GARRY WATSON believes he knew Bradford City were going to get promoted after pre-season was nearly washed out by heavy rain.
Watson says the same thing happened five years earlier when they were promoted from the Fourth Division and it turned out to be correct once again.
The Bantams went head to head with Sheffield United who were champions and Wigan, who they pipped to second place on goal difference.
Roy McFarland’s side equalled a club record for nine successive wins early in the season and were fuelled by Bobby Campbell scoring 24 goals, David McNiven 19 and Barry Gallagher 16.
“When we started pre-season, it really started to hammer down and I said to Roy McFarland at the time ‘the last time this happened we got promoted,’” said Watson.
“That was under Bob Kennedy, I always remember him saying ‘I hope you are right’. We used to pride ourselves on not losing two on the trot and it didn’t happen very often.
“It was always part of the team talk in the dressing room. We had a cracking start and went on this long unbeaten run from about our third game. We won something like nine successive matches.
“It started when we won 6-2 at home to York. Bobby Campbell got a hat-trick. That has was probably the best season he ever had.
“He played exceptionally well, and he is still the best header of a ball I have ever seen, especially for his size. He could outmuscle most people.
“Bob was a very good player, very under-rated with his skills. If he had two brain cells instead of one and half he would have gone onto bigger and better things.
“When we got on that run we thought it didn’t matter if we went behind we were still going to win. The belief and trust within the team was just second to none.
“We lived in each others pockets, we knew the strengths and weaknesses of each player. Sheffield United won the league that season and they were the only team that we felt were better than us.”
1. Ces Podd: Has been Bradford City community officer, ran his own salsa-dancing company, technical director for the St Lucia FA and the head coach at the Pro-Vision academy in Leeds.
2. Alan Hebditch: The former Leeds junior continues to live and work in the Leeds area.
3. Bobby Campbell: He worked as football in the community officer at Bradford before running the Lindley WMC for 25 years until he left in June.
4. John Hanson: Emigrated to New Zealand and is living and working in the Christchurch area.
5. Peter Jackson: The former Huddersfield, Lincoln City and Bradford boss lives in Brighouse and is a marketing director of home care franchise Caremark Calderdale.
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6. Mick Jones (coach): He has enjoyed a long running and successful partnership with Neil Warnock and has managed a number of clubs. He is now assistant manager tp Chris Kiwomya at Notts County.
7. Brian Chippendale: Lives in Driffield, East Yorkshire, is a financial advisor with companies in property and insurance sectors and also runs a football academy.
8. Steve Watson: Is still living and working in the Bradford area.
9. Alan Thompson: Went into financial services industry in 1982 and is now a financial consultant based in Killamarsh, Sheffield.
10. Neil Ramsbottom: A financial consultant in Chorley for Allied Dunbar and Barclays and is now a quality controller for an insurance consultant business.
11. Steve Smith: Went back to his first club Trowbridge as manager, and now lives in the Gloucester area where he runs his own painting and decorating business.
12. Mick Wood: He became a physio at an FA centre of excellence but for the last 27 years has been working for Bradford City Council Leisure Services and is a facility manager.
13. Garry Watson: Went into non-league management with Guiseley and is now running his own carpet fitting business in Eccleshill, Bradford.
14. Stuart McCall: Had a spell at Bradford coaching before joining Neil Warnock at Sheffield United and then returned to Valley Parade as manager and is now in charge of Motherwell.
15. Bryan Edwards: He served a number of clubs as physio, coach, assistant manager and youth team coach and is now retired.
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16. Les Chapman: Managed Stockport and Preston, was a coach at Manchester City and Huddersfield, he is now kit man at the Premier League champions and his daughter Tiffany was in Brookside.
17. John Black: Became player-manager of Brora Rangers in Scotland but has since taken up a career in mental heath and nursing.
18. David McNiven: After working as a milkman for 12 months he became a care salesman and has spent 26 years working for Evans Halshaw in Preston.
19. Billy Ingham: Nicknamed The Ginger Pele he became a bus driver in Burnley, Lancashire but sadly died in November 2009 aged 57.
20. Roy McFarland: He went onto manage Derby County, Bolton , Cambridge United, Torquay , Chesterfield and Burton.
21. Mark Ellis: Was Bradford’s under-16‘s manager and is now director of football at Eccleshill United and runs Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy (RIASA) in Leeds.
22. David Staniforth: He became the assistant manager at Halifax and is now a police community support officer with the South Yorkshire force.
23. Barry Gallagher: He was assistant to Neil Warnock at Scarborough, and was a singer in local clubs, he is now a parcel delivery driver.
Joe Cooke: He has spent over 25 years running PJ’s Health and Fitness Village in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire with his wife Kathryn.
Mike Lester: Lives in Openshaw, Manchester and runs his own soccer schools in the North West. Has also coached at the Man City academy, Radcliffe Borough and Curzon Ashton.
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