Issue 280. October 6, 2020.
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The daily email newsletter serving York City fans since 1997

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John Uttley (Howden)

I echo the sentiments of Ken Thorpe (TOOAB Issue 274) regarding Simon Heslop..

Often the target of the boo-boys at Bootham Crescent, he has overcome a career-threatening injury.

I wish him well at Blyth Spartans as captain and also congratulations on scoring a hat trick of penalties for Blyth in their FA Cup tie at Whitley Bay on Saturday!

Also, congratulations to Sean Newton for being named captain of the current City side. Sean has been a consistent performer for City since signing from Wrexham.

Saturday's game at Warrington Rylands was a tough game and fair play to the hosts for giving their all in an excellent Cup tie. They were extremely unlucky not to take the game to penalties.

Finally, great news about the Ben Godfrey deal. I wish Ben all the best for the future and shrewd business on our part for negotiating the sell-on clause.

Let's hope everyone gets behind the club and that we can all be attending games soon. Stay safe.
York City Vice Presidents - 200 Club

Season 2020 - 2021

Renewals and enrolments for Vice Presidents 200 Club Draw have been excellent with almost 100% renewals plus an increase in new memberships.   As a result, we will be offering more prizes in the four seasonal draws.    The increase will also enable the Vice Presidents to support specific projects for the Club.

If you are considering enrolling or still to renew your membership, we have a closing date for memberships of 9th October in preparation for the first draw at the end of the month.

Don’t miss out, great prizes and a great way of supporting your club.

200 Club – 2020-21

Following the success of last years ‘200 Club’ when we were able to raise £4,560 for the Club, we would like to increase the membership this season but need your help.

Our aim is to ask supporters to become members of the '200 Club'.   The money raised through Membership payments will be split - two thirds to York City FC – one third in prizes.


1.  Each member will pay £30.00 per season to join the ‘200 Club’ - this is paid annually, if possible, by standing order or direct to the York City Vice Presidents account - Mandate available on request,

2.  The membership is open to all supporters, family members and friends – you can have as many memberships as you wish.

3.  Each member is then allocated a number for the season.

4.  We would have a minimum of four prize draws during the season – Each draw would consist of four prizes - £100, £75, £50, £25 if we achieve a membership over 150, bonus prizes will be added to the draws. Last year we had four bonus prizes of £200 in addition to the normal prize structure.
5.  The prizes structure would depend on the membership - more members, bigger prizes.

6.  The first draw will take place in October 2020 – draw for your individual numbers takes place two weeks prior to the draw.

Please contact: Richard Adams 07766 398073 or E-mail   

Payment: Cheques made payable to YCVP – (200 Club)
Send to: Richard Adams, 210 The Residence, Bishopthorpe Road, York, YO23 1DQ

Or: Bank Transfer: YCVP (Ref: 200 Club)
A/C No 40293190
SORT CODE 090666

Your support is greatly appreciated and vital to our success and hopefully you will join the membership again this year.

Bookies price York City as National League North favourites

By Jacob Kilbride

YORK City have been priced as the bookies' favourites in the Vanarama National League North ahead of their season start tonight.

City get their 2020/21 league campaign underway when they host Chorley at Bootham Crescent this evening, kicking off another season where promotion is the clear target.

Steve Watson's side were top of the table before the coronavirus pandemic struck last term and ensured that King's Lynn were promoted on points-per-game before the Minstermen lost out in the play-offs against eventual winners Altrincham.

Since then, Watson has overseen an overhaul of his squad, with 13 players departing and a raft of new recruits coming in, the vast majority of whom have played at a higher level than Step Two.

The club were also given a major financial boost this week when Ben Godfrey's move to Everton to Everton was completed, handing the club a reported £2.5m.

As such, the bookmakers have York as clear favourites in both the division winner and the outright promotion markets.

At the time of writing, City were priced as short as 11/10 to achieve promotion and 2/1 to win the division with WilliamHill.

The bookmaker have AFC Fylde as the second favourite, at 5/2 and 5/1 respectively.

Fylde, who were relegated from the National League last season on PPG, are managed by the vastly experienced Jim Bentley, who has added numerous English Football League players to his squad, including new captain Nathan Pond, a seven-time promotion winner.

Below York and Fylde, the bookies have nine clubs priced at less than 10/1 to win promotion.

Those are Boston United (7/2), Spennymoor Town (9/2), Brackley Town, Chester, Darlington, Gateshead (all 7/1), Gloucester (8/1), Guiseley and Kidderminster Harriers (both 9/1).

Behind-closed-doors games may make organising new teams easier says York City boss Steve Watson

By Joe Richardson

YORK City manager Steve Watson has suggested that behind-closed-doors games could help the on-field organisation of new-look teams.

The Minstermen most definitely fall into this category. Just three players remaining at the club from last season have made the starting line-ups for the last two games.

At the end of September, York performed superbly in a 3-0 behind-closed-doors friendly win at Notts County before toiling to a 1-0 victory at Warrington Rylands in front of a raucous home crowd.

