The best debuts in Bradford City history

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  1. Sean McCarthy
    Bradford City 1 Tranmere Rovers 2
    Debut Points: 11
    5 for scoring, 2 for taking a penalty, 1 for missing it and 3 for the red card.

    Aggression is a fine quality in a striker. Makes them hungry, makes them hard to play against. Perhaps though, Sean McCarthy overplayed it somewhat. Yes he score don his debut, the pumped up signing from Plymouth, and yes we were all very annoyed by Johnny Morrissey's diving a penalty and the fact that McCarthy had his own spot kick that was saved by the evil Eric Nixon standing two foot off his line but SquareHead let that aggression get the better of him and lamped one of the Rovers side to get an early bath.

  2. Stan Collymore
    Bradford City 1 Leeds United 1
    Debut Points: 9
    5 for scoring and a bonus one for doing it against Leeds and three for his taunting of the Leeds fans after the goal.

    There was lashing rain down the valley as Stan entered the last chance saloon and Bradford City folklore. Half an hour in and City already looked a different team with Collymore and Benito Carbone combining to some effect. Carbone shot down the right and crossed back to Stan. Twisting, 15 stone of big fella arched the ball into the far corner of the goal. He was up and away to taunt the visitors.

    It was a goal to watch endlessly and a debut that gave hope to a season. With Carbone having someone to feed and Collymore with a point to prove surely this team would go on from strength to strength. Surely this day would be the blueprint for the season to come?

    No chance. Mark Viduka equalised and City were bounced out of the Premiership with Collymore gone to Oviedo and retirement before the return with Leeds, which we simply do not speak about.

  3. Des Hamilton
    Bradford City 2 Barnet 1
    Debut Points: 9
    Five for scoring, three for it being his first ever senior game for any club, and one for doing it at a transitional time at the club.

    There had not been much for the City faithful to roar about at the time, culminating in the axe finally stopping its hover and planting itself firmly through the neck of Frank Stapleton's Bantam managerial career.

    The time was ripe for a hero, a man to turn around the club and give the three and a half thousand or so fans who'd remarkably bothered to turn up on a boring Tuesday night a feint glimpse of hope. Step up Des Hamilton.

    In a season which had seen the impressive Graeme Tomlinson blooded through from the successful youth team to great effect (and in City's best away kit ever, but I digress), temporary charge of the team was entrusted to youth team coach Steve Smith. Smith's first decision in a season that was going nowhere was to bring some more young blood into the team, and Dessie was the man. A cool display from the right hand side of midfield, belittling the fact that this was the first senior game this boy had ever played. Composure beyond his years, and capping it off with an impressive strike. The Bantams went on to win with another goal coming from the golden boots of young Tomlinson G. So why was this important in the grander scheme of things? Ultimately this intervention of Hamilton made his place in the starting line-up a certainty, which was a great factor in the club's subsequent promotion from division two. And we all know what happened then...

  4. Danny Forrest
    Bradford City 2 Ipswich Town 0
    Debut Points: 8
    5 for scoring, two for setting another one up, another one for charging to his brother's seat in the Kop end after his goal. Got points doubled for being a Bantam fan but then had points halved cause real debut was away in the League Cup.

    Young Forrest only got a place in the team cause Adrian Littlejohn turned down 350 a game to play for City. He had an interesting first half looking lively. Second half and the visitors were reduced to ten men. There was space and Forrest found it firstly picking up a ball from Lewis Emanuel and flicking it back for Claus Jorgensen and then later he was unmarked in the six yard box when a ball was flicked back. He finished it with power.

  5. Paul Reid
    Bradford City 2 Norwich City 1
    Debut Points: 8
    8 for scoring twice plus 1 for one of the goals being outstanding, minus 1 for missing an easy chance.

    Paul Reid slipped into the team after being at Valley Parade doing nothing in the reserves for two months. He played 40 minutes and opinion was divided, he did much but nothing well. The visitors clear a corner to Reid and he returns it to the top corner. That's impressive.

    Second half and Reid was at it again, interchanging passes with Ashley Ward and hitting one in off the far stick. His glorious hat-trick was their after Wayne Jacobs put him in on goal, clean through, and he hit is shot straight at the keeper. You can't have everything.

  6. Danny Cadamarteri
    Gillingham 0 Bradford City 4
    Debut Points: 8
    5 for scoring, 2 for setting one up and a bonus 1 for doing it away from VP.

    In a season that looked very good and endless awful at the same time the bright spot of an inspired debut from another member of the forgotten footballer's club at Valley Parade represents one of the highlight. Cadamarteri with pace, giving a depth to an often flat City team, scoring and settling one up, all of which over shadowed the skill of Jamie Lawrence's 35 year chip.

  7. Lee Power
    Bradford City 2 Swansea 1
    Debut Points: 8
    5 for scoring, 2 for setting one up, 1 for doing it from the bench.

