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York City F.C.

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"York City" redirects here. For the city in Pennsylvania, see York, Pennsylvania.
Not to be confused with New York City FC.
York City F.C.
York City's emblem
Full name York City Football Club
Nickname(s) The Minstermen
Founded 1922
Ground Bootham Crescent
York, England
Ground Capacity 7,872[1]
Chairman Jason McGill[2]
Manager Russ Wilcox[2]
League League Two
2014–15 League Two, 18th[3]
Website Club home page
Current season

York City Football Club is a professional association football club based in York, North Yorkshire, England. The club participates in League Two, the fourth tier of English football. Founded in 1922, York joined the Football League in 1929, and has spent most of its time in the lower divisions. The club briefly rose as high as the second tier of English football, spending two seasons in the Second Division in the 1970s. At the end of the 2003–04 season the club lost its League status when it was relegated from the Third Division. York remained in the Conference Premier until the end of the 2011–12 season, when it was promoted back to the Football League following a 2–1 victory against Luton Town at Wembley Stadium in the 2012 Conference Premier play-off Final.

York has enjoyed more success in cup competitions than in the league; highlights include an FA Cup semi-final appearance in 1955. In the 1995–96 League Cup, York beat Manchester United 3–0 at Old Trafford; Manchester United went on to win the FA Premier League and FA Cup double that season. Also, in the FA Cup, York beat Arsenal in 1985, and held Liverpool to a draw in two consecutive seasons in the mid-1980s. York made an appearance at Wembley Stadium in 1993, beating Crewe Alexandra in the Third Division play-off Final. After defeats in the 2009 FA Trophy Final and the 2010 Conference Premier play-off Final, York finally recorded a victory at the new Wembley against Newport County in the 2012 FA Trophy Final.

York's home games are played at Bootham Crescent in York. The stadium was known as KitKat Crescent as part of a sponsorship deal with Nestlé from 2005 to 2010.


For more details on this topic, see History of York City F.C..
For a statistical breakdown by season, see List of York City F.C. seasons.

York City Football Club was first founded in 1908 as an amateur side,[4] although some sources state the roots of the club can be traced as far back as 1897 when the York and District League was formed.[5] The club joined the Northern League in 1908, but left after two seasons to form the Yorkshire Combination (a proto-Yorkshire League). The club turned professional in 1912 and joined the Midland League, where they played for three seasons, rising as high as tenth position. They played their final season in 1914–15 before folding in 1917 during the First World War.[6]

York City squad of 1922

The club was re-founded in 1922 by members of the former club. They founded a limited company and gained admission to the Midland League, where the team played in for seven seasons, achieving a highest finish of sixth, in both 1924–25 and 1926–27.[7][8] York were elected to play in the Football League in 1929, and spent the following 22 seasons in the Third Division North, from 1929–30 to 1957–58.[7] The club ended the majority of seasons in the bottom half of the table until the 1950s, when they reached fourth in both the 1952–53 and 1954–55 seasons.[7]

The club fared better in cup competitions and built a reputation for "giant killing",[9] the earliest example being in the 1937–38 season's FA Cup, when the team, then playing in the Third Division North, managed to knock out First Division West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough.[10] They met Huddersfield Town in the quarter-finals and drew 0–0, before losing the replay 2–1 at Leeds Road.[10] The club's longest cup run came when they reached the FA Cup semi-final in the 1954–55 season, a campaign in which Arthur Bottom scored eight goals, and the team eliminated a Blackpool side, featuring Stanley Matthews,[5] who had won the competition eighteen months earlier. In the semi-final, York drew 1–1 with Newcastle United, taking the tie to a replay, in which City were defeated 2–0.[11]

In 1958, York became founding members of the Fourth Division, as the Third Divisions North and South were restructured into new Third and Fourth divisions, based on league positions at the end of the 1957–58 season.[12] They missed out on the runner-up spot in the inaugural season only on goal average, and were promoted to the Third Division in third place, but were relegated back after just one season.[7] York's highest progression in the League Cup came in 1961–62, the competition's second season, after reaching the fifth round.[7] A second promotion in 1964–65, again in third place in the Fourth Division, saw another instant relegation back from the Third Division the next season.[7] York's record of promotion every six years was maintained by a team sporting the future England striker Phil Boyer in 1970–71,[7][13] and this time the team managed to stay in the Third Division, albeit only on goal average in both the next two seasons.[14]

Chart of table positions of York City in the Football League.

