GLF

The York City Fanzine

The Fans united, will never be defeated!.....


Despite driving rain and a swirling wind, around one thousand people gathered at the south door of York Minster in Deangate for Fans’ United Day. Adrian Newnham told the crowd that Brighton fans were delighted to be able to return the support they got from City fans a few seasons ago, when they invaded their own pitch in protest against a board that had separated the ownership of club and ground, which resulted in the game with York being abandoned. Dave Boyle of the Football Supporters Association called for a more general campaign demanding the F.A. tightens and enforces its rules to prevent more clubs losing their grounds to property speculators.


Strains of ‘The Great Escape’ heralded the arrival of a damp but enthusiastic brass band. At
2pm, off marched the fans from the Minster, banners and flags flying, to the home of the Minstermen...only to be met with the news that the game was off. Many of the Brighton fans, having travelled over 200 miles for no football, responded by putting their admission money into the collection buckets.


There followed amazing scenes in the Bootham Tavern, fans of all clubs enjoying a few pints together. There was loads of coin-throwing - all hitting the buckets they were aimed at. After a nightmare journey, a dozen Wimbledon fans marched in, carrying 400 metres of Fans’ United scarf, which they wound a couple of times round the pub, making the day complete.


They had missed the march, we’d all missed seeing any football, but the fans were united, and we know we will never be defeated. We are as passionate about our club as our fellow fans are about theirs. And, with their solidarity, we will save it.


Report: Frank Ormston Pictures: Andrew Leathley
Article taken from ISSUE
1 - FEBRUARY 2002

David Dickinson, the olive skinned antique dealer from the past turns up in York for another episode of BBC’s ‘Bargain Hunt’, but all is not quite right..

“Greetings to all you bargain hunters out there. Today we are in a very special location, hidden between the beautiful Pennines and the ever so inviting North Sea coastline. Yes, bargain hunters, today we are in the historic city of York, looking for that extra special something we can pick up as ‘cheap as chips’ and pass off at a local auction just a couple of days later!”

“With me today on the Red team is an antagonistic man who hails from north of the border and his team-mate, a now fallen star from the seventies. No bargain hunters, I’m not referring to William Wallace and Michael Jackson, it’s actually a Mr. Craig and a Mr. Swallow.”

“On the Blue team we have a guy who likes to drive people round the bend and into walls and with him is an artist who likes to extract the antique golden yellow out of the unsuspecting public. Yes, it’s none other than Mr. Batchelor and  City’s club badge designer, Mr. Townend. Now I’m sure you are all aware the object of the show is for me to give them a whole pound each and see what sort of bargains they can pick up, but remember bargain hunters at home, they can’t exceed the £1 limit. So off you go hunters, find me something as cheap as chips!”

Later that day………..

“So Mr. Batchelor of the Blue team, what have you got there?”

“Well, I’m sure you’ll agree David, I think our team has come up trumps with this - I......We managed to pick up a football club, made in the early 1920’s for a bargain price of £1”

“Excellent, let me have a closer look....mmm....seems as though half of the other bits and pieces associated with a treasure like this are missing - I’m not too sure the punters out there will go for this, you see, it’s like having the toy without the box - worth a hell of a lot more when it’s all together, I’m sure you the viewers at home will agree with me on this one?”

“Now on to our other pair of hunts..hunters, I mean...the Red team. Ah so Mr. Craig, what have you got yourself there? Now remember to speak slowly and loudly so my dear Auntie Ethel at home can understand you.”

“Well, laddie, I too managed tae find a barrrgain and it consists of a home fae a football club, the ‘box’ with nothin’ innit, if you like, only the players seem tae be missing, but whoo cares, I’m sure it will go fae millions at the auction?”

“Ah, Mr. Craig, that’s where you’re wrong. As I said to Mr. Batchelor only a few moments ago, one without the other is pretty useless, in fact all of you seem to be as fake as my sun tan; I can’t believe the standard of hunters we’ve picked up today, sorry all you folks at home, I’m going to have pull the plug on this one!”

“So, bargain hunters, remember that just because something is old, it doesn’t mean to say we should throw it away, with a little care and investment, it could turn out to be a right gem.....especially if it has it’s original bits and pieces in tact. Until next time.......”

Watched by Angus MacCoatup
Issue 6 April 2003



A warm welcome to another great game of top class football, here at Persimmon Crescent. Although we’re currently lying at the bottom of the league, I felt there were a lot of positives to take out of last Saturday’s 7-1 defeat at Macclesfield. The defence was much improved and Mathie showed again what a great player he was a few years’ back when he was at Ipswich. People often say to me: “Terrytowelling, why do you play long ball?” I like to think for a minute, sometimes scratching my chin, before wandering off without answering. If people don’t understand my tactics, that’s their problem - which is just what I said to Luther the other day when he jokingly called me an idiot.

Really great guy is Luther, with a wicked sense of humour too. Supporters also ask me: “Terrytowelling, how does it work with you and Luther? Don’t you feel undermined?” I laugh long and hard. Of course I don’t! Luther has a rare appreciation of the Dolequeue style of play. Why, only the other day, Luther paid me a fine compliment. As the seventh went in for Macclesfield, he turned to me and said, “Bloody brilliant, Terry”, before getting up off the bench and walking off, presumably for a celebratory drink. You see, Luther understands that while things haven’t been perfect, we’ve turned the corner and we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel and are driving out of the cul-de-sac, on a one way ticket to success (non-refundable on Saturdays).

Several people have also asked me: “Teatowel face, what have you and Luther got in common?” I do my best surprised face and smirk. We’ve got so much in common! We’ve both tasted success at the highest level - Luther with Watford, AC Milan and England, and me with my unrivalled penalty-taking record at Huddersfield & Bradford. We’ve also known the hard times. Luther’s difficulties at Milan are well publicised, whereas my entire managerial career hasn’t been as well documented and was beset by problems. Why, Dolequeue is still a dirty word in Hull! So you see, I’ve known pain too.

