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Bradford City stars sample University life during visit


Three football players wearing tracksuits stood together outside university building

A group of Bradford City men’s first-team players got to experience student life during an access all areas tour of the University of Bradford.

Brad Halliday, Jamie Walker and Bobby Pointon met students and staff at a host of faculties during their visit to campus. 

They went to the University’s Radiography, Optometry and Physiotherapy facilities and the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU)

The men’s first-team players were given an insight into what it is like to be a student at the University of Bradford during their visit. They even got to try out some of the equipment available to students including the CT scanner and facilities in the physiotherapy clinic. 

Three football players wearing tracksuits with University's Vice-Chancellor

Defender Brad said: “It was great seeing what the students go through and the facilities they have access to, like the X-ray and CT scans. It is good that quite a lot of the physio clinic is open to the public.”

Midfielder Jamie added: “It was good for us from the team to come here to see what facilities that the University has got. It was good to get up and close and try some of it.”

Bobby, a Bradford-born forward, said: “It’s good to see how practical things are at the University. The students are not just learning from a classroom.”

Their visit kicked off with a hands on visit to the University’s Radiography department, where they met students and staff who taught the Bantams players how to use the X-ray equipment.

A football players is laying down and about to be put through a CT scanner machine supervised by a student

Brad and Jamie were placed through the suite’s CT Scanner, installed in March 2022 and is part of a state of the art Digital Radiography suite.

Anya Metcalfe, a final year BSc Diagnostic Radiography student helped show the players the University’s CT scanner, said: “I think it is a really good opportunity for exposure for the University.

"It is good to be able to let them (the players) see what we do. Hopefully they will get a good idea and understanding of what goes into medical imaging.”

Three football players standing up in a physiotherapy room using the equipment looking at a large TV in front of them

The players also paid a visit to the University’s Technology House facility, a two-bedroom house built to help test digital health prototypes in a 'real life' environment for industry or the health sector. This was followed by tours of the University’s physiotherapy clinic, where the Bantams players used some of the facilities on offer. 

A football player wearing a tracksuit on an exercise bike while wearing a face mask gets a demonstration from a student holding a tablet computer

The tour closed with a poignant visit to the PSBRU where the players learned about the work which takes place inside the unit and used microscopes to see the biology of the skin. 

The unit was founded by Professor David Sharpe following the fire disaster at Valley Parade on May 11, 1985, where 56 people died and 258 others were injured during a match between Bradford City and Lincoln City. 

Four people in the background wearing white lab coats look on as a scientist at the front conducts an experiement

Prof Ajay Mahajan, director of research at the PSBRU, said: “It was really nice for them (the players) to come and for us to give them an idea of what we do. 

“They were really interested. They were engaged and asked questions. They wanted to know how it works. They can relate to it now.”

The players’ campus visit is the latest link-up between the University and the football club who are official partners. 

The thriving partnership started in summer 2022 with a four-year deal to officially launch the University of Bradford Stadium. The association was further strengthened in summer 2023 when the University of Bradford became the official back-of-shirt sponsors for the next three seasons. This deal sees the University’s logo appear on City’s home, away and alternative shirts.

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, who welcomed the players, said: “It’s inspiring that the Bradford City players are so committed to come to the university and learn more about what we do, the student life and be role models for our students.”

Bradford City officials who joined the players on the campus tour were also impressed with the facilities. 

Davide Longo, Bradford City’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “It is about highlighting the University of Bradford and the courses that they offer that could lead to careers at Bradford City.

It is good for the players to experience something outside of football

“We as a football club are fully behind the University.” 

Brett Cullen, Bradford City’s Head of Marketing, said: “The facilities are unreal at the University. I cannot believe that the students that reside here have access to incredible facilities on their doorstep.”