Issue 004. January 4, 2021.
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The daily email newsletter serving York City fans since 1997

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George Davidson (Bolton)

I  was at that freezing freezing cold Rochdale away tie (TOOAB Issues 002, 003).

Only about a dozen of us spaced out on the terrace! I remember thinking it would be better if we all got closer together just to be warmer but stopped myself from suggesting it!

The nice steward from Rochdale brought the pies at half time and a couple of City fans dived in so aggressively that he nearly took them away!

Going to be a bit self-indulgent and wish myself a Happy Birthday in Arthur as, by the time we all read this, it will be my birthday. 
John Lacy (Leeds)

'Memories are made of this' - these are the opening titles from a video, "The Final Whistle" commissioned by the Supporters Trust in 2016 to commemorate our leaving Bootham Crescent.

For various reasons, I was unable to complete the full-length film. But enjoy again these brief, magical moments from 1955 and 1985.  
Courtesy John Lacy/YCST via YouTube.

York City 'frustrated and disappointed' by another delay to their first game in new stadium

By Stuart Rayner

York City's hopes of kicking off life in their new stadium against Fylde next week have been scuppered.

The Conference North match between the promotion contenders had been tentatively pencilled in as a potential first matchday at the new community stadium at Monks Cross, which was completed last month.

But proposed amendments to the lease and matchday agreement have stopped that.

In a statement, the Minstermen described the latest delays in the long-running saga as “ frustrating and disappointing”.

The amendments have not been suggested by the football club, who will share the ground with rugby league side York City Knights.

“We are working hard to bring these matters to an acceptable conclusion and ensure commitments are met, so that the club’s long-term sustainable occupation of the new stadium is not adversely affected,” supporters were reassured.

The January 12 match against Fylde will take place at Bootham Crescent.

'Business as usual' as usual as York City face ex-skipper Russ Penn

By Joe Richardson

THERE will be no room for sentimentality when York City and Kidderminster Harriers step out onto the pitch tomorrow evening at Aggborough.

Kidderminster manager Russ Penn is going head-to-head with some familiar faces on Tuesday (7.45pm), having played alongside Sean Newton and Paddy McLaughlin during his second stint at Bootham Crescent - and under Steve Watson while he was boss at Gateshead.

But though the reunion of the current Minstermen and former City skipper Penn will be amicable, minds will remain focused on the task at hand, Watson has said.

“Our situation with Russ is probably more old-school than you see on TV,” Watson said. “I don’t think there will be any high-fiving or hugs, and not just for social distancing - that’s the way we work.

“There will be a chat after the game but, make no mistake, he’ll be wanting to beat us and we’ll be wanting to beat them. It’s business as usual in that respect.”

Kiddy currently occupy second spot in National League North, three points ahead of York, who will leapfrog them with victory.

On his former charge, Watson commented: “He’s made a good start and like King’s Lynn were doing last season, they may well have a spell so we have to all keep on their shirt-tails as best we can and try and make our games in hand count.

“We know Russ is a very competitive, intense football man. He’ll be desperate to do well and do well against us. He’s recruited well and got himself a really strong squad there.

“Like York, Kidderminster’s a big club at this level and they will have given him a chance to recruit and they will have expectations, the same as our club has and the same as Fylde and Boston have. He’s met all of those expectations early on and he’ll be looking to carry it on.”

Board update on LNER Community Stadium move

It is important to the Club that our fans are kept informed on progress regarding the move to the new LNER Community Stadium.

With this in mind, we, the Board, would like to update supporters and key interested parties that York City Football Club will be unable to play our first match at the stadium on 12th January against AFC Fylde.

Whilst this is frustrating and disappointing, especially now that the stadium has been completed, there are some fundamental issues which need to be resolved. These are proposed amendments, suggested by other parties, which would be a change to the original conditions of the Lease and Match Day Agreement.

We are working hard to bring these matters to an acceptable conclusion and ensure commitments are met, so that the club’s long-term sustainable occupation of the new stadium is not adversely affected.

We sincerely hope that supporters will appreciate the importance of these discussions and thank them for their patience.

As soon as these issues have been resolved, to the satisfaction of the club, we will inform supporters.

Steve Watson prepares to face former captain

By Dan Simmonite

Steve Watson is looking forward to facing his former captain, Russ Penn, and was keen to give credit to the Kidderminster Harriers manager for the start they have had this season.

The City manager said: “He should be delighted. He’s had a great start, Gloucester have made an outstanding start, but what King’s Lynn were doing at the end of last season, they may well have a spell.

“We both know Russ and he is a very competitive and intense football man and he will be desperate to do well and do well against us.

“He’s made a good start, recruited well and has got himself a really strong squad there.”

Penn, a former York City player over two spells, played under Watson for Gateshead in the 2017-18 season, making 51 appearances in all competitions. He then ended his playing career at Aggborough before he was offered the Manager role with the club in February 2020 after an initial stint as interim manager in late 2019.

Watson added: “The situation with Russ will be a little bit more old school than what you see on TV every week. I don’t think there will be any hi-fiving and hugs in the tunnel – not just for social distancing – that’s just the way we work.

“There will be a chat after the game but make no mistake he will be wanting to beat us and we are certainly looking to beat them but it’s business as usual in that respect.

