Sheffield football expert Brian Bradley and wife Judith named as couple who died in M1 crash

Brian Bradley, who died in last night's crash on the M1
Brian Bradley, who died in last night's crash on the M1

Veteran Sheffield football expert Brian Bradley and his wife Judith have been named as the victims in yesterday’s tragic M1 crash.

The couple, who were aged 76 and 77 and lived in Firth Park, died after their car was involved in a collision on the M1 northbound carriage between Junction 33 for Rotherham and 34 for Meadowhall.

Mr Bradley wrote a non-league football column for the Sheffield Telegraph and was a well-known figure in the local amateur football scene.

He was also known as the ‘Voice of Doncaster Rovers’ and was BBC Radio Sheffield’s voice at Belle Vue during the majority of Rovers’ Conference era, as well as being the station’s non-league football expert for many years.

He also did online commentaries for Doncaster Rovers’ official website between 2003 and 2007.

Mr Bradley had been made president of the H-K-L North Midlands Development Football League just last week in recognition of his ‘dedicated and relentless commitment to local football over the years’.

He was a previous director and treasurer of the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA, a former amateur referee and was also secretary of Firth Park Bowling Club.

Officials from Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA said everyone at the organisation was ‘shocked and saddened by the news’ of their deaths.

Brian Jones, chairman of the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA, said: “Our thoughts at this time go out to Brian and Judy’s family and close friends.

“Brian’s work with and in local football, particularly the County Senior League, over the years has been first class, everyone will also remember fondly his work in the past with Radio Sheffield and, of course, he reported on many local games for the local press.

“A sad day and time for all who knew Brian and Judy.”

Commentator Seth Bennett, who replaced Mr Bradley as Doncaster Rovers’ reporter for Radio Sheffield, said: “Really sad news. Brian was always a gent and really kind to me.

“I replaced him as Doncaster Rovers reporter, yet he never held a grudge and was always massively supportive as he traveled the length and breath of the country following Rovers.

“As a kid I remember listening to his Non-League round ups and as a adult and colleague I was amazed at the passion at the passion he retained for amateur and professional football.

“A lovely man who departs in a tragic way, but somehow it seems right he leaves with his wife.

“Rest in peace Brian and Judy and I hope you will have your pick of the game upstairs.”

A spokesman for Doncaster Rovers said: “Doncaster Rovers are sad to learn of the passing of former commentator Brian Bradley and his wife Judith.

“Brian and Judith will be missed the many who knew them and our thoughts are with the Bradley family.”

Mr Bradley was a life member of S&HCFA, having previously being a long-standing member of the Board.

Mr Bradley refereed in the local Sheffield & Hallamshire leagues from 1956 to 1965, before having a break and then rejoining the referees’ ranks from 1970 to 1980.

He worked as chief district auditor and a local newsagent, while he also had a weekly column with the Sheffield Telegraph and covered non-league football on a freelance basis for Radio Sheffield for 24 years.

His involvement in grassroots football included time serving as Fixtures Secretary for the County Senior League and chairman of the Midland County FA.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to yesterday’s collision, which involved one vehicle.

The motorway was closed in both directions as South Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Highways Agency responded to the incident, which occurred at around 1.55pm yesterday afternoon.

Police say they believe the couple’s car, which was being driven by Mr Bradley, left the carriageway and was in collision with a tree.

Mr and Mrs Bradley both died at the scene.

Anyone who saw the incident should contact South Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 612 of July 2, 2015.

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Comment: Brian Bradley, a football man who people will remember