Every cloud has a silver lining, so all we ask is that you keep the faith, starting with this home game. I reckon we could nick one and maybe come away with a 1-3 defeat, which is a good place to build from. Just remember, booing the team and me doesn’t help anyone. You too, Mr. Batchelor. I know this isn’t the start you were looking for, but I’d really like to be able to attend training and while we are on the subject, why have you changed the locks to my office? John? Hello? Luther? Are you there? Luther, come back, I’m talking to you!.......Anyhow, enjoy today’s game and remember:

WIN, LOSE OR DRAW,  WE’LL PLAY LIKE CRAP!

 

Terrytowelling was interviewed by ‘Onion Gravy.’
ISSUE 3. AUGUST 2002

Due to her constant on-off relationship with England manager Sven Goran Eriksson, Nancy Dell’Olio has satisfied her thirst for hanging out with famous footballers and managers by setting up her own business, “Fancy Nancy’s”. Considered really fit by,......erm,....Sven and herself, she has spent many an hour in front of the mirror admiring her slender, tanned frame and applying various waxes, oils and creams to keep her complexion smooth and cellulite and other signs of ageing at bay. Nancy, 45 and looking like a million Italian lira - in other words, currently out of circulation and on the scrapheap - was recently spotted by the ‘YE PEST’ down at York City’s Wigginton training ground discussing the fitness levels of the squad with new manager Billy McEwan. In her pidgin English, Nancy revealed: “To say I am disappointed, would be an understatement, no? I like look of couple of players, but quite a few of them could do with Nancy treatment to make them look good, no? When I told Billy his team not look very fit - he agreed to me paying visit to see if I could improve things.”

Just days later, Dell’Olio set to work with her bag of special tricks in a make-over session in the Social Club at Bootham Crescent. Whilst McEwan was carrying out his managerial duties by studying videos of future opponents in his office, Dell’Olio had gathered together a tired-looking squad after their training session in the morning. “I turn you into Nancy boys!,” she proudly proclaimed to gob-smacked and rather bemused players. The feisty, dark-haired, Italian worked wonders for over six hours on twenty players, although admittedly two and a half of those were spent administering grandad Paul Groves’ chiselled features.

When Dell’Olio texted Billy to inform him her session with the players had finished, he emerged from his locked office and wandered to the Social Club to find out how Nancy had improved the players’ fitness levels. She was sat alone at a table sipping a heady vodka cocktail served up by head barman Don Nixon who was busily cleaning the beer pipes ready for matchday. “Where’s mae players?,” McEwan quizzed. “They much fitter now I have had them in my manicured hands!,” Nancy replied. She then escorted Billy via the Social Club’s fire exit to the  touchline where the new-look squad were gathered to show him the result. “Och, nae!! What the bleeding hell have ya done, lass?!!! They look like a right set of nancyboys!,” he declared. “You not pleased, no?,” Dell’Olio responded - her voice shaking with emotion. “I div nae believe it!,” lambasted McEwan.

A shocked and tearful Dell’Olio grabbed her magical bag and made for the ladies toilet to dry her eyes, powder her nose, do her nails, and add a bit of lippy to console herself. It later emerged that there had been a misunderstanding between Billy and Nancy regarding the nature of her business. A letterhead posted by Dell’Olio to the club which the ‘PEST’ recovered from a bin in the club car park clearly shows the slogan: ‘PANT ALONG WITH NANCY!”.

When asked to explain why he was so furious, McEwan told us: “I honestly thought she was a physical trainer when she started going on about levels of fitness at the training ground. The letterhead seemed to back this up, as the slogan indicated the players would be gasping for breath after a session with her! It seems the letter ‘i’ was accidentally missing from paint, and she just wanted the players to look more attractive to her by covering their faces in moisturiser, mascara, eye shadow, etc.” It later transpired that Dell’Olio’s visit was not totally wasted, as club director Sophie McGill invited her at a later date to her office for a three-hour session under her trusty palette knife!!  

Written by May Kova
Issue 10, April 2005


A VERY SPECIAL DAY!

ALEX BEDINGHAM (A.k.a. Yorkie) recalls his very special day at Wembley.

At the time of writing, City are positioned favourably near the summit of Division Three and look well set to challenge for a play-off spot. An end of season aggregate victory in the Semis would ensure a trip to the final in Cardiff, and then — if we dare imagine a Minstermen triumph, an even greater journey would see us in the Second Division! Farfetched it may sound, but if you ask anyone with York City in their heart, they won’t inform you it’s a fantasy or a myth - they will tell you that a decade ago, the boys in Red and Blue lived out that dream — and turned it into a reality! Saturday, May 29th 1993 will live with me forever - not only were my beloved team victorious upon their first visit to the Twin Towers, but I was handed the magnificent honour of being the match day mascot for City. At the time I was 9 years old and had been the City mascot on two previous occasions, a 1-0 victory over Blackpool in 1991 which was York’s first win of the season, and again during the following campaign when City faced Torquay and ran out 2-I winners which marked a perfect start to the season with four wins from four outings.

The selection process for mascots at Bootham Crescent is simply based upon Junior Red membership, but the method used for the Wembley occasion was slightly different. It was the day after tickets had gone on sale for the fixture and Radio York were running a phone-in competition for the chance to lead the teams out at Wembley. Fortunately, my father had briefly tuned in to hear the cricket scores when the first question was announced, to be followed by two other teasers in the following hours. To be in with a shout of the grand prize, City fans had to name the following: I) The result from the opening game of the season 2) Paul Stancliffe’s first club and 3) A certain players birth date. The solution to question one came from memory, and answers 2 & 3 came courtesy of penpics printed in the Evening Press during pre-season. All the names with the three correct answers went into the hat from which a winner was to be drawn an hour later. I don’t recall much of that hour except for the pure ecstasy when my name was announced, yet at that point I don’t think I had any idea to what extent that moment was to have upon my life! I didn’t sleep properly for the next six days with the excitement, and I only think it dawned what was before me when we boarded the buses for London and the famous Wembley Stadium.

