There are three separate parts to The Guardian’s coverage on May 13th 1985. The first part is obviously the coverage of the Bradford City fire itself which takes over the majority of the front and back pages as well as the inside page one. The second part is a commentary piece that asks questions of Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, about the safety of football grounds in the UK and the third part is a piece by Journalist John Cunningham at why he believes that football stands have always been at risk; with fire the swiftest of destroyers.
There is an additional piece which I have also included in the attached PDF entitled ‘To the limits of courage and violence’ where Journalist David Lacey looks at the traumatic last day of Football League Season and highlights the reasons why the Football league should be celebrating before then focusing on the tragedies at Bradford City and Birmingham where a 15 year old boy was killed during rioting between Leeds and Birmingham fans. David Lacey in this article also reminds us about the tragedy that befell fans who attended the FA Cup tie between Bolton and Stoke in 1946. 70,000 were packed into a stadium that had suffered neglect and after a wall collapsed and barriers failed 33 people were crushed to death and more than 500 people were injured. He then covers the tragedy at Ibrox where sadly 66 people died and 145 were injured.
On the back page of The Guardian on this date there is also an interesting interview with Consultant Plastic Surgeon Dr. David Sharpe which is well worth a read. One interesting comment from Dr. Sharpe reads: “There was a distinct pattern to the injuries. Most of them were to the hands, scalp and back of legs. I say they were probably turning away and debris from the burning roof was falling onto their heads.” To read the scanned pages from the newspaper The Guardian 13-05-85 sml.