This article is part of Football League World’s ‘FLW Greats’ series, this content strand is where we look back on a player’s individual season and discuss how impressive they were…
The 2012/13 season was certainly one to remember for Bradford City supporters, for more than just one reason.
The Bantams reached the League Cup Final, and even though they were beaten 5-0 by Swansea City, there was an immense amount of pride from the club’s fans.
They beat the likes of Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa on their route to the final, and showed that they could compete against teams that were in a higher division than the fourth tier of English football.
Add to the fact that Bradford also finished inside the League Two play-off places in that season, and went on to beat Burton Albion in the semi-final over two legs.
They then won promotion into League One with a convincing 3-0 win over Northampton in play-off final at Wembley, courtesy of goals from James Hanson, Rory McArdle and Nahki Wells.
One player that played a pivotal role in their promotion-winning season was James Hanson, who starred for the Bantams on numerous occasions throughout the 2012/13 campaign.
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He scored 12 league goals in total for Phil Parkinson’s side that season, with the Bantams scoring 63 goals in total in League Two. Bradford had it all to do in the second-leg of their play-off semi-final against Burton Albion, as they lost 3-2 at Valley Parade. But Hanson made an impact in the second game between the two sides as he scored and assisted once as the Bantams ran out dramatic winners on the day.
The forward then opened the scoring for the Bantams in the League Two play-off final against Northampton Town, so it’s safe to say that Hanson was certainly a player that could step up to the ‘big occasion’.
Hanson also played a part in their memorable League Cup run as well, as he scored in the first round of the competition, before scoring the all-important away goal against Aston Villa in the second-leg of their semi-final. That goal against Villa sparked jubilant scenes from the travelling supporters, as they booked their spot in the final of the competition against Swansea City.
Hanson went on to score 12 goals in the following season in League One, and he was certainly a reliable player to call upon to score goals for the Bantams.
He left the club in 2017 in favour of a move to Sheffield United, but is now playing his football back in League Two with Grimsby Town, and he’s a player that will be fondly remembered by the Valley Parade faithful for years to come.