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Former Huddersfield Town hero Peter Jackson has hailed the club’s fans for backing the Bradford City fire disaster appeal.

Jackson, 54, a player and manager at Town, was captain at City on the horrific day which shook English football.

Fifty-six fans died as flames engulfed the old wooden stand at Valley Parade on May 11, 1985.

Now, with the 30th anniversary of the tragedy fast approaching, Town supporters group North Stand Loyal has raised more than £3,000 for the Bradford City Community Foundation’s Burns Unit Appeal.

Jackson, who proudly features in the club’s recently-installed Pink Link Walkway of Legends, said: “I know from my time at both Town and Bradford what rivalry there is between the two clubs and it’s tremendous what the Town fans are doing.

“In many ways the Bradford City fire is forgotten about. Last year for the 29th anniversary only two or three clubs in England marked the tragedy but for Hillsborough everybody does it. Why not Bradford?”

Jackson still has vivid memories of that fateful day when he feared for the safety of wife Alison, daughter Charlotte, dad Les and other relatives who were at the final game of the season against Lincoln.

Peter Jackson.

What should have been a celebration of City winning the Division Three title turned into one of world football’s worst disasters.

All Premier League and Football League clubs will have a minute’s silence on the weekend of April 25 and 26 for the 30th anniversary and North Stand Loyal will unveil a special banner at the game with Blackburn to honour those who died.

“We should never, ever forget what happened,” said Jackson. “What we witnessed cannot be described in words. It was so horrific.

“It will be very poignant this time with the 30th anniversary.”

Jackson said that if some good had come out of the devastation it was that the face of English football changed with clubs investing in new stadia.

North Stand Loyal’s fundraising started as a bid to raise £300 for a memorial banner but the appeal took off after touching the hearts of fans in Huddersfield and beyond.

Town fan Sir Patrick Stewart also tweeted his support from Hollywood.

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