Issue 054. February 22, 2021.
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Grahame Hicks (Pocklington)

I haven't posted for some time but the comment about Fylde (TOOAB Issue 053) has encouraged me to do so.

Prior to the Fylde match at the Monks Cross stadium, BBC Look North did us proud with local sports reporter/ editor Tanya Arnold reporting live from the ground at the end of the 6 o'clock news.

The ground looked really good with the lights on and she then interviewed the chairman. So a good prematch advert.

Sadly, as we all know it didn't help the cause and in the sport section at the end of the 10 o'clock news City were mentioned as also-rans in the football results section.

Not reported by the BBC, but commented on by Arthur contributors was the inability of some York players to stay on their feet - slipping over on the surface.

So had the players had any pre- match experience of the surface and did they have appropriate footwear?

What sort of preparation was made?

There were no reports of Fylde having similar problems. This led me to recall the many times over the years when various City teams had let themselves down.

After all, were it not for the old re-election system, City would have been non-league many years ago.

In fact when that system was scrapped my immediate concern was that City might not last as a League team. But then I remembered happy days - beating Arsenal and Man U among them.

City has an unbeaten record at the old Wembley, having won a play-off final against Crewe.

I can still remember the Crewe fans in tears on the Tube afterwards. Our record at the new Wembley is outstanding. The statisticians among us may correct me, but we've only lost once there - against Stevenage in a Trophy final winning the other 5(?) finals. Great bragging rights.

I am looking forward to City sorting themselves out, hardening up and improving their professionalism. And I would like to see City do anything to achieve that.

Which brings me round to Fylde. I don't blame them for changing their view as to what is best for them, even if that does look hypocritical to others.

Football is a ruthless results-based industry and anything that can be done to give your team the edge should be done.

And City need to learn from that.
Malcolm Long (NSW, Australia)

To Martyn Levitt (TOOAB, Issue 053) - Phil Boyer is 72 years old now and last I read was a bank courier after trying out a management role at Grantham Town FC and Harrowby Utd.

He was also a talent spotter for a couple of league clubs, Blackpool and Northampton.
Josh Easby (New Zealand)

Re Martyn Levitt's query about the movements of Phil Boyer after his departure from York City (TOOAB, Issue 053).

I last saw Phil Boyer in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1973, when he toured the country with Bournemouth during the UK 'off-season'. I was a young football writer and my York City bias meant I had little choice when choosing the cover of a book I edited in 1974!

Check out the crouching player on the front cover of the book (which you can read in digital version online here).

York City chairman McGill urges ‘integrity’ of league to be protected

York City chairman Jason McGill has spoken of his encouragement at the number of clubs wanting to continue the current season at Step 2.

National League North York are among 18 clubs urging a reconsideration of last Thursday’s null and void decision, with a ‘mini-league’ part of the proposal to carry on.

McGill told the club’s website: “We need to keep playing consistent, competitive football in order for the team to operate with the ultimate aim of promotion.

“While we understand that some teams have to protect their own interests, it’s encouraging that others have united as a group to fight for the continuation of Step 2 football.

“The integrity of the league and that of the leagues above is in doubt if this suggestion is not considered and promotion and relegation is not honoured.”

Supporters could be back in sports grounds by mid-May

By Jacob Kilbride

FANS may be allowed to return to stadiums by mid-May as part of the government’s new roadmap.

At step 3 of the four-step plan to lift lockdown restrictions, up to 10,000 people or 25 per cent of a 40,000 capacity, whichever is smaller, will be allowed at sporting events in large, seated, outdoor venues from May 17, at the earliest.

For York City Knights, given the size of the LNER Community Stadium, up to 4,000 fans will be able to attend their Betfred Championship tie against Oldham on the weekend of May 22/23.

Elsewhere in the Championship, clubs will have a capped crowd of 50 per cent of their total capacity.

Also at this step, ‘controlled indoor events’ can have crowds of up to 1,000 people (or a 50 per cent capacity, whichever is lower).

Elsewhere, outdoor sports will be allowed to resume in England from March 29.

