City girls


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Nudrat Afza

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Ms Afza said she “knew nothing about football” before she started

The terrace cheers of Bradford’s female football fans have been captured in a new photography exhibition.

Photographer Nudrat Afza, who was first taken to a Bradford City game in 2014 by a family friend, said she was struck by how many other women were there, cheering, singing and shouting.

It gave her the idea for the City Girls project and took the pictures on visits to the Valley Parade ground over the following three years.

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Nudrat Afza

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The City Girls exhibition is being held at Bradford’s National Science and Media Museum

“In the 1960s and ’70s there was a lot of racism on the football terraces in England, so cricket was the game I grew up with and I knew nothing about football,” said Ms Afza, who moved to Bradford from Pakistan in the 1960s.

She said going to her first City match was “incredible”.

“But I had no idea what to do,” she added.

“I just sat there and one of the male Asian stewards was looking at me, smiling, because he knew I was so far outside my comfort zone.”

Women applaudingImage copyright
Nudrat Afza

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Photographer Nudrat Afza was given permission by the club to take photographs inside Valley Parade

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Nudrat Afza

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The exhibition features more than 70 black and white images

She was given a camera to produce the project by Keighley-born Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, after Ms Afza contacted the writer of Slumdog Millionaire and The Full Monty.

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Nudrat Afza

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The photos capture three years of Bradford City’s female fans

Her photos cover a high point for the club as the Bantams vied for promotion and beat Chelsea in the fourth round of the FA Cup 2015.

“It was a magical time for the club, and I was really taken in by the way the scenes would completely change each week,” she said.

“The pictures would be completely different and the facial expressions would be different.”

Woman in front of pitchImage copyright
Nudrat Afza

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The period covered was one of the most successful in recent years for Bradford City

The City Girls exhibition is on display at the National Science and Media Museum until June 2018.

Images courtesy of the National Science and Media Museum.



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