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Bradford City planning farewell to Northern Ireland striker Bobby Campbell

By Jim Gracey

Former Northern Ireland striker Bobby Campbell, who died in England on Tuesday aged 60 after a short illness, is to be honoured by the Bradford City club where he made his name.

City's next home game is against Northampton on Tuesday and plans are being drawn up to remember Campbell's achievements on the night.

There have already been calls by supporters for a permanent memorial to one of the club's all-time greats and suggestions that one of the stands be renamed in his honour.

Rathcoole-born Campbell was a member of the famed Northern Ireland 1982 World Cup squad in Spain, but he did not play in any of the games.

A colourful and sometimes controversial character, the striker was banned from selection by the IFA after a joyriding incident during a 1975 youth team trip to Switzerland.

But although he was brought back into the '82 squad by public demand, he only won two full Northern Ireland caps, believing his teenage misdemeanour continued to be held against him by senior IFA figures at the time.

It was a different story at Bradford, where he was revered.

Campbell scored 143 goals during two spells with City spanning seven years. He was top scorer in every season and won promotions in 1982 and again three years later - an achievement overshadowed by the tragedy of the Valley Parade fire. Campbell was on the pitch the day the 1985 tragedy claimed 56 lives.

Former team-mate John Hendrie said he was "devastated" to hear of the loss of the man they regarded as the "Godfather" of the mid-80s Bradford City side.

Belfast Telegraph


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