The plans, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons, are subject to four tests on vaccines, infections rates and new coronavirus variants.

Bootham Crescent items now up for auction

The Bootham Crescent auction is now live, with 132 items available for purchase.

All auction items will be under blind auction, meaning bidders can submit a bid for an item without knowing the current bidding price.​

Items can be bid for as many times as you like and will be completed via an online form. No other method of bidding will be accepted.​

Each bid will need a separate form submission e.g. if you would like to bid more than once on an item, you will need to make a form submission for each bid. All bids must meet the starting price to be accepted.​

All bids are subject to 20% VAT addition, therefore please consider this when making your bid.​

The auctions are due to end on Monday 1st March 2021.

The bidding form can be found here.

For further information please contact Richard Adams on or call 07766 398073​.

PDF iconAuction Brochure 26 01 21.pdf


Where can I find and bid on the items for sale in Phase 2 of the sale?

Please click here to view the PDF brochure of the Bootham Crescent sale. To put your bid in for an item please fill out this form.

Can I still purchase a seat?

Yes, some seating is still available. To view options and pricing please click here.

When can I collect my seats?

To allow our grounds staff to remove and store each seat safely, we are undertaking the removal of all seats in a staggered approach. This means that we are offering the collection of seats in stages, commensurate with their removal, as follows:

The Main Stand

Section A - w/c 15th February, Section B - w/c 1st March, Section C - w/c 15th February

The Popular Stand

Section U - w/c 8th March, Section V - w/c 15th March, Section W - w/c 22nd March, Section X - w/c 6th April (Monday 5th April is a bank holiday), Section Y - w/c 12th April, Section Z - w/c 19th April

What is the protocol for collecting my seat?

Those who have purchased a seat have been sent instructions via email on how to safely collect their seats by means of click and collect with a designated time slot. If you have not received an email or for further information, please contact

What if I cannot pick up my seat at the designated time?

Seats can be stored for a limited time at Bootham Crescent, however those who purchased seats are encouraged to collect as soon as possible. Seats are for collection only and no items will be delivered.

Items which are not collected before the club vacates Bootham Crescent (date TBC) will be subject to a handling/storage charge in addition to the purchase price.

Can you deliver my items I have bought?

We do not have the capacity to ship items to auction winners. All items are listed for collection only from Bootham Crescent. Alternatively, auction winners can book a courier to pick up from the ground – however we ask this is arranged and agreed with the club beforehand.

As the club is vacating Bootham Crescent, to allow Persimmon to take possession of the site (Date TBC), after this handover of possession no storage will be available.

Where is my Certificate of Authenticity?

You will receive a Certificate of Authenticity via e-mail within 7 days of collection. Please make sure to provide an email address so we can deliver to you safely and securely. We are unable to print certificates.

Can I buy a piece of the pitch/Concrete from the David Longhurst Stand/Brick from the Main Stand?

All three items will be made available once we vacate Bootham Crescent.

I want a different item which isn’t listed on the brochure where can I put my bid?

If there is an item not included on the list, please email, and express your interest in your desired item and the club will contact you regarding the possible purchase or method of bidding for that item.

Are any items being retained by the club and being moved to the new stadium?

A number of items are being retained – they will either be incorporated into the memorial area within the new development or taken to the new stadium - ie: the clock from the Popular Stand, the War Memorials Plaques. Please keep an eye on updates on our legacy plans for the site.

What is happening to the player photos? Have these been offered to the players or families first?

Where possible, individuals have been offered their sentimental items. Other items are part of the ‘Blind Auction’ and available to purchase by supporters. 

When do the blind Auctions end/When will I be notified if I win?

The blind auction will end at midday on Monday 1st March. Please make sure to put in your bid for your desired item before this time. Winning bidders will be notified by the contact details left via the bidding form.

Foundation finds innovative ways to stay "connected"

York City Football Club Foundation are pleased to have been able to continue their work with young people during the Pandemic and especially during the current lockdown.

