Once upon a time there was a small English soccer club from West Yorkshire, England called Bradford City FC. Founded in 1903, Bradford City was old, but had been involved in many fun adventures.
Bradford City has many fans, and they have enjoyed the highs and the lows that most soccer clubs endure. When it was very young, way back in 1911, Bradford had a great year, winning the FA Cup, its only major honor. Then as the years past and the club grew old Bradford endured a horrific fatal fire (On May 11th, 1985) at its stadium, Valley Parade, and 56 loyal supports were killed and at least 265 were injured. The fire destroyed the main stand in just less than nine minutes, it was an awful disaster, but Bradford managed to pick itself up and carry on.
On a sunny day in 1999 Bradford was smiling again, they had won promotion to the Premier League, but sadly their happiness was short lived and Bradford was relegated the following season. Bradford tried as hard as they could to get back to the top flight but a series of financial crises pushed the club to the brink of closure, resulting in relegation to its current position in League Two (the lowest ranked of all former Premier League clubs).
Then one day in 2012 Bradford entered the Football League Cup, now known as the Capital One Cup. Nobody held out much hope for the struggling team, but after getting to the fourth round they faced the handsome princes of Premier League side Wigan. Wigan was strong, and yet Bradford fought hard and won 4-2. Next came the Quarterfinals, and the mighty giants from Arsenal. Bradford was confident and played an outstanding match, to everyone’s amazement they won 4-3, it was the stuff dreams are made of.
On Tuesday, Jan 8th 2013, little Bradford had to play Aston Villa in the first leg of the semi-finals – 60 places separate the teams in their league standings. Once again the giants from the Premier League ran out onto the field ready to take out their lesser opponents, only this time Bradford City had the confidence that they might be able to cause an upset - after all they had just beaten two other teams from the Premier League and Aston Villa is struggling at the bottom of the Premier League Table – and they were right, on that magical night, Bradford won 3-1.
No second division side has ever eliminated three top-tier teams in this competition before and Bradford City is on the verge of completing a seemingly impossible journey. All they have to do is win or draw against Aston Villa when the two teams meet again for the second leg on January 22nd and their dream will come true – a trip to the final at Wembley Stadium against either Swansea City or Chelsea on February 24th.
Only time will tell if Bradford City will live happy ever after, but for now the players, manager and the fans are enjoying the fairy tale.