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The voice of Bantam Progressivism.

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What is The City Gent Magazine?

In re-writing this opening page I must now look back 30 years to late October 1984 when The City Gent first appeared at Valley Parade. This new fangled magazine was amongst a handful of football fanzines that started appearing on the terraces of mainly lower league club grounds. The City Gent was very much a part of the revival spirit at Bradford City that could be traced to the dark days of the summer of 1983 when the club went into receivership and supporters raised money to help save the football club.  John Dewhirst’s phrase 'Bantam Progressivism' just about summed it the feeling about how the fans felt about the club once liquidation was averted. Through necessity a young team (with a few experienced ‘old heads’) emerged. Players such as Stuart McCall, John Hendrie, Peter Jackson and Greg Abbott to mention just four up gave Bradford City fans hope for the future and the 1984/85 division three championship winning season was a truly remarkable one. But it also was a season of triumph and tragedy following the events on Saturday May 11th 1985 at Valley Parade when fire engulfed the Main Stand and 56 football fans from both Bradford and Lincoln lost their lives.

The very first issue of The City Gent contained just 16 pages of the best drivel available for the princely sum of 20 pence. As the popularity of the magazine grew, so did the content and before long the magazine boasted 100 pages for 100 pence. Also, The City Gent was gaining a nationwide following and won national fanzine awards. The City Gent was at the cutting edge, if that’s what you could call it, of the fanzine movement and many editors who set up fanzines of their own often cited The City Gent as a prime influence

30 years on and there are still a few football fanzines still surviving in a printed version, though many have now gone to be purely web based, but The City Gent soldiers on, by popular will of those on the Kop, the Main Stand, the Midland Road, the Bradford End and the many exiled Bradford City fans around the UK and the rest of the world. The City Gent can rightfully lay claim to be the longest running football fanzine in the country.

Dave Robinson cartoon which celebrated The City Gent's 25th birthday issue in 2009

 

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