The David Longhurst Stand at Bootham Crescent
|Full name||Bootham Crescent|
|Former names||KitKat Crescent|
|Location||York, North Yorkshire, England|
|Owner||York City F.C.|
|Operator||York City F.C.|
|Field size||105 by 67.5 metres (115 yd × 74 yd)|
Bootham Crescent is an association football stadium in the Clifton suburb of York, North Yorkshire, England. It has been the home ground of York City since 1932, when it was purchased from York Cricket Club as a replacement for Fulfordgate, which was relatively inaccessible for supporters to reach. As well as hosting York City games, it has held a match between the Football League XI and Northern Command and a number of England youth internationals. Other than football, it has hosted a pop concert, a firework display and American football and rugby league matches.
During the Second World War, the ground's Popular Stand was converted into an air raid shelter and the ground suffered slight damage when a bomb landed on houses at the Shipton Street End. Floodlights were fitted at the ground in 1959 at the cost of £14,500. Bootham Crescent hosted football in the Football League until 2004, when York were relegated to the Conference National; York were promoted back to the Football League in 2012. The ground was renamed KitKat Crescent in 2005, owing to a sponsorship deal with Nestlé, which expired in January 2010. The stadium currently holds a capacity of 7,872 and the record attendance of 28,123 was set in 1938 for an FA Cup tie against Huddersfield Town.
York City F.C.'s original stadium Fulfordgate had been relatively inaccessible, with the tram service only having a single track to the ground. This resulted in concerns about the poor support being raised, and so director G. W. Halliday became convinced that the only solution was to move to a new ground. Bootham Crescent had been used by York Cricket Club for a number of years, but they decided to move to a new headquarters at Wigginton Road, so York City held a meeting on moving to the ground following preliminary discussions and visits. The move was eventually voted on; shareholders approved the decision to take Bootham Crescent on lease by 115 votes to 37. The ground was renovated to make it suitable for football, which saw the Main Stand and Popular Stands erected. The ground was officially opened on 31 August 1932, when York played Stockport County in a Third Division North game, with the club president, Sir John Hunt, marking the occasion by cutting a ribbon of the clubs' colours of chocolate and cream.
The first match against a First Division team to be staged at the ground was when Derby County played York in an FA Cup third round match, which set a club record attendance of 13,612. During the Second World War, the Popular Stand was used as an air-raid shelter for pupils and staff of the Shipton Street School. The ground was slightly damaged during the war, after a bomb landed on the houses at the Shipton Street End during the air raid on York in April 1942. Considerable improvements were made to the ground in the immediate post-war period, with deeper drainage, concreted banking at the Bootham Crescent Stand and the installation of loudspeaking equipment being put in place. It was announced at the shareholder's meeting in September 1948 that York City had purchased Bootham Crescent, after previously being on a lease to the club since 1932.
Concreting of the terracing in the Popular Stand and Shipton Street End was completed by the late 1940s and early 1950s, due to the efforts of the Supporters' Club. During the 1954–55 season, York reached the semi-final of the FA Cup, of which two matches were played at Bootham Crescent—the first round game against Scarborough, which was won 3–2, and the fifth round game against Tottenham Hotspur, which was won 3–1 in front of a crowd of 21,000. During the summer of 1955, the Main Stand was extended towards Shipton Street, funded by profits gained from the FA Cup run and a Stand Extension Fund.
Two FA Cup ties against First Division opposition were held at the ground in the 1957–58 season; Birmingham City were beaten 3–0, followed by a 0–0 draw with Bolton Wanderers, which saw a crowd of 23,600; a post-war record for the ground. A concrete wall was built in the St Olave's Road end as a safety precaution and a support for additional banking and terracing, which cost over £3,000. This had a twofold purpose, as it acted as a safety precaution and a support for additional banking and terracing. The ground was fitted with floodlights in the summer of 1959, costing £14,500, which was raised by the Auxiliary Club. They were officially switched on for a friendly against Newcastle United on 28 October 1959, which United won 8–2 in front of a crowd of 9,414.
York reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup in the 1961–62 season, which included Leicester City being beaten 2–1 at Bootham Crescent. The half-time scoreboard at the Shipton Street End ceased to be in use in 1965, but remained as advertising hoarding. Seats were installed in the Popular Stand prior to the opening of the 1974–75 season, York's first in the Second Division, which increased the ground's seating capacity to 2,762. The floodlights were updated and improved in 1980 for £20,000 and were officially switched on by former player Derek Dougan for a friendly with Grimsby Town on 1 August 1980. A gymnasium was built at the Bootham Crescent End for £50,000 early in 1981, which York were helped towards by receiving £15,000 from the Sports Council and £20,000 from the Football League Improvement Trust. New offices for the manager, secretary, match-day and lottery manager were built along with a vice-presidents' lounge in the summer of 1983, with the lounge being officially opened by Football League chairman Jack Dunnett prior to a game against Wrexham in November 1983.
Cracks had appeared in the concrete wall built in 1956 at the back of the Bootham Crescent End, which led to the rear end of the terracing being cordoned off, meaning the capacity of the ground was reduced to under 13,500. The Bootham Crescent end was segregated and allocated to away supporters and fencing was erected around the ground before the FA Cup match against Liverpool. During the 1983–84 and 1984–85 seasons problems had arisen in handling big crowds, which was due to the ground having only two of four sides available for entry and exit and the home supporters funnelling through the car-park to the Shipton Street end.
Extensive improvements were made in the summer of 1985 for an approximated £100,000 and eight new turnstiles were installed at the Shipton Street end. Simultaneously, the dressing-rooms were refurbished, so they incorporated new baths and showers, and also the addition of a new referee's changing room, a new physiotherapist's treatment room and new toilets. During the period of 1986 to 1987, hospitality boxes were built into the Main Stand, video equipment was installed and crush-barriers were strengthened. This meant that ground safety requirements were met and in September 1989 it was announced that the capacity of the ground had been increased to 14,628.
The Family Stand was opened in the Main Stand in 1992 and in 1994 the capacity of the ground was reduced as the Family Stand was increased due to popular demand, which saw 326 seats replace a standing area, as well as complying with recommendations made in the Taylor Report following the Hillsborough disaster. New floodlights were installed during the summer of 1995, which came to a cost of £122,000. Despite being shorter than the original floodlights, they were twice as bright and met the requirements for First Division football. A new drainage system was installed to improve the quality of the pitch during winter, costing several thousand pounds. A water tower was also installed in the late 1990s to help the quality of the pitch.
Bootham Crescent Holdings PLC was formed in 1999, which saw the club's real property assets, including Bootham Crescent, be transferred to this holding company. In 2002, chairman John Batchelor said he wanted to move to a new stadium at Clifton Moor and appointed Ian McAndrew as stadium director. Persimmon plc had bought 10% of the shares in Bootham Crescent Holdings, who announced that they had submitted planning applications for 93 homes on the site of Bootham Crescent. York City's lease of the ground was extended to May 2004 and the club proceeded with plans to move to Huntington Stadium, but on 4 February 2004 it was announced in a joint statement that "Agreement has been reached to enable the football club to continue to play at Bootham Crescent for the foreseeable future". A sponsorship deal with Nestlé in January 2005 saw Bootham Crescent renamed KitKat Crescent, although the ground was still commonly referred to by fans as Bootham Crescent. This arrangement expired in January 2010.
Structure and facilities
The ground can accommodate 7,872 supporters and comprises four stands – the David Longhurst Stand, the Main Stand, the Popular Stand and Grosvenor Road End. The Main Stand, which can seat 1,757 spectators, is an all-seater stand which covers the length of two-thirds of the pitch and contains the dressing rooms, club offices, ticket offices and hospitality suites and contains a number of supporting pillars. It has open corners to either side, one of which is where the supporter's club is located, and to the rear has windshields to either side. Opposite this is the Popular Stand, a covered all-seated stand, which contains a number of supporting pillars and holds a television gantry on its roof. It can seat 1,652 spectators.
The northernmost stand of the ground is the David Longhurst Stand, which is a covered terrace for home supporters and has a row of supporting pillars across its front. The stand was originally known as the Shipton Street End, but was renamed following the death of David Longhurst, who died on 8 September 1990 in a match against Lincoln City at Bootham Crescent. The Shipton Street Roof Appeal was launched in 1988, with the aim of raising funds for addition of a roof to the Shipton Street End, and after the death of Longhurst, the David Longhurst Memorial Fund was formed and money from this was added to the roof appeal. After half of the £150,000 cost was paid for by the Football Trust, the roof was constructed in the summer of 1991 and officially opened for a match against Leeds United, which was watched by a crowd of 4,374. The current capacity of the stand is 3,062.
