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Judge dismisses new book which implies 1985 Bradford fire could have been started by former chairman


 

The Judge who ruled the cause of the 1985 Valley Parade fire an accident has dismissed the idea that it could have been a deliberate act by the Bradford's chairman at the time.

A new book, written by Martin Fletcher, who was there on the day, claims to have evidence to suggest that the club's former chairman Stafford Heginbotham could have deliberately set the fire.

However former judge Sir Oliver Popplewell has stood by his verdict that the fire, which killed 56 people, was an accident. 

The book focuses on other incidents of fires involving businesses that the former chairman Heginbotham owned, and Popplewell agrees that police should look at the other fires to see if they were "sinister".

Fletcher was 12 years old when the fire happened, and though he managed to escape, his younger brother, father, uncle and grandfather were all killed in the tragedy.

Whilst the book makes no direct accusations against Heginbotham, who died in 1995, it points out that the initial inquiry into the fire failed to look at the chairman's finances, and claims to have uncovered evidence Mr Heginbotham was in dire financial trouble at the time.

The West Yorkshire Police have stated that if sufficient new evidence is put forward, then they will take any necessary actions.

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