In what The Independent is calling “one of the true modern football fairy tale stories,” Bradford City A.F.C. is set to play in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday — the team’s first league final since 1911. It seems there could be an surprising reason for their success this year — the Dalai Lama is reportedly a Bradford fan, and he’s been cheering for them throughout the season.
In a letter to the team’s manager earlier in the season, the Dalai Lama congratulated the team for its success for far, and said he hopes his blessing will continue to bring “good fortune” to them in the tournament. His Holiness has reportedly been a Bradford supporter since he visited Yorkshire last year.
Struck by the similarity between Bradford’s jerseys, which are claret and amber, and His Holiness’ robes, the team’s fundraising group made him their honorary president, and gave him a jersey with the number 14 because he’s the 14th Dalai Lama. In exchange for his letter of support, the team sent His Holiness scarves in the team colors and other memorabilia from the season.