During a recent debate in the House of Commons Judith called on the Sport’s Minister, Tracey Crouch MP, to pledge the Government’s support in helping to secure the future of the historical and world-renowned Bradford Bulls.
In opening the debate, Judith underlined just how distressing it had been for the city of Bradford and its large fan base to watch the Bradford Bulls, once revered across the world as the dominant force in rugby league, to fall into administration for the third time since 2012. Sadly now only a shadow of its former self, Judith reminded those in attendance that during 20 years of Super League, Bradford had been champions four times, jointly holding the record for the most titles. What’s more, they had won the league twice prior to creation of Super League, and had been runners up in the top flight five times.
In the course of her remarks, Judith stressed the rich and enduring history of the Bradford Bulls and the vital need to secure its continuing presence in the Rugby League. The Sport’s Minister heard that prior to the Super League, the Bradford Bulls were known as Bradford Northern and that the club was a founding member of the rugby football league in 1895. It was also heard that the Bull’s stadium at Odsal in the Bradford South’ constituency had been the home of the club since 1934. When it was first opened, Odsal was the biggest stadium in the country outside of Wembley and to this day remains the country’s largest rugby league club ground.
Judith called on the Government Minister to do all within her power to help secure the future of the Bradford Bulls. In response, Tracey Crouch MP, recognised the vital contribution of the Bradford Bulls to the Rugby League by saying “ I was sorry to hear of the Bulls’ recent financial problems and can appreciate that this is a deeply concerning time for the club and its fans. Rugby league clubs such as the Bulls are of huge importance to their local communities in so many ways and have such a positive impact at the grassroots of the sport. The club’s proud heritage, both as Bradford Northern and now as the Bulls, dates back to the very formation of the Rugby Football League more than 120 years ago. The Odsal stadium is notable for hosting the record rugby league attendance of more than 102,000 in the 1954 challenge cup final, and the club has continued to have great success over the years, winning the challenge cup five times and being the first club to win the domestic treble in 2003.”
In reflecting on the debate, Judith said “I’m pleased that in recent weeks a new owner has been found for the Bradford Bulls. I very much look forward to hearing the new owner’s vision for our club. More importantly, I look forward to rugby resuming at Odsal Stadium. In the coming months, I’ll be doing my best to support the club as it takes its first steps under a new owner. Through the combined efforts of the people of Bradford, the RFL and local MPs, I’m confident that the Bradford Bulls has a bright future.”