Bradford City fire survivor, Anthony Brewster, dies aged 68

Anthony Brewster, a devoted fan of the club, died last Friday after a battle with cancer.

Anthony’s dying wish was to have his ashes scattered across the Bantams’ home turf, his son – who is also called Anthony – said.

“My dad moved to Blackpool around 12 years ago, but still travelled over to watch his beloved City most Saturdays – that’s how dedicated he was” Anthony junior, 44, said.

“He was a well-known figure at the club and had been a supporter his whole life.

“The last thing he said to me was that he wanted his ashes scattered on the pitch at Valley Parade, which shows how much he loved the club.”

Anthony senior, who grew up in Greengates and Thorpe Edge, used to run his own roofing company and later went into the pub business.

Photos from the 1985 fire, which claimed 56 lives, show him on the pitch after what was meant to be a day of celebration for the home side quickly turned into one of the worst football disasters in history.

“I remember the day of the fire – I used to go to every game with my dad back then,” said Anthony junior.

“However, because I was very young at the time, my dad didn’t take me that day.

“City had been promoted and there was a big crowd, and I think my dad also wanted to have a few drinks to celebrate, so he left me at home.

“He was in shock after the fire. We saw the Telegraph & Argus the next day, and dad was on the front page.”

In later life, Anthony senior suffered from poor health and had two heart attacks.

“He was in a lot of pain,” his son said.

After moving to Blackpool, he would regularly stand outside a Sainsbury’s there and collect donations for Marie Curie Hospice.

His fundraising was not the only legacy he left.

“He got a lot of people into supporting City,” Anthony junior said.

“When my cousin went to see him when he was on his last legs, he said ‘you got me into City all those years ago, and these days they’re not doing very well’ – it was a little joke between them.

“He used to sit in the Sunwin Stand, he never like the Kop – he didn’t like the noise, he wanted to be able to concentrate on the game.

“I was a season ticket holder for years myself, but due to work commitments and having kids of my own now, I don’t go as often as I’d like. I get down to City when I can.

“I was season ticket holder when we were in the Premiership, and for a few seasons after that.

“I go to the odd away game, too. It’s a good craic with the lads.”

Anthony is survived by his wife, his son, two daughters and seven grandchildren.

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