After these two seasons the team hit form in the 1973–74 season, when "three up, three down" promotion and relegation was introduced to the Football League.[15] After being among the leaders all season York were eventually promoted to the Second Division in third place.[15] Their first season in the Second Division saw York finish in their highest ever league position, 15th place.[7] On 29 March 1975, they played in front of the highest ever League crowd to see them – 46,802 at Old Trafford in a 2–1 defeat to Manchester United.[16] The following season York finished in 21st place in the Second Division and were relegated back to the Third Division.[7] Under former Manchester United manager Wilf McGuinness, the club dropped further still, into the Fourth Division in the 1976–77 season after finishing bottom of the Third Division.[17] In the 1981–82 season, York endured a run of 12 home games without victory and for the first time lost an FA Cup replay to a non-League, after being beaten 4–3 at Altrincham in the second round.[18]

York won the Fourth Division championship with 101 points in the 1983–84 season, becoming the first side to reach 100 points in a Football League season.[19] In January 1985, York recorded a victory over First Division Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup after winning 1–0 at Bootham Crescent, courtesy of an 89th minute penalty kick scored by Keith Houchen.[20] York proceeded to draw 1–1 with Liverpool at Bootham Crescent on 16 February 1985, but lost 7–0 in the replay at Anfield; York's record cup defeat.[20] The teams met again the following season and after another 1–1 draw at Bootham Crescent, Liverpool won 3–1 in the replay after extra time at Anfield.[21]

In 1993 York ended a five-year spell in the Third Division by gaining promotion to the Second Division via the play-offs.[7] Crewe Alexandra were beaten in the club's first visit to Wembley Stadium in a 5–3 penalty shoot-out victory in the Final.[22] York stayed in the Second Division for six seasons, reaching the play-offs in their first season, but lost to Stockport County in the semi-final 1–0 on aggregate.[7]

York recorded a shock victory in the 1995–96 League Cup second round when they beat the eventual FA Premier League and FA Cup double winners Manchester United 4–3 on aggregate, including a 3–0 win in the first leg at Old Trafford.[23] Although United had fielded five fringe players in the first leg, their full first team was unable to overcome the deficit at Bootham Crescent in front of a 9,386 crowd.[23] York then went on to beat Everton in the second round of the League Cup the following season in 1996.[24] They drew the first leg 1–1 at Goodison Park, but won the second leg 3–2 at Bootham Crescent.[24]

Chris Brass hugs Viv Busby after a win for York City in 2004

In December 2001, long-serving chairman Douglas Craig put the club and its ground up for sale for £4.5 million, announcing that unless a new owner was found before 1 April 2002, York would be withdrawn from the Football League.[25] Team B&Q racing driver and team owner John Batchelor took over as chairman in March 2002.[26] Batchelor promised the club he would purchase the ground, give the York City Supporters' Trust 24% of the shares and would invite two supporters onto the board, but after these promises all went undelivered,[27] the Supporters' Trust took control of the club in March 2003.[28]

York City captain Chris Smith lifting the FA Trophy after the 2012 Final at Wembley Stadium

York failed to win any of their final 20 league fixtures in the 2003–04 season and were relegated to the Football Conference after 75 years of Football League membership.[29] York reached the play-off semi-finals in 2006–07, but were beaten by Morecambe 2–1 on aggregate.[30] With the club having only escaped relegation towards the end of the 2008–09 season,[31] York participated in the 2009 FA Trophy Final, where they were defeated 2–0 by Stevenage Borough at the new Wembley Stadium.[32]