Upon arrival we made our way to the East end of the Stadium where we were to meet a Mr David Cookson who would look after me for the day. I was shown into the City dressing room where I was instructed to get changed. Of course, being as excited as I was — I was already fully kitted up! Shirt, shorts, socks, tracksuit, boots — the lot had been on since 6am so there was little for me to do while the lads got changed. There are a few things I particularly remember from being sat in that dressing room —the team all being really welcoming and chatty; Alan Little handing me a programme he’d got the squad to sign; and bizarrely enough — something that will always stick in my mind, Nigel Pepper and Tony Canham singing: ‘I Feel Good’ at the top of their voices yet never getting past the chorus! After about ten minutes I went out with the squad to warm up on the hallowed turf, had a kick-about with Stan, and even managed to get one past Deano! I then headed back to the tunnel where I was to wait while the lads had their pre-game talk with the gaffer before possibly the biggest game of their lives. A few minutes passed before the bell was rung, prompting the players to leave the dressing room and prepare to head out.

Stood at the front of the line were the referee and his officials, followed by managers Alan Little and Dario Gradi, then myself and Paul Stancliffe. The referee began the walk onto the pitch and those next few minutes were to be possibly the proudest of my life - walking out at such an historic venue in an illustrious showdown was the most overwhelming experience anyone could wish for. Even though only a quarter of the stadium was full, I was amazed at the thousands, and despite the walk to the centre being made from the end occupying the Crewe supporters, the only songs to be heard were those of the City faithful! We then lined up at the centre to meet the VIP’s. After the shaking of hands and pleasantries, the national anthem was sung, and as with the walk of pride — City voices could be heard well above those of Crewel The teams then parted to spend a few minutes warming up before kick-off, a few balls were passed around before the ref’s whistle was blown to summon us to the centre circle. I remember Stan beckoning me to follow him, and how I was struggling to keep up with him with my little legs even though he was merely strolling! The customary photograph was then taken with the mascots, captains and officials followed by the coin-toss. I then left the field with the fourth official (Dermot Gallagher - Ed) who said “I’ll race you for 50p!” I beat him off the pitch by a good few yards yet I never did get that 50p — send the boys round! Upon leaving the pitch, I was greeted by a Wembley official who would show us to our seats. We were offered 2 seats close to the Royal box but chose instead to sit with the rest of the family in the seats we had purchased a week earlier behind the City goal. This however proved to be a bit tricky for the Wembley official who wasn’t the best stadium navigator, resulting in us missing 10 minutes of the match! I can vividly remember most of the game, but certain moments stand out. Feeling devastated when Crewe took the lead, then my dad pointing over to the linesman flagging for the goal to be disallowed; Jon McCarthy firing over the bar with the last touch of normal time; and then of course, Gary Swann slotting home to give us the lead! Everyone charged down to the front and refused to return to their seats, awaiting the final whistle, only for disaster to strike when Crewe put the penalty away after Tutt’s handball.

And so to penalties. I wouldn’t dare watch any of the City shots yet just managed a peek as they struck it home, and after Deano pulled off the save just hoped Ginner would slot it home. It couldn’t have been written any better — a season coming down to the final, the final to extra time, extra time to penalties, and Ginner firing it in to give us promotion! The celebrations were amazing and I recall being absolutely exhausted when arriving home. At the time we were living down Burton Stone Lane and when walking home from BC, we passed the Chinese Takeaway, where the owner (who probably didn’t know the first thing about football, never mind York City!) came charging out of the kitchen banging on the window screaming: “We won, we won!” Bloody lunatic! I’ll always look back at that magnificent day with great pride and happiness, and when faced with situations such as the one we recently found ourselves in — we can reach back for those moments to give us the strength and resolve to keep this great club alive. In any circumstances, for myself and all Minstermen fans, that day will live in our hearts and our memories forever, which is something that no-one can ever take away from us.

 
Story by Alex Bedingham

Issue
6 - April 2003.

JASON McGILL ARRESTED OVER LOOSE TIES.


HAND

GLF can exclusively reveal Jason McGill was arrested after the game at Scarborough on Boxing Day after breaking a restraining order. The shocking revelation has only just been uncovered by yours truly. He was spotted by Fashion Police scouring the beach for abandoned deckchairs for striped material to make a new jacket and tie. He tried to evade ensuing Fashion Police officers, but was finally pinned down in a beach-side rock shop trying to camouflage himself amongst the endless rows of striped Scarborough rock wearing his pink tie. He’d later claimed he’’d been searching for fossils, but his hand was finally forced when McGill was found in possession of a PoundWorld account card and Deckchair Hire Co. business card. Fortunately for the general public, McGill never made it to the Westborough branch of PoundWorld – thus avoiding any further fashion disaster.

RELIEF

A phone call from the Fashion Police came as a great relief to sister Sophie as she lost contact with her brother outside the McCain Stadium. She revealed Jason always used her cast-off pink Barbie underwear for new loose pink ties – truly shocking. The Fashion Police also found a job lot of Skoda Fellatio lime-coloured seat covers in his lock up garage at the back of Kit Kat Crescent. Support for Jason has come from top fashion design house Blunkett & Wonder saying they can’t see what is wrong with Jason’s fashion tastes at all – though one suspects bias in this as Mr McGill was found to have at least fifty outfits designed by them. Local power suppliers British Power confirmed there had been no recent power cuts in the Malton area and hyave no plans for any in the future, thus ruling out the rumour of McGill getting dressed in the dark.

BLOW

The arrest has come as a major blow to the rest of the City board as they were about to sign a new kit sponsorship with Dear Doreen Sportswear for next season. A spokesperson for the company said: “In view of this negative publicity, we feel that we cannot be associated with such a fashion faux pas on the board at York City and therefore withdraw our kit design of an all pink strip with a taupe ‘Y’ on the front, trimmed with fake fur collar and cuffs.

JOB

McGill insists the electronic tag the Fashion Police have now fastened securely to his ankle won’t affect his job doing….erm…..whatever he does at City, insisting: “I’ll be able to carry out my duties unaffected. Most importantly, it doesn’t rub against my red flares whatsoever. The restraining order I now have – not to enter PoundWorld , Ponden Millets and Notto – will not interfere with the day-to-day running of York City Football Club, as I have no idea what that entails.”

MERCHANT

Local retail merchant TeaMacs said they would be surprised if the electronic tag around McGill’s ankle deterred him from entering their premises, as he regularly rummages through their eighties collection, discarded by Spandau Ballet, Adam Ant, Boy George and Dexy’s Midnight Runners – the last time they played at Fobbers Music Venue in York city centre.

