As viral football videos go, it’s in a league of its own. And the ball is in an orbit of its own.
A clip of Dan Batty choosing to lump a free kick into space in the closing moments of City’s last match has now had 1.5 million views.
It was posted on York City FC’s own X feed, after this plaintive request from fan @ChipsyYCFC, aka Will Harris: “Show us Batty absolutely hammering it away into space in the dying seconds on purpose admin please.”
To put this in context: York City were closing in on a smash-and-grab raid away to Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.
Dagenham had dominated the first half and went 1-0 ahead on the hour. Then two late goals – the last one four minutes into added time – saw the Minstermen on the verge of an unlikely victory.
With seconds to go City won a free kick well inside Dagenham’s half. Batty steps up. Would he float it into the box? Have a speculative shot?
If you have your sound down, the rather mournful Dag & Red commentary to the clip goes like this: “In the last minute of the game now. This is an opportunity for York… who, weirdly, boot it into the crowd.”
For fans of a certain age it immediately brought to mind a Peter Kay ad for John Smith’s beer, first screened in 2002…
And Chris Bergin, managing editor of the Nasa Space Flight website helpfully tracked the trajectory of the ball…
Tracked it! pic.twitter.com/K6VDCvl3YW— Chris Bergin – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) October 5, 2023
City are at home to Bromley on Saturday. We sincerely hope Batty is playing, and kicks off the match in similar fashion.