The 25,136 capacity Utilita Energy Stadium, better known as Valley Parade, in West Yorkshire, is the home of Bradford City and lies 208 miles away from the Memorial Stadium.

56 supporters perished in a fire at the stadium on 11th May 1985, while the home side were playing Lincoln City, and if you have time before kick off, take a look at the memorial at the back of the main stand to those lost in that shocking incident.

Last season saw the club finish in 15th place, with 59 points and a home record that saw them win nine, lose seven and draw seven games.

A five figure attendance is almost always guaranteed at Valley Parade, due to their pricing structure for season tickets and they can generate quite an atmosphere when their side are on top in matches.

The first meeting between the sides, on 22nd November 1969, ended in a 1-1 draw at Eastville when a crowd of 8,986 saw Harold Jarman score for Rovers.

In fact, it was against The Bantams that Jarman scored his first Rovers hat trick in a 4-2 home win in November 1970 watched by a crowd of 13,368.

In total we have met the side from Valley Parade on 28 occasions in the league, winning 15, drawing eight and losing five; there have not been any meetings in any of the domestic cup competitions.

The last time we played each other was in season 2018/19 and the sides played out a goalless draw at Valley Parade while Rovers were 3-2 winners at The Mem.

If I had to name one game between the sides that had it all, then I would have to plump for the 3-3 draw in BS7 on 24th November 2012 when Guy Branston, making his Rovers debut against one of his many former clubs, scored after only two minutes.

Tom Eaves and Michael Smith scored our other goals that horrible rainy and windswept afternoon. On the scoresheet for City were Nahki Wells, Carl McHugh and James Hanson. The crowd of 5,092 saw Rovers play out added time with only ten men following Wayne Brown’s 90th minute red card.

Some of the players who have turned out for both sides include; Craig Armstrong, Bruce Bannister, Kyle Bennett, Guy Branston, Matt Glennon, Luke James, Oli McBurnie, Matty Lund, John Taylor and Robert Wolleaston.

I can trace only three Rovers players who have made their league debut against Bradford City and they are; Tom White (1994/95), Guy Branston (2012/13), and Bernard Mensah (2017/18).

Keith Brookman