BANKER

Fashion house Blunkett & Wonder said a sure banker however, would be Mr McGill wearing his infamous red suit designed by them – should he ever appear in court in the future.

Report by Angus MacCoatup - Fashion Corresondent
Issue 10 April 2005

“BARRY, BARRY, WHAT’S THE SCORE?”

The anticipation is immense, the wait intolerable, the match approaches, the mind weaves in and out of the Bootham Tav, the walk down Grosvenor Terrace and the gates to paradise!... But they are just dreams. I sit transfixed to a computer screen waiting for my appointment with Barry ‘the Muppet’ Parker and Radio York’s internet coverage of the City game, an experience not to be missed! Twelve thousand miles from home and missing my football, I’m so desperate for a link home, that even Barry will do.

It hasn’t always been this way, in the old days it was buy ‘British Soccer (football here seems to involve hugging an egg!) Weekly’ and read a two line report of how ‘it’ got a shy and ‘it’ head butted a goal to make it a one one draw. Someone once commented that the Americans had bastardised the English language. Well, if that’s the case, then the Australians have ‘Douglas Craiged’ it! Teams become singular, as in IT, throw-ins are ‘shys’ and to head the ball is ‘head butting’ in the vernacular. All the players here call the ref ‘Sir’. Most odd hearing that from grown men, when the f******g b*****d has just given a last minute penalty against you! “Sir, it was outside the box!”

Oh to, oh to be, oh to be a ‘Yorkie’ overseas! It’s hell if you have a City shirt on. All you get asked is: “That Man Utd, mate?” Or when asked who you ‘barrack’ for, after you answer York City, you get “Jeez, I didn’t know that the Yanks played soccer!” So it’s Barry ‘the Muppet’ at all hours of the night. I have learned a lot though, I never realised that Halifax “has a ‘Rowntree Macintosh’ end” to it... or that you “go through a person’s old front room to get in at Luton”.... and lots more inane drivel from Mr. P. - it’s an evening with Fred ‘bloody’ Housego with a York accent! Oh, by the way, if you read this - last I heard was that “it’s nil nil at Roots Hall and Jon Parkin is making his debut...”

Barry seems to have just left it there, no scores or actual commentary, just waffle. I haven’t heard the score from him or anything about the game since he began telling us about the street names in ‘Sarfend’ and that was in February!

Barry has told me of many wondrous things, but what the hell happens at the matches? Help!! Someone send me a plane ticket home! - Barry, wanna swap jobs?..

Report: Dave Wallace in Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
ISSUE
2 - APRIL 2002

City’s left-sided wing-back, Graham potter has purchased his own bar. GLF editor Daley Mayall caught up with him after training for an exclusive interview…..

Graham potter has finally fulfilled a lifelong ambition. What?!!.I hear you cry……..He’s won a goal of the month competition on TV or found some consistant form in a City shirt? Not quite. His bubbly mood at the moment can be put down to the fact that Graham has finally managed to purchase his own bar!!

“I’m over the moon…or should that be over the bar?!” he chirpily informed me after a hard afternoon’s training session at the Wigginton Road complex.

“I’ve been after one for ages, it’s just that I haven’t seen any on the market that appealed to me.”

So what was he looking for? A trendy wine bar with a riverside location; a bustling city centre bar with crap beer, dazzling lights and a dance floor, or a traditional local serving hand-pulled ales and home-cooked food? One can understand it really,… a footballer’s career is relatively short and most end up in the licensed trade.

“Eh?” a bemused Graham frowned.

“No, no, no!!....I’ve finally got my own CROSSBAR, It’s taken me years to get one, and I’m absolutely over the moo.oh no, I’ve already said that!” He added:-

“I finally got hold of one from someone called Mr Hedge (a regular visitor to the training ground) who I bumped into after 5-a-side one day, so I snapped it up!”

So, what on earth possessed Graham to purchase the bar?

“They’re very versatile things. I have adapted it so that it can be adjusted in height. I’ve already made a bit of cash for the Supporters’ Trust too! For a small donation, gymnasts and ballet dancers living close to me have made use of it by setting it up in my garden and doing some stretching exercises and balancing acts, instead of travelling miles to the sports centre.”

“I’m having a grand opening of my bar next week, actually, incorporating a 1970’s fancy-dress theme, BBQ and Disco party. I’m hoping to attract a pop act from the ere to open the bar, possibly Donna Summer, the Bee Gees or earth, Wind & Fire. Guests will then split into teams of five for a limbo-dancing competition in my back garden with the bar getting lower to the ground, whilst listening to tunes like ‘staying Alive’, ‘YMCA’ and ‘Boogie Nights’. It’ll be a good way of keeping fit! Do you want to come Daley? You’re more than welcome.”

Sadly, it seems that the date clashes with an exclusive report I’m composing into the mysterious disappearance of goal posts up and down the country, otherwise, I would have been there like a shot to witness the crazy event. I wished Graham luck in his venture and then headed to the bar for a much needed pint. No!.not THAT one – but the Bootham tavern!. After what I’d just heard, it was enough to drive anyone to the REAL bar!

Report by Daley Mayall
Issue 2 April 2002

 

I COULD DO THAT! “Rubbish, Dolan/Thompson/Little/Saxton etc..You’ve got no idea! I could do better!”

How many of us have said such things? How many of us have sat in the pub or the car after games, analysing the manager’s performance and thinking it can’t be that hard? How many of us, at times, reckon we could do a better job? Most of us probably, I certainly have. Planning this article, I did some research - 5 out of 6 of my work colleagues, having drunk at least 4 pints each, felt THEY could do better than the current managers of their respective teams. John didn’t, but then he’s a Liverpool fan, so Gerrard’s job is safe for now! But for the last year, I’ve actually been doing the managers job. And it’s a lot harder than it seems.....

The time: 4.20pm... The place: The pitch at the back of the school... The score: 2-1 to them, with only 10 minutes to go. Yes, I’m talking about the exotic, sexy world of school football, and the painful job of running the Year Six football team.

A year ago, at an interview, I noted the lack of a school football team with interest, and remarked on my FA coaching certificate and my keen interest in grass roots football. They seemed impressed (fools!) and appointed me. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. I now had to deliver on rash, staff-room promises of championships, beating our neighbouring school home and away; and happy, beaming kids. Oh dear.

