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Fourth-tier English club Bradford defies odds with remarkable run to League Cup final


Bradford City' James Hanson, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Aston Villa during their English League Cup second leg semi-final soccer match at Villa's stadium in Birmingham, England, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant) (The Associated Press)

At a time when financial disparity is soccer is widening and racism has blighted the game, England is reveling in a heart-warming story of one underdog's remarkable run.

Bradford has twice fought for its survival in the last decade and plummeted into the fourth division. It is known most by many people for a 1985 fire in its Valley Parade stadium that caused the deaths of 56 people.

Now it will play against Swansea in the League Cup final on Feb. 24 in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley and tens of millions more watching globally on television.

It's the first time in 51 years that a team from the lowest professional league has reached a major English final.