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University of Bradford Burns Research Unit says a big ‘Thank You’ for the success of the Bradford City Appeal

Published: Thu 4 Aug 2016

The Bradford City Fire took place on May 11 1985. It claimed fifty-six lives, and left hundreds injured, many with life-changing conditions.

The Commemoration for the 30th Anniversary of the Fire Disaster set an ambitious target of £300,000 for its Appeal to support the University of Bradford Burns Research Unit (PSBRU).

The Appeal surpassed its target, with a final total raised of £304,780. A special pair of presentations to mark this achievement will be made on the pitch at half-time of Bradford City’s home game versus Oldham on August 27th 2016, at Valley Parade.

The presentation of a ceremonial cheque for £304,000 will be made by Rachel Thorpe, from Bradford City FC Community Foundation, to Ajay Mahajan, Director of the PSBRU.

Rachel will present this cheque on behalf of all Bradford City supporters, the club, and well-wishers everywhere, who organized events and raised funds to back the Appeal. Rachel will be accompanied by young City fans, to recognize the special contribution they made to the Commemoration, through ‘claret and amber’ days and in many other ways.

Ajay Mahajan will then present a specially-commissioned art work to the Premier League’s Peter McCormick OBE, in recognition of the generous support given by the League to the 30th Anniversary Commemoration.

The art work has been composed by Ajay Mahajan (PSBRU) with a painting by Bradford artist Paul Town (Stadium Portraits), and additional contributions from Turnstylewear and Embroidery in House.

Peter McCormick is based in Yorkshire. He was Chairman of the Premier League in 2014/15 and is the current Chairman of the Football Board and Legal Advisory Group of the Premier League. He is also one of the two Premier League-nominated directors of the Football Association, and a Senior Partner of McCormick’s Solicitors in Harrogate.

Rachel Thorpe has said: “I was twelve at the time of the Bradford Fire. I remember seeing black smoke over Bradford from my home in Pudsey, and then a man at my bus stop with singed hair from the flames. It's only been as an adult that I can fully appreciate the horrors of that day. I have worked with the PSBRU over the last seven years as representative of their Charity partner, Bradford City FC Community Foundation. I get an inkling through this of the ramifications the Fire had on Bradford, the families affected, and the football community as a whole. The amount of fundraising people have done all over the country is inspiring, and the incredible total raised by donors will hopefully ensure the future of the PSBRU."

Ajay Mahajan has said: “This year has been phenomenal for us at the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) at the University of Bradford. We launched a fundraising campaign for the 30th Anniversary of the Bradford fire with a target of raising £300,000. I am indeed delighted to see that we have hit the target with overwhelming support from all quarters. There have been a wide variety of fundraising events locally, nationally and internationally. The funds that have been raised will go a long way to secure the future of the Unit and support the work we do. For this we are very grateful to everyone who has helped us achieve this year's goal. We not only have the confidence to continue with our present work, but we will be expanding our work further in the years to come. I would like to convey my heartfelt appreciation and thanks to all our supporters."

Des Tobin from the University of Bradford’s Centre for Skin Sciences said “This is a very exciting time for wound-healing research, with many recent scientific advances in our understanding of how wounded skin heals. We aim to be at the forefront of this important research here in Bradford. The appeal’s very significant funding-raising will be an enormous support to making this happen”.

Peter McCormick has said: “The Bradford Fire was one of the most terrible tragedies ever to strike English football. It will be remembered forever by all football fans not only for the loss of life, but also for the many acts of bravery by the emergency services and the fans themselves and for the outstanding work of the Burns Unit. The Premier League was determined to support the 30th. Anniversary Commemoration.”

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