Tonight (7.45pm), they open their 2020/21 National League North campaign at Bootham Crescent against Chorley.

Relegated from the National League last season, the Magpies are not far behind in the remodelling stakes, fielding only a handful of familiar names in their FA Cup second qualifying round tie against Gateshead.

And it will be worth York’s while getting acquainted with their visitors, since they travel to Chorley next Tuesday to face the Lancastrian outfit in the FA Cup third qualifying round.

Fans will be able to watch this evening’s fixture for free on YouTube as part of the club’s live-streaming service, which will normally be pay-per-view.

Watson said: “I think probably for most teams who have done a lot of chopping and changing, whereas usually you can use a long pre-season to get everything done, it might take three or four league games to click properly. What we’ve got to do in the meantime is be resolute, be tough to beat.

“I think we’ve got enough talent in the squad to create chances but I think without the ball, there is still a lot of work to do.

“That’s where you have to start building from, being solid and being a good shape.

“Considering the difference in standards between Notts County to Rylands, I thought they asked more questions of us than Notts County, maybe because at Notts County - without a crowd - you can organise a bit better as the game’s going on.

“It was a bit more difficult on Saturday to hear or see anything or to get any kind of work done while the game was going on.

“Maybe having no fans, for new teams, might make it easier to organise the team.”

York City manager Steve Watson pushes youngsters to have ambition following Ben Godfrey's Everton move

By Joe Richardson

THE sale of former York City defender Ben Godfrey to Premier League leaders Everton shows young players that such a transition is not a “fairytale”, believes Steve Watson.

Godfrey officially put pen to paper at Goodison Park on Monday for a fee not disclosed by the Toffees, but which is believed to be around £25 million.

City are set to receive a cut thanks to the sell-on clause inserted into the deal when Godfrey joined Norwich City in 2016, plus performance-related bonuses based on club and international appearances and honours.

It has the makings of a great deal for both the 22-year-old former Archbishop Holgate’s School pupil - who will work under world-renowned manager Carlo Ancelotti - and his hometown club.

And Watson - an Everton player between 2000 and 2005 - is encouraging his young players to have the ambition to reify the prospect of such moves.

He said: “I think we have improved on that side of things anyway, with the young lads, and me and Tim (Ryan, Academy coach) working a bit closer.

“There is definitely the pathway for them to improve. Not just Ben Godfrey, there are your Vardys and Smallings.

“These younger lads have to have that ambition.

“No disrespect to where we are but I don’t expect lads to want to be playing in the National League North their whole career.

“They have to have that ambition, and having people like Ben Godfrey is proof that it’s not just a fairytale - it can happen, and that’s the way they have to look at things.”

The sell-on fee for Godfrey is believed to be in the region of £2.5m.

“We’ve got a decent, workable budget as it is,” Watson added. “But if we did need that extra player, I’ve got no doubt the conversation would happen.

“We’ve got two players for virtually every position on the pitch. We don’t need to do any more at the moment but things do crop up. It might be an injury or it might be a player who you just can’t say no to and then, when that arises, I’m pretty sure I could have that conversation.”

City to play Chorley tonight under the lights

By Dan Simmonite

We kick-off our National League North campaign this evening against recently relegated Chorley under the lights at Bootham Crescent.

19:45pm kick-off.


The game will be free to view via our YouTube channel with the streaming starting approx. 5 minutes before kick-off.

Bare in mind this will be a 'test' stream in order to make sure we can provide a professional service in the next game via a pay-per-view platform. Commentary and a live feed will be available. The live feed will have no graphic overlays in the test period.

Because of the livestream, there will be a reduced play-by-play text commentary on Twitter, in which only goals, substitutes and half time/full time will be published.

A usual detailed match report will feature after the full time whistle.
Please check with the club's official website for late changes to fixtures before committing to travel.
Pre-season friendlies

Sat 5 Newcastle United U-23 1, York City 4 (Trialist, Olly Dyson, Rob Guilfoyle (2))
Tue 8 South Shields 3, York City 0 
Sat 12 Whitby Town 2, York City 0
Sat 19 York City 0, Stockport County 1
Sat 26 Notts County 0, York City 3 (Wright, Cassidy, Wollerton)

2020-21 season

York City joined the FA Cup in the 2nd qualifying round and will join the FA Trophy in the 2nd round proper.

Please note: No replays for FA Cup ties in the 2020-21 season.

