Image Credit: Mattythewhite
Today (Saturday 2 January), York City FC play their last ever game at their historic ground Bootham Crescent.
York City face Bradford Park Avenue at 3pm, looking to give the stadium the send-off it deserves.
The football club moved into the ground in August 1932; they’ve played at the 8,000-seater venue ever since. But, after several delays, their brand new home — York Community Stadium — was finally completed as a building project last month. The Minstermen are thus due to move in for the remainder of their season.
Nouse Sport caught up with the club’s manager Steve Watson as well as the commercial manager Chris Pegg in March 2020 — the stadium move was well on the way then. Lamentably, the Covid-19 pandemic stalled construction which started in late 2017. The new ground, which Pegg called a “fantastic stadium”, also has a capacity of 8,000 seated spectators.
The Minstermen aren’t the only tenants of the new Community Stadium, though. The city’s rugby league club York City Knights will groundshare with them. Their chairman Jon Flatman also spoke about the new ground in a recent interview with Nouse Sport.
While York City FC find themselves in the sixth tier of English football, they were in the EFL as recently as 2016. A number of established national sports reporters cut their teeth in broadcast media while covering them at Bootham Crescent. BBC Radio 5 Live’s football correspondent John Murray was a regular at the ground in his early years as a regional commentator in North Yorkshire.
Meanwhile, talkSPORT presenter Adrian Durham also began his career reporting in Yorkshire, featuring on Viking Radio in York. As reported by the York Press, Durham recently wrote an ode to the famous stadium. The heartfelt poem can be read below.
I feel sad when the old football grounds go
Tales they could tell, stories they know.
Another one going is Bootham Crescent
York City’s home: 1932 to the present
It’s seen Harvey Barnes’ dad score goals galore
Late pen to beat Arsenal, Keith Houchen scored
Peter Reid’s brother Shaun, Dean Kiely in goal
Up to the present when Ben Godfrey was sold.
It’s where as a young journalist I learned my trade
Radio reporting - would I make the grade?
York City home games, sat behind John Murray
Who crossed for that goal? The nerves - the worry.
And just across the way the veteran York fan,
Been going for years, a proper Minsterman.
Always turned up, even when it wasn’t pretty.
And he’d make us all jump when he shouted: “Come On City!”
So farewell Bootham Crescent, you’ll be missed.
That Jon McCarthy cross - that Tony Canham assist
That magical stadium will stay deep in my soul
Every tackle, every foul, every miss, every goal.