a final day victory away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
. Twelve Months Later, the team branded ‘Dad’s Army’ defeated Liverpool 1-0 with a David Wetherall header to secure Premier League Survival.
. The club then took part in their only European journey as they defeated FK Atlantas & RRC Waalwijk before being losing out to Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Intertoto Cup.
. Two spells in administration following relegation from the Premier League saw the club drop to the games fourth tier with two further relegations coming within six years of dropping from the top flight.
. In 2013, Phil Parkinson guided City to the League Cup Final where they were defeated 5-0 to Swansea. They saw off Notts County, Watford, Burton, Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa to reach Wembley.
. The Bantams returned to Wembley three months later, defeating Northampton Town 3-0 to secure promotion from League Two.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE BANTAMS?
For now, the Bantams main aim is to sell star striker Nahki Wells for a tidy sum whilst replacing him with an equally as goal use striker. Depsite a run of one victory in the past sixteen games, Phil Parkinson will still hope he can guide the club to another promotion push as he shares the ambitions of Championship football with Chairman Mark Lawn.

Visiting Yorkshire. A Guide to Keighley.

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This week’s Club of the Week on Introducing Yorskhire is the Keighley Cougars. If you ever plan on visiting Cougar Park, here is a guide to Keighley.

Keighley Town Centre: Cavendish Street

AN INTRODUCTION TO KEIGHLEY
Keighley is a large town in the Metropolitan Borough District of Bradford. With a population of 89,870, Keighley is the Third Largest Civil Parish in the United Kingdom.

TRAVELLING TO KEIGHLEY
There are four means of Transport into Keighley.

BY CAR:
From M62, exit the M62 at junction 26, and follow the M606 towards Bradford, heading towards the city centre, following the signs which lead you onto the A650 through Shipley and Bingley. When you arrive on the outskirts of Keighley, you need to turn left at the roundabout after the Magnet showroom heading towards Riddlesden. Follow this road for about 1.5 miles, and then turn right (3rd exit) at the next roundabout.

BY TRAIN:
Trains run every Half an Hour on the Airedale Line from Leeds & Bradford Forster Square Train Stations from Monday to Saturday. However, on the Cougars matchday of Sunday, trains run every hour from Leeds and every two hours from Bradford Forster Square.

Coming from the North, trains run every fifteen minutes Monday to Saturday with varied times on a Sunday from Skipton. Please check Northern Rail for Services from Carlisle and Morecambe.

BY BUS:
Bus services to and from Keighley are run by Transdev. The two services I would suggest if you’re coming to Keighley are the 662 and 760. The 662 Service, Keighley to Bradford Interchange, runs every ten minutes weekdays and Saturday with services run half hourly on Sundays. The 760 Service, Keighley to Leeds, runs half hourly on weekdays and Saturday with services reduced to hourly on Sundays.

BY COACH:
Coach services into Keighley are very limited. There are Two Services a day ran by National Express with a further One by MegaBus. All services drop off at Keighley Bus Station.

WHERE TO STAY IN KEIGHLEY
There is only one hotel I would recommend in Keighley. It is a Travelodge located next to Toby Carvery at the Roundabout which is about a five minute walk from Cougar Park.

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK IN KEIGHLEY
As already mentioned, there is a Toby Carvery in Keighley which shares it’s ground with Travelodge at the Roundabout a five minute walk from Cougar Park.

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For those who love a takeaway, Keighley is most definitely the place for you! As well as the big brands of McDonalds, KFC (Both of Which are Opposite Cougar Park!), Subway, Pizza Hut and a newly opened Burger King there is a wide variety of independent takeaways. My suggestions would be Mangos, Chicken Cottage (Which is actually a franchise!) and Chesters.

There is the K2 Nightclub in town along with a wide variety of pubs. My suggestions on the pub front would be Wetherspoons near the Bus Station or for those who like the brewery’s pubs, there is the King’s Head, which is run by the Cougars Stadium announcer ‘Crazy’ Dave.

WHAT TO DO IN KEIGHLEY
There is not much to do in Keighley, Apart from the Cougars, I can personally only suggest one of the following three.