Sat 3 Warrington Rylands 0, York City 1 (Newton) - Emirates FA Cup 2Q (City receive £3,375 prizemoney)
Tue 6 Chorley (h)
Sat 10 Farsley Celtic (a)
Tue 13 Chorley (a) - Emirates FA Cup 3Q (winners receive £5,625 while losing club receives £1,875)
Sat 17 Brackley Town (h)
Sat 24 Emirates FA Cup 4Q
Sat 31 Kettering Town (h)

Sat 7 Emirates FA Cup 1R
Sat 7 Chester (h)
Sat 14 Kidderminster Harriers (a)
Tue 17 Gateshead (h)
Sat 21 AFC Fylde (h)
Sat 28 Emirates FA Cup 2R
Sat 28 Leamington (a)

Tue 1 Blyth Spartans (a)
Sat 5 Buildbase FA Trophy 2R (winners receive £5,250, losers receive £1,500)
Sat 12 Spennymoor Town (h)
Sat 19 Buildbase FA Trophy 3R (winners receive £6,000, losers receive £1,750)
Sat 26 Bradford Park Avenue (a)
Mon 28 Guiseley (h)

Sat 2 Bradford Park Avenue (h)
Sat 9 Emirates FA Cup 3R
Sat 9 Boston United (a)
Sat 16 Buildbase FA Trophy 4R (winners receive £7,500, losers receive £2,000)
Sat 16 Gloucester City (h)
Sat 23 Emirates FA Cup 4R
Sat 23 AFC Telford United (a)
Sat 30 Curzon Ashton (h)

Sat 6 Buildbase FA Trophy 5R (winners receive £7,500, losers receive £2,000)
Sat 6 Alfreton Town (a)
Tue 9 Darlington (a)
Wed 10 Emirates FA Cup 5R
Sat 13 Farsley Celtic (h)
Sat 20 Chorley (a)
Sat 27 Buildbase FA Trophy QF (winners receive £7,500, losers receive £2,000)
Sat 27 Hereford (h)

Sat 6 Brackley Town (a)
Sat 13 Southport (h)
Sat 20 Chester (a)
Sat 20 Emirates FA Cup QF
Tue 23 Gateshead (a)
Sat 27 Buildbase FA Trophy SF (winners receive £15,000, losers receive £5,000)
Sat 27 Kidderminster Harriers (h)

Fri 2 AFC Fylde (a)
Mon 5 Leamington (h)
Sat 10 Spennymoor Town (a)
Tue 13 Blyth Spartans (h)
Sat 17 Emirates FA Cup SF
Sat 17 Kettering Town (a)
Sat 24 Darlington (h)

Sat 1 Guiseley (a)
Mon 3 Boston United (h)
Sat 8 Buildbase FA Trophy Final (Winners receive £60,000, losers receive £30,000)
Sat 8 Gloucester City (a)
Sat 15 Emirates FA Cup Final
Sat 15 AFC Telford United (h)
Sat 22 Curzon Ashton (a)
Sat 29 Alfreton Town (h)

Promotion play-off series
Sat 5/Sun 6 NLN play-offs 1R
Sat 12/Sun 13 NLN play-offs semi-final
Sat 19/Sun 20 NLN play-off final

York City's squad - updated comings and goings

The following information will be updated as new information comes to hand:

Players contracted for the 2020-21 season

Retained from 2019-20 season and contracted for new season: Pete Jameson, Ryan Whitley, Paddy McLaughlin, Reiss Harrison, Charlie Jebson-King, Sean Newton, Harry Spratt, Josh King, Archie Whitfield (youth team captain signed for first pro contract).

New signings for 2020-21 season: Robbie Tinkler (24, defender, from Aldershot Town), Scott Barrow (31, left back, from Gateshead), Jack Redshaw (29, forward, from Halifax Town), Kieran Kennedy (26, defender, from Port Vale), Michael Duckworth (29, defender, from Halifax Town), Harry Bunn (27, forward, from Kilmarnock), Jake Cassidy (27, forward, from Stevenage), Olly Dyson (20, attacking midfielder, from Huddersfield Town), Rob Guilfoyle (18, forward, from Hull City), Michael Wood. (30, central midfielder, from Dover Athletic), Reon Potts (19, forward, from Scunthorpe United), Akil Wright (24, midfield, from Wrexham), Owen Gamble (21, midfield, from Sunderland), Alex Wollerton (20, midfield, from Barnsley), Harry Flatters (18, goalkeeper, from Middlesbrough), Matty Brown (30, defender, from FC Halifax Town).

Released at end of 2019-20 season: Steve McNulty (signed for Witton Albion), Jordan Burrow (signed for Boston United), Adriano Moke (signed for Spennymoor Town), Andy Bond (signed for Matlock Town), Dan Maguire (signed for Darlington), Kallum Griffiths (signed for Gateshead) Joe Tait (signed for Spennymoor Town), Tom Allan (signed for Farsley Celtic), Nathan Dyer (signed for Grantham Town), Macaulay Langstaff (signed for Gateshead), Jake Watson (signed for Pickering Town), Wes York (signed for Brackley Town), Jake Wright (long-term injury, return to play unlikely before February 2022). On-loan Adam Buxton returned to parent club Morecambe who released him. Seven youth players were released at the end of their scholarships - Luca Binsley, Jack Cawthorn, Ethan Henderson, Will Jackson, Dom Jackson, Jake Teale, and Kiari Ventura.

Declined new contract: Alex Kempster (signed for South Shields), David Ferguson (signed for Hartlepool United), Kieran Green (signed for Halifax Town).

Loans (in): None.

Loans (out): Goalkeeper Ryan Whitley has been loaned to Scarborough Athletic till January 2.
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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.

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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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