Ham: “I didn’t think I’d see Bradford back at the Shay”

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Bobby Ham admits he doubted whether the day would come when FC Halifax hosted Bradford City at the Shay.

Ham scored 64 goals in 188 appearances during two spells for the Bantams between 1968 and 1975.

The former Bradford player and director is looking forward to Sunday’s West Yorkshire derby, which brings back memories of his own appearances at the Shay.

“I didn’t think I’d see the day,” he said. “I remember playing for Bradford at the Shay and I always looked forward to playing there.

“Halifax was always a good place to play

“I won some, lost some and drew some.

“I usually had the crowd on my back as I scored a few goals.

“It will be a great occasion. It could go either way.

“It’s one both clubs will be looking forward to.

“There’ll be an edge to it being a local derby.

“We’ll be underdogs but it’s there for the taking. It’s up to us to adapt ourselves and give it our best shot.”

Ham said he has nothing but happy memories of playing for clubs in Bradford during his career.

“I’m Bradford born and bred,” he said. “I played for both Bradford clubs and loved every minute of it.

“My heart’s with Bradford but if I had to put my hat on one team it’s Halifax.

“I was a Bradford Park Avenue supporter and I signed for them when I was 17.

“But they sold me to Bradford when they got into financial difficulties.

“It’s been a great couple of years for them - they’ve done exceptionally well and it’s been a fantastic time for the supporters.”

Ham is hoping for a record-breaking Town crowd at the Shay since the club reformed and is hoping to go one better than Halifax’s previous two appearances in the FA Cup first round.

He said: “Neil’s a very strategic manager - he gets his tactics right.

“But as long as they do their best that’s all we can ask.

“It’ll probably be the biggest crowd. We had nearly 5,000 for Charlton.

“We got beat by them and by MK Dons so hopefully it’s third time lucky.”

Ham said his excitement will probably have reached fever pitch by the time kick-off arrives.

“I’ll probably be wishing I could turn the clock back 50 years and be out there playing - but I won’t say who for!

“I’d play for either club if they’d have me!”