There is the Keighley Worth Valley Railway, a historic line for steam trains which came to fame when used to film the Railway Children. Only open Weekends and School Holidays, it allows you to take in the beautiful scenerey as well as visit the historic towns and villages of Ingrow, Damems, Oakworth, Haworth and Oxenhope.

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For those with young Children, there is the Dragon’s Den Activity Centre which even caters for adults. They have an enormous state of the art multi level play centre, Baby and Toddler Zone, Go-Karts, Food and Refreshment, Disabled access and facilities as well as supplying Free Wi-Fi and Parking to customers.

For those who loves museums, there is the Keighley Bus Museum. The Museum which has been open since 1992, is home to some sixteen privately owned buses which include the oldest double decker bus known off in the world.

WHAT IS COUGAR PARK LIKE?
Cougar Park is an old fashioned Rugby League ground which has not had much work done to it since the mid 1900’s even though it has a £5 million redevelopment planned to take place over the next three years. The Main Stand, built in 1936, is a wooden stand which is in desperate need of redevelopment as it needs constant re-painting and has holes in the roof. There is a covered terracing at the Hard Ings Road end with two open terraces running down the side of the pitch and at the Petrol Station end.

Cougar Park

WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR VISITING SUPPORTERS?
Visiting Supporters are allowed to mingle with the Home Support down at Cougar Park, however, during the match itself they tend to accomodate themselves down the side of the pitch on the open terrace. There is the Hall of Fame Bar at the Ground which serves a number of alcoholic and soft beverages at very reasonable pricing.

PRICING AT COUGAR PARK
Admission Prices 2014 – Adults £15, Concessions £8, Juniors FREE, Stand Transfer £2.
Matchday Programmes 2014 – GO COUGARS! Priced at £2.50.

Introducing Yorkshire… Keighley Cougars

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The Keighley Cougars are a Rugby League Club in West Yorkshire who currently ply their trade in the games second tier, the Kingstone Press Championship.

A COUGARS GUIDE:
Club: Keighley Cougars Rugby League Football Club
Founded: 1900
Chairman: Gary Fawcett
Head Coach: Paul March
Ground: Cougar Park (Capacity: 7800)
Division: Kingstone Press Championship

A COUGARS HISTORY IN TWENTY POINTS:
. The Cougars were formed in 1900 after the team’s Rugby Union side switched codes.
. In 1903, the club were crowned Champions of the Second Division.
. In 1906, tragedy stuck the club when star player Harry Myers was fatally injured against Dewsbury.
. This tragedy galvanised the club to it’s highest ever finish of fourth in the First Division.
. In 1936, Welshman Hal Jones became the clubs first Great Britain international.
. In 1937, the club lost 18-5 to Widnes at Wembley in their only Challenge Cup Final.
. In 1951, the clubs record attendance of 14,500 witnessed a 7-6 defeat to Halifax.
. In 1991, Cougarmania began as the club was rebranded the Keighley Cougars.
. In 1992, the club rebranded Lawkholme Lane, Cougar Park.
. In 1993, the club secured promotion from the Second Division with 21 victories from 24 games.
. In 1995, the club hosted a Rugby League World Cup tie between South Africa and Fiji.
. Also in 1995, the club secured promotion from the First Division with a victory over Huddersfield Giants.
. However in 1996, Cougars were denied their rightful place in the new Super League, plunging them into financial ruin.
. In 2000, the club came second in the Northern Ford Premiership but missed out on promotion during the play offs.
. Also in 2000, Italy defeated Canada in the Emerging Nations World Cup at Cougar Park.
. In 2001, former directors Neil Spencer and Colin Farrerr reformed the club following liqudation.
. In 2003, the club secured promotion to the Championship for a first time afater a victory over Sheffield Eagles.
. In 2009, the club secured promotion to the Championship for a second time after a victory over Oldham Roughyeds.
. In 2010, a season in administration saw the Cougars relegated after just one season in the Championship.
. In 2011, The club secured promotion to the Championship for a third time after a victory over Workington Town.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE COUGARS?
With Super League restructuring still in discussion, the club are still in limbo whether they will be plying their trade in 2015, but will it be the Championship, Championship One North or the clubs real aim of Super League Two? Off the pitch, chairman Gary Fawcett is planning a £5 million redevelopment off Cougar Park to make it ready for the game’s top tier.