From 2001-05, Bradford Bulls played against Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and St Helens as they became the first club to play in five consecutive Grand Finals.
They won three of the five in that period as well and rubber stamped their quality winning the World Club Challenge in 2006.
But less than a decade later they would be relegated and are facing the prospect of a decade outside of Super League if they are unable to earn promotion this year.
Ahead of their run in, Bulls CEO Jason Hirst has issued a bullish statement:
“As a lifelong supporter of the Bradford Northern/Bulls, I have personally experienced the numerous highs and lows of loyally following the club. From the massive highs of Challenge Cup, Super League Grand Final and World Club Challenge successes to relegations, administrations and liquidation, in the last 20 years the club has experienced it all.
“For far too long, our club has been on a downward trajectory. That has, unquestionably changed this year, as can be evidenced from us successfully having our Elite Academy Licence re-instated, to us currently sitting in 3rd place in the Championship table, with only 4 regular season league matches remaining.
“Our publicly stated goal this season has always been to finish in the top 4 following last year’s 9th placed finish. We now find ourselves tantalisingly close to achieving that goal, in the super competitive Championship competition, which is why I now reach out to current and lapsed fans alike, to help us definitely achieve it.
“Everyone has an opinion, particularly when it comes to the Bradford Bulls, but whatever that opinion is, the fact remains that the club’s 1st Team hasn’t achieved a Championship top 4 finish since 2015. That means we currently have our best chance of a return to Super League in 8 years.
“To achieve that is, undoubtedly, going to be tough, so on behalf of the whole club, I politely and passionately ask for the help and support of not only our loyal and existing fan base, but others beyond. In particular, any lapsed fans, who can and want to play a part in helping us to return to Super League at the earliest opportunity.
“That earliest opportunity is now!
“So, let’s unite together and turn out in big numbers at our 2 remaining scheduled home fixtures against Featherstone on Sunday 3rd September and York on Sunday 10th September. By doing so, you’ll not only be backing the club, you’ll also get the opportunity to see first-hand what the Bradford Bulls 2024 1st Team is all about and capable of. Please remember that all under 18’s are able to watch the matches free of charge, so encourage kids and friends alike, to come along and experience the fun, entertainment and drama first hand.
“There would be no better time to once again play in front of 5,000 fans, than against table topping Featherstone Rovers. As well as creating a fantastic atmosphere and bringing in extra revenue to the club, it would also be a timely reminder to IMG and the RFL, of the fanbase, actual and potential, that the Bradford Bulls still possess.
“As an proud custodian of the club, I have the privilege of chatting to many kind and good well intentioned people who promise the club “a million, if I win the lottery.” Whilst that would be nice and greatly appreciated, until and even beyond then, what we really want and need to see is more people coming along to watch us in action at Odsal Stadium.
“By doing so, you’ll be publicly backing us at the critical stage of the season, as we genuinely and realistically target promotion back to Super League.”