Ya see, at schools level, it’s not about whether you’ve signed a new striker, or whether Nogan will get over his hamstring strain, or even whether Yorkie will pull that blonde female steward. No, school football is all about serious managerial crisis’s like: “sir, sir, I’ve forgotten my boots!” And “Sir, I can’t play today because I’ve got to go shopping with my Nan straight after school.” Problems like, due to one class foolishly going on a school trip on the day of a crucial game, we are 3 key players short. Never mind blooding a tricky youngster or a neat tactical switch, try grabbing 3 children who’ve never even played before at lunchtime and explaining that they’re playing for the school, they’re 3/4’s of our defensive unit and perhaps some practice might be in order...

We lost most of our games last season. Richard, my co-manager and I, went through our well-worn litany of excuses in the staff-room the following day. “The ref was terrible...” But you were reffing, Will. “Oh yeah” and “We were much smaller than them”; “We didn’t understand the idea of defending when they had the ball”; We’ve had a lot of injuries” (Which basically means Tony forgot his boots AGAIN!) But the day we won our one and only game last year was a great day. 3-2 to the lads and lasses in slighly faded purple shirts, courtesy of some brilliant goals, colossal defending and the promise of a team visit to McDonalds if we ever won a game. See, even at this level, the bonus system brings rewards! In the pub that night, Richard and I reflected on a job well done; a sense of valour and acheivement. I wanted to do it again and feel it again; and i wanted Terry’s job.

The next morning, I came to my senses, of course. The last year has made me realise that in fact, managerial work is a lot harder than it seems. It hasn’t stopped me from saying I’ll run a team next year though! For the moment, I won’t be forwarding my CV to Johnny Batchelor next time they’re looking for a new manager. No, I’ve got more serious issues to consider, like whether I can sneak that Year 4 child, who’s really good but underage, into the squad for our crucial cup game; and whether Tony has remembered his boots this week; and (most crucially of all) I need to remember that when I take training, and do a Brian Glover and score, I must NOT go mental and shout “YEEESS!”.... One-nil to the Minstermen”, as the kids in my squad just say: “Who?”

Story by Will Harris
Taken fom Issue
4 - October 2002

ROOM WITH A VIEW.

In the mid 1990’s, standing about in the ‘Shippo’ at half-time, we used to joke that the houses we could see with the windows overlooking the pitch would be “dream homes”. So much has changed since then. At that time we’d all had years and years of a Tory government. We’d never heard of the Internet. No one we knew had a mobile phone. And no one imagined the formation of a company called Bootham Crescent Holdings. Now, years on, I’m looking the other way, from one of those windows, on to the pitch. It was like it was meant to be, the way this house came on the market just at the right time, for my other half Andy (who’s the true devoted City fan) and me. “Who would want to live alongside a football ground?” Douglas Craig commented some years back. This was said in good humour, apparently, a little quip. It’s an interesting comment, considering it came from the then chairman of York City Football Club

You would imagine that Mr. Craig would understand that football is enjoyed by lots of people and that therefore they wouldn’t mind living near a place where it was played. Even, perhaps, that you don’t have to be a committed fan of the game to enjoy living near to a football ground. It might be a bit rowdy at times, but if I wanted peace and quiet, I’d go to live near a graveyard, or a local Conservative club. I’m one of those strange people who can’t really get passionate about football (I did try, and succeeded for a time, mid-90’s). For the benefit of anyone still reading after that shock admission, I have to say that when you live with an ardent city fan, your friends support City, and you live next door to Bootham Crescent, it’s hard to ignore the importance of this club and its ground. And when you see that it’s in danger of demolition – something that will have a negative impact on thousands of people – it’s hard not to campaign against it. I know what it means to people. My view of Bootham Crescent isn’t just for the duration of the matches it’s every single day, all year round and has been now for over seven years.

A lot of people would have been wary of this house, and not because it’s next to Bootham Crescent. It has a history of subsidence and there’s a definite slope in the upstairs floors – it seems to be leaning towards the football ground. This may be the result of various residents over the years going to the window all the time to keep an eye on the game. And who can blame them? Back in the old days, quite a lot of things were rubbish, let’s face it – washing machines hadn’t even been invented! But one thing our forebears did get right was locating things close to the community they would serve.

After the more recent idea of flinging everything of any interest out onto the edge of town, as we did for the last decade or two, those in the know are now talking about regenerating communities by putting important social and leisure facilities back in. Here, with a possible move to Huntington Stadium, we’re anticipating ripping out perfectly good facilities to locate them further out of town. Strange, isn’t it?

There have been many memorable views of Bootham Crescent over the years. After opening the bedroom curtains last New Year’s Day with the inevitable hangover, I could see ground-staff already there on the pitch, working in the cold rain, ensuring that it was playable for that afternoon. As we knew, the takings from the turnstiles that afternoon were crucial. One abandoned game and no income from it, might even mean the club couldn’t even survive until the administrators’ deadline that month. (And yes, I had offered to help, but had the hangover from hell so it’s just as well I wasn’t called upon!) I watched the people out there in the cold, ridding the pitch of excess water and I thought about someone who has on OBE. I think you all know which ex-Chairman I have in mind. I wondered what you get an OBE for. I’ve seen far more service of the community, far more loyalty and commitment, and all the things that make this society hang together, from my everyday view of Bootham Crescent, it’s staff and it’s fans.

At the time of writing, so much has still to be decided, but everyone knows that City need to stay at Bootham Crescent until a better alternative – if there ever is one – is available.

When we moved in, we expected that the ground might give way to housing eventually.  But we thought that it would be the choice of the club and that it would happen when the time was right – not when it was so bloody obviously wrong. The club needs time to get some stability and build from the strong foundations so recently made when so much effort has been made to save it.

Certain people spring to mind that didn’t do much in terms of building foundations, or indeed even finishing the paintwork. After John Batchelor’s makeover of Bootham Crescent, I kept looking out of the window and wondering when they were going to finish painting the end of the Main Stand. The half-painted stand seemed suitably symbolic for what turned out to be an era of half-baked ideas.

