The York City Fanzine

Beyond the confines of the David Longhurst Stand at Bootham Crescent, literally a stones throw away from the urinals, lies the well hidden cavern of Old Mother Shipton-Street. A helper in the snack bars on match days of yore, she accumulated anything football related, amassing a huge collection of memorabilia currently stored beneath the Bootham Crescent pitch in her extended cavernous home. She was diagnosed in the early 90’s by specialists as being terminally stuck in the past, but can put value on anything linked with football to visitors determined to seek out her magical talents, known medically as the: HALCYON DAZE.

Angus MaCoatup, co-ed of GLF, gets an embroidered City badge from the 1970’s valued –

The club badge has been a contentious issue ever since former chairman B*****or introduced black and white checks into the crest last season. The Trust have thankfully ditched that monstrosity for a more traditional look now they have taken over the running of the club. At the back-end of last season, I stumbled across an embroidered ‘Y’ badge from the 1970’s in the wife’s sewing box, and knowing that the Trust were in desperate need for monies to sustain the club during the close season, sought the talents of Miss Shipton-Street to put value on it. I would then sell it and forward any monies raised to them.

Five minutes before half time during the awful Exeter game, I exited the Longhurst Stand at the rear, and whilst Showsec stewards were distracted from their duties due to helping Urinals Rennie dish out yellow cards to youths who’d been pis*ing on the outside of his ‘Splash Palace’, I vaulted the fence.

I found myself rolling down a steep bank through thick vegetation until I came to a halt. After dabbing my nettle stings with dock leaves, I then searched for the entrance to Old Mother Shipton-Street’s cave. After several pokes in the eye from branches, I managed to locate her dark tunnel. Turning on my torch, I then slowly made my way down it whilst admiring the walls adorned with framed aerial shots of Bootham crescent, panini stickers and ‘Shoot!’ posters which dated back to the 1970’ and 80’s showing Alan devonshire’s tight fitting shorts and Alan Sunderland and Alan Brazil’s huge ‘jackson 5’ like perms. There were certainly alot of Alans around. I spotted ‘Sniffer’ Clarke’s bandy legs too, adorned with numbered sock tags.

From a side tunnel, Miss Shipton-Street’s elf-like friend confronted me and prompted me to follow him to the reception. When I arrived, she had her head buried in an old copy of the Evening press’s Saturday Pink edition, which used to go on sale at tea time with a ‘hot off the press’ City report and other results from the afternoon’s games. Was she running the finger along Malcolm Huntington’s column, I wondered?

Her assistant vanished as soon as he’d appeared, leaving me alone to grill her. She was still engrossed in the paper. I coughed to try and catch her attention. Nothing.

“Erm,…excuse me, I just wondered if you could put a value on this for me.,” I nervously asked. She finally peered over the pink newsprint. Her eyes lit up on spotting the piece of memorabilia in my hand. She wandered over to me and grabbed it eagerly to inspect it. I guessed it must be a rare thing that I had. My luck was in, I thought to myself.

“My word, I aint seen one of these for ages! A classic maroon and white cotton badge from when City were in the old second division. With an iron on sticky patch bit on the back. That swirly ‘Y’ design was quite exquisite wasn’t it? Simple but instantly recognisable.” She replied.

I was beginning to feel more at ease in the old hag’s presence. “It’s in perfect condition too! You don’t happen to know if the strikers from that era, Jimmy Seal or Chris Jones ever kissed this badge do you?”  I thought she was joking and laughed at her question. She looked at me frostily. It was only then that I spotted a Seal and Jones signed and framed pic adorning her desk, complete with kisses.

“So, erm,……is it worth much?” I stammered. She diverted her craggy features from my direction and focused her attention on the circular ‘Y’. Her eyes glazed over and she began to mumble incoherently whilst transfixed to my badge. Ahh, so this was the infamous ‘Halcyon Daze’ I was witnessing. This lasted for around 45 seconds before she shook herself out of the trance-like state. She went back to her desk, grabbed a towel and wiped  the beads of sweat from her brow.

“Wow! I’ve never had a turn like that onebefore. They are not usually that heavy.” She informed me whilst breathing heavily. I sensed something rather special. “So it’s quite valuable then?” I exitedly asked.

“You’re kidding yourself aren’t you? If it had been sewn to a 1970’s ‘Y’ shirt with Jimmy or Chris inside it – a bloody fortune, but on its own?...Absolutely bug*er all! I suggest you go back to the game to see if City can cheer you up!”

Fat chance, City lost the match 2-0. Bo**ocks!

Fervent City supporter Jon Champion, the ITV commentator, gets his 1984 City record valued….

Making the most of a rare weekend off from a spell in the commentary box for ITV, I sought out the talents of Old Mother Shipton-Street at half time during the final home game of last season. Avoiding the pools of urine and half-eaten crusty meat pies splattered on the walkway, I clambered over the fragile fence while Showsec employees were engaged in retrieving Yorkie’s big ball from youths in the Longhurst, after a trigger penalty had knocked out a pensioner behind the goal.

I slipped down the grassy knoll and hacked my way through undergrowth before being met by her faithful elf-like friend, who helps log all her footy memorabilia on a typewriter. I was dumb-struck at the amount of Panini footballer stickers adorning the walls of the tunnels I was escorted down, and spotted KK McDermott and Shilton from the early 80’s, resplendent in England kit, complete with scouse-like perms. When I finally got to reception, Miss Shipton-Street was engaged in a game of football on an Atari games console on an old black and white TV. After going down 5-0, she banged the screen and turned to face me. “What can I do for you?” she said frostily.

I took out a brown paper bag from my sheepskin jacket, and after that, I slipped out my precious 7 inches……of vinyl! It was a copy of York city’s attempt to top the charts in 1984, in celebration at winning the old 4th Division Championship with a then record 101 points.

Her eyes immediately lit up. “ Please let me play it!” she urged. I slipped it to her keenly, and she promptly started up her gramophone, complete with ‘His Master’s Voice’ sticker stuck on the side.

“Here we go, here we go, here we go,…………” she merrily sang along the dulcet tones of Walwyn, Byrne, Ford, Hood, Busby & Smith etc.

“Really catchy isn’t it? It’s still top of the charts, you know!” she enthused. I chuckled to myself. The old lass was a bit behind the times.

“It never even made the top 100” I rather unwisely informed her. Within an instant, she changed from a happy, jovial character into an enraged and hurt spinster. I gulped as I knew I’d upset her. She immediately stopped the record and slipped it back into its gate-fold cover.

“it’s still number 1 in the chart for North Yorkshire football clubs releasing singles.” she stated.

“So, erm, is it, erm, worth anything?” I nervously asked her. She admitted that the record was in mint condition, then, her eyes suddenly became transfixed to it as she went into a trance like state, mumbling some mumbo-jumbo quietly to herself. Yes, I was witnessing the infamous ‘Halcyon Daze’. Within 30 seconds, she had returned to relative normality. I waited with bated breath.

“I thought as much,” she replied sharply, “Absolutely sod all! Now pi*s off back to the game, the second half will have just started!”