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29 October 2014

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You are in: North Yorkshire > Sport > Football > York City FC: history

York City's Kit Kat Crescent ground

York City's Kit Kat Crescent ground

York City FC: history

Barry Parker takes us through the century of history behind the Minstermen. Covering the playing highlights that made the club famous, it's a must read for all fans.

The roots of York City Football Club date back to 1897, when the York and District League was established at a time of a national boom in playing football.

A York City Football Club was formed in 1908, but fizzled out at the end of the first world war, leaving the scene £500 in debt.

Today's York City Football Club was founded on 6th May 1922, and were elected to the Midland League in June.

The stature of the club grew, until they were elected to the League's Third Division Northern Section in 1929.

Almost immediately they earned a plum FA Cup tie against first division giants Newcastle United, who scraped through by 2 goals to 1 after a replay at Fulfordgate in front of more than 12,000 fans.

Moving ground

The bubble burst, though, and three years later the club moved to Bootham Crescent to be closer to the city centre and the railway station. Fans found it hard to reach Fulfordgate as the tram service had only a single track.

For the next 70 years York City enjoyed a largely stable and unspectacular existence in the lower divisions.

It had a sprinkling of dramatic Cup successes and a two-year flirtation with the (old) second division in the 70s which is regarded as City's golden era.

Under Manager Tom Johnston, the club gained promotion, with players such as Ian Holmes, Chris Jones and Jimmy Seal scoring goals freely.

Highlights that made City famous

City's national reputation as great Cup battlers began in 1938, when they reached the quarter-finals.

First Division West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough were disposed of, before City bowed out to Huddersfield after a replay in front of 58,000 fans at Leeds Road.

City went one better in 1955 by becoming the first third division club to feature in an FA Cup semi-final replay.

A Blackpool side featuring Stanley Matthews and a Spurs side including Danny Blanchflower were among the victims of this legendary cup run, in which forward Arthur Bottom scored 8 times. It ended only after a replay with eventual winners Newcastle United.

The 80s brought success under Manager Denis Smith, with City becoming the first club in the league to reach 100 points in their fourth division title season of 84.

A late Keith Houchen penalty brought more Cup glory in 85 as Arsenal fell at Bootham Crescent.

The 90s saw City's first-ever Wembley appearance, in a (renamed) third division promotion play-off final against Crewe. City won promotion in a penalty shoot-out, future Charlton star Dean Kiely making the crucial save.

There was glory too in the Coca-Cola (League) Cup, as a Manchester United side at their peak were humiliated by 3 goals to nil at their Old Trafford fortress, probably the greatest single result in City's history. Paul Barnes scored two of the goals.

last updated: 02/07/07

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