York reached the 2010 Conference Premier play-off Final at Wembley, where they were beaten 3–1 by Oxford United, and so missed out on a return to the League after six years of absence.[33] Two years later York won their first trophy in 19 years after beating Newport County in the 2012 FA Trophy Final at Wembley.[34] The club returned to the Football League after York defeated Luton Town 2–1 at Wembley in the 2012 Conference Premier play-off Final, with winger Matty Blair scoring the decisive goal in the second half.[35]

Colours and crest[edit]

The original kit colours worn in the 1922–23 season

For most of the club's history York City players have worn red shirts with white shorts. However, in the club's first season, 1922–23, maroon shirts were worn, with white shorts and black socks. Moreover, in the 1930s, York changed their maroon jerseys to chocolate and cream stripes, a reference to the city's association with the confectionery industry. After five years they changed their colours to what were described as "distinctive red shirts", with the official explanation that the striped jerseys clashed with opponents too often. To mark York's promotion to the Second Division in 1974, a bold white "Y" was added to the team's shirts, which became known as the "Y-fronts". Red shirts returned in 1978, along with the introduction of navy blue shorts.[8]

In June 2003, York City agreed a deal for Nike to provide the club's kits.[36] In 2004, the club dropped navy from the kits and instead used plain red and white,[8] until the 2008–09 season when a kit mostly of navy was introduced.[37] For the 2007–08 season, the club brought in a third kit in the form of a light blue shirt and socks, with maroon shorts.[38] A kit with a purple shirt was introduced for a one-off appearance in the 2009 FA Trophy Final.[39]

York City crest: 1978–2002

York City originally had a crest which depicted the York Minster and a White Rose of York.[40] This was replaced in the 1970s, when the club switched to a Y-shaped logo which featured on the front of the shirts.[40] A new crest was introduced in 1978, which depicted Bootham Bar, two lions and the club name in all-white and in 1982 this was changed into a coloured version.[8]

When John Batchelor took over as chairman of the club in 2002, the crest was replaced by one showing the club's new name of "York City Soccer Club" and held a chequered flag motif.[8] After Batchelor's period at the club, the name returned to "Football Club" and a new logo was introduced, which was selected following a supporters' vote held by the club, with the successful design being made by Michael Elgie.[41] The badge has some similarities to the coat of arms of York; it features five lions, four of which are navy blue and are placed on a white "Y" shaped background.[8] The rest of the background is red with the fifth lion in white, placed between the top part of the "Y".[8]

The first sponsor to appear on York shirts was Newitt's, a sports clothing company based in York, who sponsored the club from 1981 to 1983.[8] Subsequent sponsors have been Hansa (1984), Cameron's (1984 to 1985), Hansa (1985 to 1990), Flamingo Land (1990 to 1991), Portakabin (1991 to 2001), Evening Press (2001 to 2003), Phoenix Software (2003 to 2005), CLP Industries (2005 to 2009) and Pryers Solicitors (2009 to 2012).[8][42] Benenden Health agreed a deal to sponsor York's shirts ahead of the 2012–13 season.[43]


For more details on this topic, see Fulfordgate and Bootham Crescent.
Bootham Crescent in 2007

Between 1922 and 1932, York City played their home games at Fulfordgate.[44] York purchased the land for Bootham Crescent, a former cricket ground, in the summer of 1932, as it was closer to the club's centre of support and the railway station than Fulfordgate. Bootham Crescent was converted into a football ground; a main stand was built and a roof was erected above the Popular Stand. The ground opened on 31 August 1932. In March 1938, the ground's record attendance was set when 28,123 people watched York City play Huddersfield Town.[45]

The ground was damaged during the Second World War when a bomb landed on housing at the Shipton Street End, but shortly after the war ended, the terracing was laid properly with concrete. At this point most of the ground was still uncovered. The stadium was fitted with floodlights in 1959, which were used for the first time in a friendly against Newcastle United on 28 October 1959.[45]