In the Batchelor era, the letter arrived on our doormat telling us the Council had the planning application that we were invited to go view. I didn’t really believe that anyone would really want to build houses on Bootham Crescent, until I saw the detailed drawings and plans of those very houses, and read the most inaccurate and strangely misleading representation of the Bootham Crescent ground. I could pick it to bits. Indeed I have. But planning is actually really boring, so just one quote from that marvellous document will have to do. It relates to what the applicants imagine living next door to a football ground might be like: -

“During matches, residential amenity is affected by the noise of the crowd and PA announcements as well as the visually intrusive impact of floodlighting. The close proximity of houses to the ground intensifies this issue.”

Planning application on behalf of Persimmon Homes (Yorkshire).

I can state for the record that my ‘residential amenity’ (whatever that means) is fine, thanks. Contrary to the view of the planning application, I actually look forward to the noise of the PA leaping into life as it’s tested before each game., with the sudden noise of someone blowing into a mic followed by “testing, 1, 2” booming out to all the houses around.

Noisy neighbourhoods may be bad, but some noises are good, and that’s one of ‘em. And everyone around , even the most miserable ones, must feel, at least, a bit cheered hearing Rob Havercroft reacting to a City goal. Ditto the sound I occasionally hear on afternoons from groups of children, who are, I guess, being shown around the ground, yelling “Football’s Coming Home!” from the stands, presumably in a ‘sing as loud as you can’ competition.

The noise, the floodlighting, the traffic, those PA announcements, the stands I can see from the window – none of it bothers me at all. It’s a privilege actually, to have a view from your bedroom window of a 70 year old football ground. A place like Bootham Crescent absorbs something from all the people that have stood on that piece of land and all the people who have cared for it. The place has soul. And contrary to the comments made in the planning application, the floodlights are quite useful when you’re trying to find your black cat in the garden at night. I’m so fond of them I’ve spent a while trying to work out how you would climb them, say if you wanted to stop some bulldozers that were around the place. Anyone have a contact number for that swampy guy who used to save trees?

I’ve left no room on the page for my other half to get a word in. He’s been to more football stadiums than I have, and so has a more objective view of how Bootham Crescent compares. (Even I can that it’s a bit shabby in places, and that crack in the Grosvenor Road end wall is a bit worrying. Could that be subsidence again – anyone told Persimmon?). With City, and on other occasions, he’s seen the inside and outside of many a stadium. Andy says , “it’s the best.”

And this is from a bloke who has watched a game in the San Siro Stadium. What more can I say?

Written by LISA P
Taken from Issue
8 - December 2003.

WHAT ON EARTH IS BRASS RUBBING ABOUT THEN?. . . . ”The Plate from which a rubbing is made is called a brass. Brasses were made from the 100 - 1600s as a commemoration to the dead or for a  church related event. Brasses were made to take the place of granite and marble tomb stones in many instances during that period of time, because the brass used was sturdier, lasted much longer and were considered more attractive.

Brass rubbing is the process of stretching paper over the deeply etched brass plate and rubbing over the papers surface with a hard wax-type crayon. In doing this, an exact copy of what lies under the paper is created. In the 1300s a Vicar in a small church school in England is said to have discovered this process by using linen and a ball of black heelball wax, thereby recognizing its aesthetic and decorative appeal.”

. . . . It all started when I first came to York really. Due to the ‘child like’ board room resembling a creche - covered in chocolate bar wrappers, the then Chairman Mr Craig, decided to take me to the house of the Lord, no not John Batchelors pad, but the other Lord’s house - York Minster. After consuming copious amounts of small round sandwiches and Chardonnay, all laid on at the buffet table at the front of the Minster - (served by a strange man in a pink dress, who’s handbag was on fire as he was swinging it!) - Terry and Mr Craig eagerly lead me over to the table to sign my new contract to play for the Minster Men. Unfortunately we were all a bit worse for ware and managed to miss the table completely - ending up on the floor!

“It dozzzznt maatter . . . Hic . . . “ I said, slurring my words.

‘”I’ll siiign it ‘ere on the floooor. . Hic. . . ”.

So, I then struggled to grab a pen out of Mr Craig’s top pocket, it was that tight it took us half an hour to free the little bugger! To my amusement and all the on-looking American and Japanese tourists, it appeared to be a brightly labelled wax crayon, given out free at a certain pizza restaurant - those crayons that are given to kids before their meal to keep them entertained. What a cheapskate I thought! Anyway, there I was on all fours trying to sign my contract with a wax crayon. My signature wasn’t the best as I tend to write with a bold, swirly motion. When I looked at what I had written, it resembled an image of ‘King Richard the Lionheart’! Wow, I thought how the hell did I do that? When I lifted the contract up I saw a brass plate underneath with the same image.

I had inadvertently rubbed off on the bottom of the Minster! Well, from that moment on, I was hooked, I would rub anything in site. Even Mr Craig was joining in the fun experience. He’d given me the whole contents of his wallet, a penny coin, to rub over with a piece of paper! Then Terry came over with my application form and C.V., ripping the photo off the corner, paper clip still attached, shouting “This feels like a badger’s a*se, I’ll rub this!”

But he dropped my picture, and then had the gall to rub me up the wrong way. Something that no doubt he’d be doing a lot of in the future! In fact, Terry seems to rub everyone up the wrong way! So, I later enrolled him on a brass rubbing course at the local tech called the ‘Brass Rubbing Experience And Specialist Techniques’ course (B.R.E.A.S.T). It was just the ticket for learning the art of rubbing. It couldn’t be simpler; all you need is some greaseproof paper and a wax crayon. Only trouble is my Wife has gone doo-lally on account of me stealing all her cake tin liners and me pinching the kids’ wax crayons!

I would love to show you all my etchings and hand techniques, so I have decided to compile a book - ‘BRASS AYE!’ Priced at £9.99 - available at some good bookshops run by bearded hippies! Also look out for my documentary on YORKCITY TV!

Until next time, HAPPY RUBBING!

*Angus MacCoatup was also rubbed up the wrong way during this interview with Brassy (Issue 4 -  October 2002.)