Opposite the David Longhurst Stand is the Grosvenor Road End, which is an open terrace reserved for away supporters and can hold a capacity of 1,400. As well as this, away supporters are permitted to use 300 seats of the Popular Stand. A club shop is situated just inside the car-park, which also houses the commercial manager's office and adjoining this is the social club and players' bar.
The pitch measures 105 by 67.5 metres (115 yd × 74 yd). It was re-laid for the 2007–08 season, as the poor quality of the pitch was believed to be the reason for the team's poor home form the previous season.
After the club secured their future at Bootham Crescent in February 2004, they were hoping to move to a new ground by 2015. It was expected to be built on either the sites of the British Sugar factory, York Central or Nestlé North in York. It was hoped that the new stadium will also be home to the city's rugby league side, York City Knights, and be used as a concert venue. The new stadium would be similar to Princes Park of Dartford, but would hold a larger capacity and Steve Galloway, the leader of the City of York Council at the time, said his aspiration was for it to be a 10,000 capacity all-seater, although, speaking at the launch of his party's election manifesto on 3 April 2007, he said it may be smaller initially, at 6,000 or 7,000 seats. Developers Oakgate (Monks Cross) Ltd submitted a planning application for a stadium and retail park in the Monks Cross area of York in September 2011. The plans were for a 6,000-seater arena, which could eventually be expanded to a 12,000 capacity, to be completed by 2014.
In January 2014, final bids from developers were being encouraged with a prospective opening date of 2016.
The ground hosted a representative match between a Football League XI side and the Northern Command on 17 October 1942, which was won 9–2 by the Football League XI. It held its first schoolboy international in May 1952, when England, who were captained by eventual York manager Wilf McGuinness, beat Ireland 5–0 with a crowd of 16,000.
The ground hosted its first major neutral match in February 1968, when Middlesbrough beat Hull City 1–0 in an FA Cup third round second replay. The ground was due to host England U16 v Scotland U16 on 8 December 2006 in the final match of the Victory Shield, but due to a waterlogged pitch the match was moved to Scunthorpe United's Glanford Park. On 5 April 2013, the Football Association announced that Bootham Crescent had been selected to host the 2013 FA Women's Premier League Cup Final. The match took place on 5 May 2013 at 1400BST with Aston Villa defeating Leeds United 5–4 on penalties after regular time remained goalless.
The stadium has also held non-football events. It held a pop concert in September 1979 and a firework display in October 1982 to celebrate the centenary of the Yorkshire Evening Press. Sporting events to have taken place include an American football match which took place in the summer of 1988 and a rugby league match between York RLFC and Leeds in front of a crowd of 11,347, which was won 28–9 by Leeds.
On 9/10 June 1890, the site of the ground hosted the only ever Yorkshire CCC county championship match to be played in York, an 8 wicket victory over Kent.
The highest attendance record at the stadium was 28,123 for a match against Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup sixth round on 5 March 1938. The highest attendance in the Football League is 21,010 against Hull City in the Third Division North on 23 April 1949. The attendance of 1,167 against Northampton Town on 5 May 1981 is the lowest ever to see York in a Football League match. York City were relegated to the Conference National in 2004, and their highest attendance in this division at the ground was 4,921 for a game against Scarborough on 26 December 2005. The lowest was 1,567 for a match against Exeter City on 10 March 2008. The club's lowest attendance record at the ground is 609 for a Conference League Cup third round match against Mansfield Town on 4 November 2008.
The highest seasonal average attendance for York at home was 10,412 in the 1948–49 season. York's lowest seasonal average was 2,102 in the 1977–78 season, which came after two successive relegations from the Second Division.[A] The most recent season in which the average attendance was more than 10,000 was in the 1955–56 season.[B] This season also saw York's highest total seasonal attendance at the ground, which was 236,685.[C] The lowest total seasonal attendance was 48,357 for the 1976–77 season in the Fourth Division.[D]
Main article: York railway station
The ground is located just over a mile away from York railway station, which lies on the East Coast Main Line between London's King's Cross station and Edinburgh's Waverley Station. Many of the roads near the ground are for residential permit holders only, meaning car parking at the ground is notoriously difficult.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bootham Crescent.|
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