After a very difficult year for everyone, young people included, the Foundation’s Inclusion team were delighted to be able to bring back four City Kickabout drop in and recreational football sessions in Huntington and Acomb, and their weekly Youth Club in Strensall, from September to December last year.

The aim was to put some structure back into the lives of the young people, to provide them an outlet for physical activity, support and friendship.

Evidence is clear that the Pandemic has negatively impacted many children and young people, whether this be missing school and their friends or feelings of loneliness and isolation.

With Sport England reporting that 43% of children are doing less than half an hour of activity a day and Mental Health organisations reporting that 50% of those with lifetime mental health problems first experience these before the age of 14, and 1 in 6 children have a diagnosable mental health problem, the Foundation’s work with young people in the community has never been more valid.

The Foundation’s efforts have been supported for several years by the National League Trust and City of York Council, and provide a free or low cost youth offer for age 8-17 across the City.

YCFC Foundation Inclusion Officer Amy Tyro worked on the project and added: “We were concerned that having been away from one another for some time, there was every possibility that we could encounter issues including behavioural or lack of motivation when returning to the pitch with our young people, but we were wrong. They were keen to get back and enjoy some normality, despite having to limit numbers and keep to COVID guidelines, this did not take away from the session and the impact we were having.”

Parents too have seen the benefits of these sessions: “We have seen his confidence grow again and its great to see him making new friends,”

The Foundation wasn’t deterred by Lockdown 2 or 3 and have continued to engage the young people on a weekly basis and stay connected with them and their families through various channels. Zoom sessions were designed to focus on SOCIAL interactions.

An opportunity to meet both old and new friends, with twice weekly "Talk About It" sessions for a chance to chat about a range of topics including recent sporting events and a weekly  "Game Show night" with a unique spin on popular tv game shows both past and present for lots of interactive fun from Family Fortunes to Supermarket Sweep to Catchphrase.

Paula Stainton, Foundation Manager added: “Our aim for continuing to engage with our participants no matter what their age, throughout the last year, has been consistency. If we were there for and supporting anyone prior to the Pandemic, then we wanted to be able to continue to do just that.

“We are increasingly aware of the long term future impact that this time may have, and the positive influence we can have on that. As an example, over half term, we have actively encouraged time to unplug with our “Screen Free” campaign and home activities across all of our young people’s programmes.

“We also recognise the need to keep adapting to maintain engagement and are excited to launch our new ‘Get Pitch Ready’ fun, fitness and ball mastery sessions this week.”

Sessions are designed for those 8 years and over, and are open to all 
young people, not just those who have attended our programmes previously.

If you want to find out more, chat to us about your son or daughters’ involvement, or would like to join our virtual Zoom sessions please email
CLICK HERE to check out our collection of classic York City match programmes at the TOOAB archive >>>>
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There’s Only One Arthur Bottom was first published as an almost-daily email newsletter in July 1997 and has been distributed continuously since. Subscriber numbers peaked at more than 1,100 when the club’s future was threatened by potential closure in 2001 but more than 800 subscribers, living in more than 30 countries, will receive this edition. Editor Josh Easby started the newsletter from New Zealand (where he lives today) but has variously produced and distributed it from the United Kingdom, Australia and (briefly) Italy.
Over the years, TOOAB subscribers have variously supported the club in many different ways, using the newsletter at times to share ideas that have helped the club and to raise money which has been used to buy much-needed equipment (for the physio room), sponsor members of the youth team and to sponsor senior players’ kit. Subscribers (who often call themselves ‘Arthurites’) often meet up for pre-match/post-match drinks and have arranged functions together.

Editorial policy

The opinions expressed in There's Only One Arthur Bottom do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher, nor is this newsletter endorsed in any way by York City Football Club.  Wherever possible, the contributions by subscribers are published unaltered.  However submissions will be rejected or amended if they are potentially defamatory or contain language likely to offend other subscribers. Unless good reasons are given, anonymous submissions are rejected. The publisher reserves the right to reproduce contributions to this newsletter on any website associated with the newsletter.
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