THE SIMPSONS

What a painful couple of years it has been for us City fans with the B*tchel*r reign, the spell in administration and the ground saga. But the fans rallied round and saved not only the club, but now our true home, Bootham Crescent. What a fantastic achievement! It was very hard being so far away and feeling so restricted in what I could actually do to help our club get through its darkest of times and stop us from becoming another club going under. I managed to venture up for a couple of home games myself to shake buckets and do a small bit to help the cause. The money that people young and old were putting in brought tears to my eyes and how I wished I could do more myself. It was those people who donated to buckets, bought loan notes, joined the Supporters’ Trust and took part in various fund raising activities, who were going to save the club as it seemed nobody else was going to help us. It has been a long fight, but the rewards are very satisfying. WE, the fans won.

So what’s it like being an exiled fan? Heart rendering at times. Due to difficulties, I am unable to get to many home games, though I do try my best to get to the first and last home game of the season and maybe a couple in between. My dad gets to most games at Bootham Crescent and travels from his home in Portsmouth, which is a round trip of around 550 miles. My brother Ian attends his fair share of City matches too. If we travel to BC together, we meet up with fellow City supporters in the social Club whom we have got to know via the City Chat forum on the internet, and talk over a pint as if we have known each other for years. The recent troubles certainly brought the fans closer together making our match day experience all the more enjoyable.

When I am unable to get to games, I keep up with the latest gossip with the fanzine editors Daley and Angus and other City fans on the message boards at www.yorkcityfc.com - the only place for City news since the official site ceased to be updated. I also try to follow games on the web at weekends but the commentary has hardly been available this year - what a bloody waste of money that was! So suffice to say I have to follow the latest scores on the good old Ceefax or texts from friends at games. Not ideal but I do try and return the favour when York play down on the south coast.

The football we played at the start of the season surprised a lot, but as is usually the case with City, it didn’t last too long. At the time of writing, we are struggling for form and getting closer to the bottom two, but hopefully the latest loan signings will shake things up a bit and we can get the points that will ensure we retain league status. I’d like to be able to witness the last match of the season with my City supporting friends in a relaxed frame of mind, thanks!

Written by Keith Simpson Jr., from Cirencester.
Taken from the regular column ‘The X-iles’ from Issue 9 - April 2004

WHY I’M GLAD THAT READING WERE PROMOTED.....

.......And it’s nothing to do with the money City received for the services of Graeme Murty.

Saturday 9th September 2000 - York City are playing Reading at Bootham Crescent in the 2nd round of the FA Cup. My eldest lad twisted my arm (but not too hard!) to take him to the match. After some complicated domestic manoeuvres, and despite the fact I think I am going down with the flu, he and I get to the match leaving Mrs. YCST#351 at home with my youngest lad. If you were there you’ll remember; Reading go 2-0 up, then McNiven scores and City pile on the pressure. I feel the adrenaline surge. Then Mathie scores that great equaliser. More adrenaline pumps, and I am positive that I’m going down with the flu. Everything feels wrong, unlike on the pitch where City are pushing for a winner and Reading are doing everything they can to hold on to a draw. The final whistle blows. It’s a replay.

On exiting the ground, I begin to feel distinctly shaky as we set off to walk home. Crossing Gillygate, I get a severe back pain. It must be those horrible seats we sat in earlier, I thought. By the time we cross Holgate Road I am sure it’s a heart attack (at 43? It can’t be!). But it is, and I collapse on The Mount. My son stops passers-by and organises an ambulance and borrows a phone to call Mrs. YCST#351. An ambulance duly arrives and he and I go off to York District Hospital. He books me in while I am taken to the resuscitation room. I am restarted with a defibrillator. The YDH eventually get me back on my feet, albeit via a visit to Leeds General Infirmary for a ‘Dyno-Rodding’ of the blocked artery. City beat Reading at the Majedski Stadium in the replay and I spend the next year rebuilding my fitness, still managing to get to a few matches. Come the draw for the second round of the FA Cup in 2001, my eldest is listening to the radio. “It’s York at home.......to Reading; it’s just like last year! We all stop as he realises what he had just said.

Saturday the 8th December 2001; York play Reading at BC in the second round of the FA Cup. All the family decides to go, to face the ghosts. On the way we stop for a bite to eat in the city centre. A couple of people I know come into the cafe, with another couple I don’t, but the woman is oddly familiar. We get talking and I tell them what we are doing. “That’s where I know you from!” the woman replies suddenly. “I was the stand-in physiotherapist at your first session.” The number of coincidences seem too many to be true, and certainly not good for my blood pressure. I don’t remember much of the match; I was far too tense. But it started differently with city going two up, and my heart not going out of control. We walk away and everything is alright, with the added bonus that York City were through to the next round. That also kick-started a good patch for City, although it didn’t feel like it at the time as the club was fighting for survival off the pitch. Surely we can’t play Reading at the Crescent in the second round of the FA Cup this year?

A big thanks to all in: Teesside & North Yorkshire Ambulance Service; York District Hospital; Leeds General Infirmary and York Coronary Support Group Trust.

Story written by YCST#351
Taken from Issue
5 - December 2002


York manager Terry Dolan has called upon the experience of two former City players to help improve performances for the 2002/03 season. Business partners Tony Barratt & Ian Holmes, who run BHUDA - the ‘Barratt Holmes Undercover Detective Agency’, have been employed by Dolan to help track down some essential links that have been missing from City’s play during the last few years. Barratt, a diminutive full back/midfielder with the club from 1989-1995 and Holmes, an industrious midfielder and penalty expert from 1973-1977, set up their agency together a few weeks ago. Barratt told me: “Ian had been at a loose end since losing his job recently, and when I finally hung up my boots, he asked me whether I would like to join him as a partner in an undercover detective agency. I was only too delighted to take up his offer. I have some experience in this field, as I used to be a store detective at Netto. Because of my small stature, I was able to hide behind the cereal packets and jars of pickled onions stacked on the shelves and collar thieves red-handed.”

Colleague Ian Holmes told me what exactly Dolan had asked both  ex-Minstermen to do for their very first assignment: “Terry called us into his office and informed us that Confidence, Entertainment and Flair had gone AWOL since he had taken over, and he wanted them restoring to the side as soon as possible, so that a promotion challenge could be First port of call for Tony was the Tote Bookmakers on Bootham, following a tip-off. “I overheard a bloke down the pub say that Mr. Confidence was available down the bookies, at a price. But I was willing to shell out a few quid for a solid lead in tracking him, so got down there fast so that I could get on his back. Upon asking a member of staff behind the counter, they informed me that no work colleague or regular punter went by that name. It was only when a greyhound racing expert overheard my conversation that he kindly pointed me to the papers pinned up on the walls. “1.27pm at Walthamstow, Trap 3”, he informed me. It turned out Mr. Confidence was a racing dog , so I had a tenner on it out of curiosity. Bloody thing came last. I’m going to collar that bloke down the pub after this assignment!” 

Later that day, Ian paid a visit to city centre pub Fibbers. “The blackboards outside inform passing people that Entertainment is present every night of the week, presumably on the razzle, so hopefully I’ll find him!” Alas, despite asking staff and customers about his whereabouts, and  witnessing a splendid set  from up and coming York group ‘Morgan 4’, Mr. Entertainment was nowhere to be seen that evening, or the following night.

Could Tony hit lucky in tracing the other missing piece of the jigsaw? “It’s a dead-cert - unlike that greyhound!”, spouted Tony confidently. “He’s only gone and put his name on the side of a new pub in Tanners Row, the silly sod!” Tony staggered away from the exits of ‘Flares’ after 4 hours, leg-weary and much the worse for drink, with no breakthrough. “I’ll try again tomorrazz!,” he slurred.

Reporting back to Terry a week later, Barratt & Holmes declared that Messrs Confidence, Entertainment and Flair could not be found, and must have left York. They told Terry they had trawled their net across the City without any luck, despite a number of tip-offs. A furious Dolan fumed: “WHAT!? These WEREN’T players that had gone missing! I was wanting you to help instil confidence, entertainment and flair into the players’ game on the training ground, you clots!” Upon exiting Dolan’s office, Barratt and Holmes dissolved their new business with immediate effect. “The final straw was when coach Adie Shaw asked whether we were the Laurel and Hardy of Undercover Detectives,” admitted Ian, before Tony added: “I guess we’ll leave Dolan and Shaw to be the Laurel and Hardy of soccer management!”  Ian then asked Tony whether he fancied a crack at Property Development instead. “Why not?,” replied Tony, “it can’t be as unsuccessful as our first business venture!”


Sleuthed by Daley Mayall
Issue 3 August 2002



         As a bigger fence-sitter than Scott from Big Brother, I thought it apt I might investigate the phenomenon of women and football, or should I say, how compatible women and football are without causing too much a-fence! Is football for the lads or can women claim a stake in the modern game? Oh dear, seem to be opening a can of worms here, no matter how I put it! How can I do this and be ‘PC’? Oh well, here goes!.......

             I suppose I was inspired to write about this touchy subject the last time I sat down with a beer to watch a live game on the box. I’d just put my feet up when the wife chipped in: “Not football again, it’s always on!” To which I quickly retorted: “Not as often as Eastenders, Corrie, Brookside, Neighbours, Home and Away, Crossroads, Family Affairs, Hollyoaks, Emmerdale, Sex and the City, Holby City and Casualty!” She says she doesn’t watch them all, but seems to know what’s happening in each one!

        Of course there are women out there who eat, sleep and breathe football, one only has to look at the York City Ladies team to see women .... erm....playing like only women can! (You know, running as if they are tied at the knees and elbows!) Personally, I would love to see a charity game between, say, Arsenal Ladies and their counterparts from the Premier League just to see how good they really are! When you think about it, women are well established in football these days. Take our very own media mogul, Sophie McGill, a good example of a woman talking sense when it comes to football matters, as do Gabby Logan, Kirsty Gallacher and all the lady Sky Sports News team presenters, although this does seem to co-incide with them all being drop dead gorgeous, as if to attract a large following of drooling male viewers! After all, anyone could read an Autocue, right?

       So, to try and work out whether women and football do mix , I’ve come up with a foolproof and balanced mini- survey to find out which category your woman comes under! Simply read out the questions to her, make a note of the answers and tot them up at the end to find out if she’s compatible - or whether it’s time to give her the elbow! Results are at the bottom of the page. (N.B. Please address all complaints about the sexist nature of this article to Daley Mayall - as he is the Chief Editor!)

HERE GOES! JUST NOTE DOWN THE ANSWER YOUR LADY GIVES YOU AND ADD UP THE A, B’S AND C’S AT THE END!

1. EASTENDERS OR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE?

A) Prefer to watch Eastenders.

B) Watch the match.

C) Carry on with the washing up

2. WHEN IT COMES TO SATURDAY AFTERNOON, DO YOU:

A) Do the ironing.

B) Attend the match with your partner.

C) Go shopping.

3. WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN THE PLAYERS RUN OUT OF THE TUNNEL?

A) A nice colour co-ordinated kit.

B) A professional team of sportsmen.

C) Tight bums and toned legs.

4. WHAT IS A SEASON TICKET?

A) Something to do with Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

B) A book of vouchers bought at a discount before a season starts allowing you to watch all home games for less than the price on the day.

C) A ticket for buying cinnamon, parsley etc.

5. WHAT IS A TRANSFER?

A) A small tattoo which can be placed on your arm and removed easily.

B) When a player moves from one club to another.

C) A money transaction from your partners bank account to yours when you have spent obscene amounts of money on clothes for yourself.


6. WHAT IS THE F.A.?

A) ‘Females Anonymous’ - A body of women who discuss ‘Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’ issues like cleaning and stuff.

B) The ‘Football Association’.

C)  When you come back from town having bought sweet FA!.



HOW COMPATIBLE IS YOUR OTHER HALF THEN?

MAINLY ‘A’s - Oh dear! Your partner seems to lack the basics when it comes to football. Looks like you’ll be shopping at Asda on a Saturday afternoon!

MAINLY ‘B’s - Bingo! This one is for keeps. Just make sure you train her to drink pints to save her going to the bar so often.

MAINLY ‘C’s - Get rid quick! You’ll be standing outside the ladies changing rooms in ‘Next’ before you know it, trying to find out the latest scores from the other guys also waiting, while she tries on half the shop! This one will also leave your wallet gaping, giving you no chance of a sly beer either!


Patronisingly put together by Angus MacCoatup, Ladies concerns correspondent.
Issue 7, August 2003