“Like York, Kidderminster is a big club at this level and they will have given him a good chance to recruit and will have expectancies – the same as our club, the same as Fylde have and the same Boston have.

“He’s met all those expectations early on and, like us, he will be looking to carry it on.”

The City squad have struggled to get on the grass in recent weeks with the weather causing havoc, but Watson was pleased to get back on track today with a full session at Bootham Crescent.

He said: “We had a good session today. We trained at Bootham which is the first sort of proper session we’ve had. The rest has been general fitness. You are reluctant to train on 3G too often because various players have various issues with it.

“It’s just a balancing act at the moment when it comes to training and I think everyone will be in the same boat.

“The lads just want to get a good run going. They want to be playing three, four, five games in a row without disruption but there’s no guarantees at the moment on top of a bad spell of weather coming as well.”

City sit 6th place in the National League North despite having five games in hand and are due to play eight games over the next four weeks to make up for the postponements earlier in the season.

Speaking on the fixture congestion, Watson said: “It’s just something we’ve got to get on with. We’ve missed a lot of games and missed a lot of training together. We had a big turnover of players and by January you would hope to be well into your stride and know each other’s games inside out and know each other socially – all of that hasn’t been able to happen.

“We find ourselves in the first week of January having only played eleven games. But looking at the league there’s lots of different scenarios with different teams who’ve had different problems so there’s no point in moaning about it we have to get on with it and make the best of it.

“I’ve always said ten or twelve games in you’ll know where you are but we are looking at a team sitting top of the league who have played five more games than us and we’ve only had one game called off because of the weather - but it is truly a unique situation.”

City travel to Kidderminster tomorrow

By Dan Simmonite

City will travel to Kidderminster Harriers tomorrow evening for the first game of 2021.

It will be the first game since the 1-0 win over Gusieley after the Bradford (Park Avenue) game was called off on Saturday due to a frozen pitch.

Kick-off is 7:45pm at Aggborough. The match will be played behind closed doors due to Worcestershire being in a Tier 3 area.

How to Watch

The Harriers are Livestreaming their home game for £7.99. The stream, provided InPlayer, includes multiple camera angles and full match commentary.

To purchase your match pass please click here.

Matchday programme are also available for £2.99.

Manager's Comments

Steve Watson spoke to the press afternoon. To read the interview please click here.


Kidderminster have started the season well with 24 points and find themselves in 2nd place in the National League North. However, their form has suffered over the past month and they have lost to bottom half clubs Kettering and Hereford in the last five games whilst sitting 12th in the form table.

Kidderminster: DLWLW

City will look to make use of the six games in hand over top of table Gloucester City with 10 points separating the two sides. Despite the lack of games, City sit in 6th place and 5th in the form table after gaining 10 points from the last five games.

York City: WLDWW

Head to Head

Kidderminster Harriers 0-1 York City (22nd February 2020)
York City 1-1 Kidderminster Harriers (2nd November 2019)
Kidderminster Harriers 1-2 York City (16th February 2019)
Kidderminster Harriers 1-3 York City (24th November 2018)
York City 0-3 Kidderminster Harriers (15th September 2018)
A round-up of news from York City's rival Vanarama National League (North) clubs.
Tuesday fixtures

All games kick off at 7.45pm

Boston United v Kettering Town
Brackley Town v Darlington
Chester v Guiseley
Kidderminster Harriers v York City
Spennymoor Town v Hereford

AFC Fylde

The Coasters have extended the loan spell of Blackpool winger Nathan Shaw (20) till the end of the season. He initially joined Fylde on a month's loan.


Gateshead have extended contracts with player-manager Mike Williamson and his assistant Ian Watson, giving them 12-month rolling-contracts.
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 York City 3, Chorley 1 (McLaughlin, Barrow, Woods)
Sat 10 Farsley Celtic 1, York City 1 (Newton)
Tue 13 Chorley 1, York City 0 - Emirates FA Cup 3Q (Losing club receive £1,875)
Sat 17 York City 0 Brackley Town 0

Tue 10 Southport 2, York City 3 (Newton (2), Bunn)
Sat 28 Leamington 2, York City 1 (Dyson)

Wed 2 Blyth Spartans 0, York City 3 (Woods, Bunn, Cassidy)
Sat 5 York City 2, Chester 1 (Bunn, Wright) 
Tue 8 York City 2, Kettering Town 0 (Newton (2)) 
Sat 12 York City 1, Spennymoor Town 1 (Woods)
Tue 15 Ashton United 3, York City 3 (City lose 3-2 pens) - Buildbase FA Trophy 2R (Dyson, Woods, Redshaw)
Sat 26 Bradford Park Avenue 4, York City 2 (Redshaw, Guilfoyle)
Mon 28 York City 1, Guiseley 0 (King)

Sat 2 Bradford Park Avenue (h) - postponed
Tue 5 Kidderminster Harriers (a) (7.45pm)
Sat 9 Boston United (a)
Tue 12 AFC Fylde (h) (7pm)
Sat 16 Buildbase FA Trophy 4R (winners receive £7,500, losers receive £2,000)
Sat 16 Gloucester City (h)
Tue 19 Gateshead (h) (7pm)
Sat 23 AFC Telford United (a)
Tue 26 Hereford (a) (7.45pm)
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)
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)
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 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 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
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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