Leeds & West Yorkshire

Coronavirus: Valley Parade fire memorial to take place online

Flowers outside the stadium after the fire
Image caption Bradford City urged fans to come together on social media "to remember the 56"

An annual memorial service commemorating a fire at Bradford City that killed 56 football fans will take place online due to coronavirus.

The event in the city planned to mark the 35th anniversary of the disaster at Valley Parade will not go ahead due to social distancing guidelines.

Readings and prayers will be delivered on social media to remember the fans who died on 11 May, 1985.

Supporters have been advised not to visit memorials.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Doreen Lee, said: "Under the current circumstances it is right that the safety of the public should come first, and while we will be paying our respects in a different way this year, the commemoration will be no less poignant.

"We hope that people across the district will join us online to pay their respects as they normally would, only this year from their own home."

Bradford City were playing Lincoln City when the fire killed 54 Bradford fans and two Lincoln supporters. More than 250 people were injured.

A service had been due to take place in Bradford's Centenary Square next month, but there will still be a "collective pause" on Monday 11 May.

From 11:00 BST, a service will take place on the social media accounts of Bradford City and Bradford Council.

Commemorative wreaths are due to be laid ahead of the online event.

Bradford City's stadium will remain closed on the day with supporters asked to follow restrictions around social gatherings.

The club's director of communications, Ryan Sparks, said: "The event is of paramount importance to the club, our supporters, and the people of Bradford and beyond.

"In a very different way, on May 11, we will pay tribute to those who sadly lost their lives and the families affected by the tragedy to this day."

Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to yorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites