May 11th 1985 was to be a family day, a day of great celebration at Valley Parade. For the first time since 1929 Bradford City had won a league title, even if it was just the Third Division Championship. Their biggest league crowd of the season came in joyous mood, despite the cool weather. Before half-time the television cameras were recording 4,000 people fighting for their lives, leaping from a blazing stand. 56 of them did not survive. This is the story of that afternoon and its aftermath. It is told from the viewpoint of those who were there and those who became most directly involved. There are contributions from the injured, families who lost a loved one, professional footballers who became rescuers and comforters, police officers who risked their own lives and the surgeon and other professionals who cared for those who were burned. In the midst is the story of the archetypal modest hero, a man who saved lives and still denies doing anything out of the ordinary.
The book ends with the positive gains from the fire - how Bradford folk and the wider community rallied to help, the creation of a research unit for the treatment of burns and the unimaginable changes at Valley Parade in particular and football grounds in general. This is the story of a disaster inflicted on one group of people who just happened to be at a football match and of how that disaster was used to benefit so many others in the following years.