Friends form a football club in honour of Bradley Gledhill

A football club has been set up to provide a lasting legacy for soccer-mad Bradley Gledhill, who was brutally stabbed to death in Batley last year.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 7:00 am
Bradley’s sister Bryony Gledhill and his childhood best friend Kenny Wall with the banner for the newly formed Bradley’s Army Football Club

Brad, 20, of Heckmondwike, had been a promising young footballer and was scouted by the Leeds United Academy at the age of eight. He later moved to Halifax Town and played there until he was 13.

Brad died after being attacked in Park Croft, Batley in June last year and his friends are still struggling to come to terms with his death.

A friend who played football with Brad at Batley Juniors got chatting with Brad’s mum Kelly Hubbard and the suggestion they set up a football club quickly became a reality.

Brad was a promising young footballer

Bradley’s Army FC will field an open age team in the Calder Valley Sunday League next season. Around 25 players are registered, a kit is on order and sponsors are being lined up.

Kelly, 41, said: “Brad would love this. It’s the ultimate honour to have a football club set up in his name.

“It’s all come together in the last couple of weeks and the aim is to build a club for the future. We’ve got one team so far – although we’ve got enough players for two teams – but in the future we want to have junior teams as well and grow the club into something Brad would be proud of.”

The team will play its home games at Carter’s Fields in Carlinghow and will be coached by Danny Chadwick, an FA-qualified coach who played with Brad at Batley Juniors.

The team’s kit – of gold, white and black – is on order and the club also has an emotional motto: “Turning pain, anguish and evil into courage, strength and virtue.”

Some sponsors are already on board including TCC Car Centre and MC Builders’ Merchants, both of Bradford.

Kelly said Brad was “football-crazy” as a child and described him as “talented and passionate”.

He played for Batley Juniors and was scouted for the Leeds United Academy. Between 10 and 13 he played for Halifax Town until the original club folded.

As he got into his teens he played less football but remained a big fan, despite not supporting any particular club.

Kelly created the club’s new logo too – a lion, the symbol of courage. “That’s what it’s all about,” she said. “It’s still hard for us. We take it one day at a time.”

Kelly is appealing for help and hopes to find a sponsor to provide a portable building or changing facilities. She has written to Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and FC Halifax Town seeking support.

The family have set up a Facebook fundraiser to raise money for the club.

To donate or find out more, search Bradley’s Army FC or go to www.facebook.com/TooPengForThisWorld.