CAMPION is a football club in Bradford and must not therefore be confused with the Campions League, with Campion the Wonder Horse or even with Gerald Campion, of whom very much more in a moment.

Back in the 1960s the team played as St Edmund Campion Youth Club, named after a 16th century Catholic martyr arrested by priest hunters and hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

“Your privy parts cut off and your entrails burned in your sight,” added the judge, lest poor Campion suppose he’d be let down lightly.

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Gerald Campion, remembered by those of us of many dinners duration, played Billy Bunter – the egregious Fat Owl of the Remove – in 120 televised episodes of Billy Bunter between 1953-61.

Upholstered to look the part – a padded sell, as it were – he was 29 when the series began, almost 40 when it ended and admitted keeping himself going not on pork pies but on purple hearts.

Thereafter he ran bars and restaurants in Soho and did little television save for a well-received Mr Toad in The Wind in the Willows. “Mr Toad,” said The Guardian’s obituarist in 2002, was “something of a batrachian Bunter.”

The series ended with the death of Frank Richards, who’d conceived Bunter in 1908 and wrote the television scripts.

Campion then essayed some scripts of his own, including one in which Bunter was captured by cannibals, trussed in a cooking pot and asked to eat a large clove of garlic. For some reason the BBC didn’t reply.

Last Saturday, Campion hosted Bedlington Terriers, FA Vase preliminary round. The Railroad to Wembley was up and running once more.

It’s the 8.18 from Darlington, change at York onto the Blackpool train, in Bradford in time for a Wetherspoons breakfast.

The morning’s papers offer little of regional interest save for a letter in The Times about Muker Show – which may be a first – and acknowledgment of the 73rd birthday of Sir Thomas Allen, opera singer and Durham University chancellor.

The lady of this house is sacklessly smitten by Sir Tom in much the same way that our younger son, also entrained, is in thrall to Wetherspoons breakfasts.

Outside Bradford’s rather splendid city hall, a chap in a pretty sash announces that it’s Heritage Open Day and invites us to have a look around. The bairn says we haven’t time but asks for directions to Wetherspoons.

What makes him different is that he has about six sachets of salad cream with his full English. Billy Bunter would probably have approved.

The column’s an infrequent visitor to these parts, perhaps the best remembered earlier occasion when the future Sir Ian Botham shared billing with George and Zippy in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Alhambra in 1990. Botham, the column observed, may have been ever more wooden than he beanstalk.

A poster on the station promotes a JB Priestley evening, in honour of one of Bradford’s finest. Attractions, it says, include a free bet and “meat and potato pie brass band.” Priestley would have paled at the punctuation.

The football ground is in Manningham, a couple of miles from the city centre, overlooked by a large chimney – may a chimney be large? – said to be in the Victorian Italianate, lang-may-your-lum-reek style.

It was part of one of Samuel Cunliffe Lister’s silk mills, built in 1871 after the previous mill burned down and said at its peak to employ 11,000 men, women and children – though whether the employment was particularly gainful has been subject of much debate.

The Wharfedale Observer in 2007 ran a piece supposing Cunliffe Lister to be “head of a dynasty of union bashing mill owners.” He appeared impervious.

“The women spend their money on dress and the men on drink, so that the begging bowl goes around,” he wrote to another paper.

He was a remarkable man on any argument, industrial revolutionary and inventor of all manner, including the nip comb (which must not, on any account, be confused with nit comb) and a multi-millionaire.

That the Independent Labour Party had its roots in Bradford is said not wholly to be coincidental.

Cunliffe Lister bought the Swinton Park estate at Masham, in North Yorkshire, and in 1892 became the 1st Baron Masham. His statue, a 2ft ruler across his chest, stands in the park bearing his name which he gave to the people of Bradford. Swinton Park is now an upmarket hotel, country club and spa.

Said on their website to be Bradford’s amateur football club, Campion lie third in the second tier of the Northern Counties East League – that of Swallownest, Ollerton Town and Nostell Miners Welfare. It’s the club’s first ever FA Vase game.

The Terriers, conversely, have a pedigree, reaching the final at Wembley in 1999 and in the same season thrashing Colchester United 5-1 in the FA Cup first round before narrowly losing at Scunthorpe in the second.

Now they’re in the Ebac Northern League second division, fortunes declined somewhat but briefly in the global spotlight a few years back when American cookie king Bob Rich was given Bedlington’s manorial rights as a birthday present from his wife and took a trans-Atlantic interest in the club.

Rich pickings were not perhaps as great as some had hoped. He is no longer involved.

The programme reveals something hitherto unrecognised: the FA is not only in cahoots with a group called Colour Blindness Awareness but is actively trying to see how it can help.

A poster is headed “When you’re seeing red, are you sure it’s not green, or black?” FA chief executive Martin Glenn warns that any club failing to acknowledge the issue under the Equality Act 2010 “does so at their own risk.”

It incorrigibly recalls the day that the column’s ever-patient optician made an unsurprising discovery. “Oh,” she said, “you’re colour blind as well.”

Campion are in red, or something, Bedlington in blue. Though Bradford City are away, the crowd appears to be little more than fifty, many of them bearing the word “Coach” on their trackie backs and most sheltering beneath a scaffold-pole stand. At five past three it’s so wet and so murky that the ref asks for the floodlights to be switched on.

The first half’s largely uneventful. The kids entertain themselves with a puddle jumping competition instead.

In truth most of the crowd may be in the respective technical areas. Though FA rules stipulate a maximum of two standing occupants, these guys appear to have read the report earlier in the week of 48 folk in a VW camper van and are attempting something similar.

Jack Foallie gives Bedlington a first half lead, cancelled out near the end but with the game’s last kick hits the visitors’ winner. Terriers jubilant, Campion’s dethroned.