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The Bantams might be newcomers to the league but their first season down in the fourth tier hasn’t really been that big of a success. Still, once, Bradford were a Premier League side and as such, their pockets used to be somewhat deeper. And for that reason, it doesn’t really surprise that all of their biggest transfers actually happened back in the early 2000s and late ‘90s.
It was in the season of 2000/01 when they signed the now-retired Ashley Ward from Blackburn Rovers for a reported fee of £1.8m, equalling the previous record that was held by David Wetherall’s transfer from Leeds a couple of years prior to that for the very same figure.
But in that same transfer window, Bradford would fork out more money for another record-breaking signing, this time getting David Hopkin from Leeds United for a sum of £3.3m, which is still the biggest transfer they have ever done in the history of the club.
Interestingly enough, it was also during those years that Bradford made some quite lucrative sales as well. In 2000/01, for instance, Andrew O’Brien, a young centre-back back then, moved to Newcastle United for a fee of £2.7m, equalling Derrick Hamilton move to the same club and for the same sum of money. How about that, huh?
The late Dean Richards rounds off the top three sales with his £2.4m move to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1994/95.
There’s only one man who can top this list of the most famous Bradford City transfers and that’s the gaffer, Stuart McCall. The current coach enjoyed two fruitful spells with the club in his youth, having started his career with them and then returning in the late 90s. And needless to say, Bradford’s favourite son taking the reins and leading them as coach has been an incredible update for the Bantams.
But there are more famous transfers out there: Gary Jones’ arrival wasn’t really that big of a deal. After all, signing a 35-year-old is not exactly the most exciting thing ever. But by the time he departed for Notts County, he was already considered a legend. Who would have thought his transfer would end up being so famous after all?
And of course, both Hopkin and Ward deserve to be included for the incredible fees they commanded back in the day.