FRESH CLAIMS OVER BRAD­FORD FIRE

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE -

THE fire which claimed the lives of 56 Brad­ford City fans watch­ing in the stands at Val­ley Pa­rade 30 years ago could have been started de­lib­er­ately, a new book al­leges.

A sur­vivor of the blaze, Martin Fletcher, says he un­cov­ered ev­i­dence that then chair­man, Stafford Hegin­botham, who died in 1995, was in se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial trou­ble at the time.

He also found that sev­eral of his busi­nesses had been struck by fires over the course of 18 years, lead­ing to large in­sur­ance claims.

Fletcher lost his brother, fa­ther, un­cle and grand­fa­ther in the tragedy and says more in­ves­ti­ga­tions should have taken place in his book ‘56 – The Story of the Brad­ford Fire’.

While not mak­ing any di­rect alle- gations, the book raises con­cerns about the sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances which saw Hegin­botham re­ceive pay­outs to the equiv­a­lent of £27m in to­day’s money.

How­ever, the judge who led the in­quiry into the sta­dium fire has said claims it may have been started de­lib­er­ately are ‘non­sense’. Sir Oliver Pop­plewell has stood by his ver­dict the fire was an ac­ci­dent.

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