During the mid-1980s, £300,000 was spent on a series of improvements to the Bootham Crescent ground, which was funded by money generated during York's FA Cup run in the 1984–85 season, which included games against Arsenal and then Liverpool, including a replay at Liverpool in front of a crowd of 43,000. The improvements included building hospitality suites behind the main stand, new club offices, turnstiles, new crush barriers, and the addition of more seats to the Popular Stand, giving a seating capacity of 2,883 seats out of a total capacity of 13,185.[45]

York's highest and average league attendances at Bootham Crescent from the 1932–33 season

The capacity of Bootham Crescent had at one time been 12,475, with 3,245 seats, but this was reduced in 1994 because of an increase to the family area of the Main stand due to popular demand, and alterations to enable the ground to comply with the recommendations made in the Taylor Report. It saw 326 seats replacing a standing area, reducing capacity. Stricter rules concerning the density of people standing resulting from the Taylor Report further reduced capacity. New floodlights were installed during the summer of 1995, costing £122,000. These floodlights are twice as bright as the original floodlights, and meet the requirements for Division One football. A 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.[45]

York had planned a move to Huntington Stadium in 2003, but withdrew their application as they were given a loan of £2 million from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, which secured the purchase of Bootham Crescent.[46] In January 2005, following a sponsorship deal with Nestlé, Bootham Crescent was renamed KitKat Crescent.[47] The ground returned to being known as Bootham Crescent after this arrangement expired in January 2010.[48] The ground currently holds a capacity of 7,872.[1]

New stadium[edit]

On 4 February 2004, the club's board announced that an agreement had been reached which would see York City remain at Bootham Crescent until 2015.[45] York's board revealed in February 2007 that the club are hoping the move to a new ground can be completed within five years.[49] It is hoped that the new stadium will not just provide a home for York City, but can also be used as a concert venue.[50] It is to be built on either the British Sugar factory site, York Central or land north of the Nestlé complex.[51]

The new stadium would be similar to Princes Park of Dartford, but would hold a larger capacity. Steve Galloway, the leader of the City of York Council at the time, said his aspiration was for a 10,000–seater stadium to be built, which would be home to both York City and York City Knights, 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.[51] Plans for the stadium to be built at Monks Cross, along with an associated retail development, were approved by City of York Council in May 2012.[52]

In January 2014, final bids from developers were being encouraged with a prospective opening date of 2016.[53] In December 2014, planning application for an 8,000 stadium was submitted.[54] Following delays, it was announced in August 2015 that building work would start in early 2016 and the ground would be operational by May 2017.[55]

Supporters and rivalries[edit]

A Jorvik Reds display during a match in 2008

York City was the 16th best supported League Two club in the 2014–15 season, with an average home attendance of 3,555.[56] The club has a number of domestic supporters' groups, including the East Riding Minstermen, Harrogate Minstermen, York Minstermen, York City South and York City Supporters' Trust.[57][58] The ultras group Jorvik Reds had their displays during matches restricted by the club in 2008 as they felt their "trust has been abused" by the group.[59] The York Nomad Society is the hooligan firm associated with the club.[60]

For home games, the club produces an official match programme, entitled "The Citizen".[61] The name was changed from "City Review" for the 2011–12 season, as this was the programme's title when York departed Fulfordgate for Bootham Crescent, to pay homage ahead of the club's expected departure from Bootham Crescent.[61] The club had also been the subject of an independent supporters' fanzine, Ginner's Left Foot, which was launched in February 2002.[62] A new fanzine, RaBTaT, was introduced in 2010.[63] The club mascot is a lion named Yorkie the Lion and he is known for performing comic antics before matches.[64][65] John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, became the patron of York City for the 2007–08 season, after purchasing a season ticket.[66]