    City were losing a game that we should have been winning when Frank Stapleton chances his arm on £200,000 signing from Euro-Giants Norwich City. Within a minute Power had taken the ball down the left and crossed perfectly for Lee Duxbury to equalise, two minutes later and Power had given the Bantams a 2-1 lead. Scored again at Reading three days later before being laid low by a virus. Never really recovered.

  8. John Dreyer
    Huddersfield Town 3 Bradford City 3
    Debut Points: 7
    5 points for scoring, 2 for doing it against the TBs and 1 for doing it from centre half. Minus one for being part of the defence that let the 3-0 lead go.

    First game for City after his less than Ashley Ward got a week move from Stoke and the 100 year old Dreyer ducked low to head high a Chris Waddle corner in the the net, a trick Waddle seemed to like, doing the same thing only without the need for a head minutes later.

    If only we hadn't mistaken Ian "Buggar" Lawson for somebody good and surrendered a three goal lead. Still, it was nice to see their fans leaving after half an hour, particularly because they must have really regretted it later.

  9. Phil Babb
    Bradford City 2 Reading 0
    Debut Points: 7
    5 for scoring,1 for doing it from the bench and a bonus one for doing it for The Doc, who never really cared much for attacking football.

    Memory recalls that Reading were the unfortunately victims of the Phil Babb effect when on 77 minute when manager John Docherty throw on a left back signed from his former club no one would have imagined that football was about to be revolutionised. Babb scored with his first kick, controlling a free kick from Brian Tinnion into the net, and never looked back for City being a decent performer in whatever role City throw at him.

    The Phil Babb football revolution? He formed a three man back line with Jon Scales and Neil Ruddock for Liverpool at Old Trafford in the first high profile use of that wing back formation in the Premiership.

  10. Michael Branch
    Bradford City 2 Norwich City 2
    Debut Points: 7
    Five for scoring and a bonus one for doing it in injury time to save a point on the first day of the season.

    Not very impressive in pre-season new boy Branch found himself in the traditional Bradford City all out attack as the Bantams trailed 2-1 to Norwich on the opening day of the season. After a half decent first game in which Branch had combined well with Dean Windass and had one flicked shot well saved a high ball over the back line fell to the former Everton man who shaped his body perfectly and fired home just inside the keeprs far post.

  11. Etienne Verveer
    Bradford City 1 Someone Else 0
    Debut Points: 6
    Five for scoring, one for it being the catalyst to us beating the TBs in a controversial style some weeks later.

    I don't remember how the loan signing of Verveer came about, but I do remember the stocky midfielder (who hadn't scored in quite a few years prior to this) rising to head home at the Bradford End to give us the lead, and I do remember that this led to us keeping him for a bit longer due to an impressive display.

    Memories (other than the goal) are sketchy, but I do remember that because he stayed on that he got to play against Huddersfield at Legoland and in the dying minutes took a shocking dive from Tom Cowan's shameful headbutt attempt which got the Scottish wimp sent off and gained us a moral victory over the inbred ones.

    And at the end of the day, isn't that what life's about?

  12. Tony Adcock
    Debut Points: 5
    For scoring.

    After Andy Thomas and Mark Leonard had struggled the fluidity of Tony Adcock was a revelation. Here was a striker who looked at home on the ball, could finish, could move off the ball, and gave City options upon options. Adock chested a ball down and slammed in over the keeper after 21 minutes and looked set for some sort of greatness. However those 21 minutes where all that Adcock really mustered in a City shirt. Nice first 21 minutes though.

  13. Juanjo
    Bradford City 2 Walsall 0
    Debut Points: 3
    5 for scoring, one for a fancy run or two, minus 50% for doing naff all since.

    Jim Jefferies had moved Heaven and Earth to convince his Spanish playmaker to join him from Hearts. Juanjo was only on the field for a few minutes when Matthew Etherington picked him out with a cross that the Spaniard dispatched into the back of the net with a powerful header. He then dazzled with a few runs and took the applause of a new hero at Valley Parade. Three weeks later and Jefferies left him high and dry. Not seen much of him since.

  14. Jari Vanhala
    Bradford City 0 Reading 0
    Debut Points: -5
    5 for looking the spitting image of Tommy Wright, -1 for coming on, -2 for not actually touching a ball, -2 for never being heard of before coming on and -2 for not being heard of since. Bonus -3 for falling over.

    We were playing someone, with Chris Kamara still in charge. 5 minutes left in a game on a miserable Tuesday night and Tommy Wright was suddenly waiting to come on, down on the touchline. He ran on, only for the stadium announcer to notify us that it was not Tommy Wright, but a Tommy Wright clone from Finland named Jari Vanhala. He ran on, chased a ball down the left-wing to the cheers of the Sunwin stand and fell over by the Kop before being sent back to Finland without touching the ball in the first team once.


Michael Wood, Daniel Sweryt, Adam Hepton and Richard Silverton