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Four Minutes to Hell: The Story of the Bradford City Fire [Paperback]

Paul Firth
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Oct 2007
The Valley Parade fire of 1985 has been described as football's less-remembered disaster, despite the television pictures of the flames leaping through the wooden stand. 56 people lost their lives and hundreds more suffered horrific injuries.
This is the story of that day, told in their own words by some of the survivors, by some of those with family among the 56, by some of the professionals who fought to save lives and heal the injured and by one quite remarkable man, a true hero.
The book also discusses the findings of the Popplewell Inquiry and how safety at football grounds was finally given the priority it needed.

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Four Minutes to Hell: The Story of the Bradford City Fire + The Day of the Hillsborough Disaster
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Paul Firth (31 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955725305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955725302
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.4 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 475,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A powerful and passionate indictment of the ugly side of the beautiful game. -- Bradford Telegraph & Argus, July 9 2005

A quietly dignified book and a fitting tribute to those who died and to the spirit that sustained the survivors. -- FourFourTwo, September 2005

An incredibly moving read. If you only buy one book as a Christmas present, this should be it.
-- Yorkshire Post, December 17 2005

From the Publisher

This is a book written quite literally from the inside. The author is a life-long Bradford City supporter and, on the fateful day, was sitting within feet of the source of the fire. He writes about acts of heroism, great and small, coming out of moments of the greatest adversity and about the positive achievements that followed this tragic day.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being only a small child in 1985, I wanted to know more about the forgotten disaster of the 1985 fire at valley parade stadium that seems to have been over shadowed by the hillsborough disaster. The Author, Paul Firth does a fantastic job at telling the story through the eyes of survivors from that awful day. Some of the survivors suffered terrible injuries, some did not. Some lost loved ones, others were more fortunate. However each person that gives there account of what happened that afternoon in May 1985 had their life changed forever. Because the Author was also in the stand that day, he combines his knowledge of the club, the people and the general mood of the Bradford family with the personal experiences of the people who contributed towards this book. Although 56 people died because of this terrible inferno, it becomes obvious that due to actions from the Police, the players and the supporters that number could have been much higher. When we hear of human beings hurting and harming others on the news, civil war and corruption we can sometimes be forgiven for losing a little faith with the human race. Well this book really goes a long way to restoring that faith. That faith is brought back to life by the brave, selfless and stoic acts of many who risked their lives to save complete strangers and received terrible burns as a consequence of that selflessness. It is almost impossible not to become fond of the Author whilst you are reading the book. His honest, matter of fact, polite and pleasant manner in which he writes the book shows a warmth to his character. The Author almost writes the book as if he wasn't even there that day at first and tries to tell the story through everybody elses eyes before his own. Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative Written by a Witness 28 July 2010
This book delves into one of the worst disasters on UK soil- the often forgotten Bradford City fire. After shockingly seeing men burn on youtube news videos I just had to find out more, and this book did not dissapoint. It is well written yet an easy read, and describes both the horror and bravery very well. The only slight critisicm for me was that the events of the fire only took up about half of the book, with the rest about the aftermath.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Factual account of the fire. 2 Mar 2013
By bribaz
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Views from a wide cross-section of people. All this relays the horror of the day.

I was there myself, but at the opposite side of the ground. I bought this book to try to fill in some of the gaps I had from the day, surrounding events. I found it a very good and absorbing book.
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