The 2003 Football Fans Census revealed that no other team's supporters considered York to be among their club's main rivals.[67] Traditionally, York's two main rivalries have been with Hull City and Scarborough.[67] While York fans saw Hull as their main rival, this was not reciprocated by the East Yorkshire club, who themselves saw Leeds United as their main rival.[67] York also had a local rivalry with Halifax Town and they were the team nearest to York when the two played in the Conference.[68] A rivalry with Luton Town developed during the club's final years in the Conference as both clubs met regularly in crucial matches, accompanied by a series of contentious incidents involving crowd trouble, contentious transfers and complaints about the behaviour of directors.[69][70][71][72]

Records and statistics[edit]

For more details on this topic, see List of York City F.C. records and statistics.
Norman Wilkinson is York's top goalscorer with 143 goals in all competitions

Barry Jackson holds the record for York City appearances, having played 539 matches.[73] Former defender Andy McMillan comes second, having played 492 matches.[73] The record for a goalkeeper is held by Tommy Forgan, with 428 appearances.[73] Norman Wilkinson is the club's top goalscorer with 143 goals in all competitions.[73] Wilkinson also holds the club record for goals scored in the league (127) and FA Cup (16).[73]

The club's widest victory margin in the league was their 9–1 win against Southport in the Third Division North in 1957.[74] Their heaviest defeat in the league was 12–0 against Chester City in 1936.[75]

York City's record home attendance is 28,123, for an FA Cup match against Huddersfield Town on 5 March 1938 at Bootham Crescent.[10]

The highest transfer fee received for a York City player is £950,000, from Sheffield Wednesday for Richard Cresswell in March 1999,[76] while the most spent by the club on a player was £140,000 for Adrian Randall from Burnley in December 1995.[77]


Current squad[edit]

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of 28 August 2015.[78][79][80]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Flinders, ScottScott Flinders      England
2 Defender McCoy, MarvinMarvin McCoy      Antigua and Barbuda
3 Defender Ilesanmi, FemiFemi Ilesanmi      England
4 Midfielder Berrett, JamesJames Berrett      Ireland
5 Defender McCombe, JohnJohn McCombe      England
6 Defender Nolan, EddieEddie Nolan      Ireland
7 Midfielder Coulson, MichaelMichael Coulson      England
8 Midfielder Summerfield, LukeLuke Summerfield      England
9 Forward Oliver, VadaineVadaine Oliver      England
10 Midfielder Penn, RussellRussell Penn (captain[81])     England
11 Midfielder Carson, JoshJosh Carson      Northern Ireland
13 Midfielder Straker, AnthonyAnthony Straker      Grenada
14 Defender Swan, GeorgeGeorge Swan      England
15 Defender Lowe, KeithKeith Lowe      England
16 Defender Winfield, DaveDave Winfield      England
17 Defender Hare, TaronTaron Hare      England
19 Forward Hyde, JakeJake Hyde      England
21 Forward Hirst, BenBen Hirst      England
22 Forward Thompson, ReeceReece Thompson      England
24 Goalkeeper Ingham, MichaelMichael Ingham      Northern Ireland
25 Midfielder Rzonca, CallumCallum Rzonca      England
26 Midfielder Godfrey, BenBen Godfrey      England
27 Defender Tutonda, DavidDavid Tutonda (on loan from Cardiff City until January 2016[82])     Democratic Republic of the Congo
29 Forward Sinclair, EmileEmile Sinclair      England

Out on loan[edit]

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth.

No. Position Player Nation
18 Midfielder Platt, TomTom Platt (at Harrogate Town until November 2015[83])     England

Former players[edit]

Clubmen of the Year[edit]

Club officials[edit]

Board of directors

As of 12 October 2010.[2]
  • Chairman: Jason McGill
  • Business Development Director: Rob McGill
  • Stadium Development Director: Ian McAndrew
  • Communications & Community Director: Sophie McGill
  • Financial Management Consultant: Peter Rookes

Coaching staff

As of 21 May 2015.[2][84]

Former managers[edit]


York City's honours include the following:[85][86]

Third Division / Football League One (level 3)

Fourth Division / Football League Two (level 4)

Conference Premier (level 5)

FA Trophy


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External links[edit]