It was all set for a titanic battle for promotion come season’s end. And then, it wasn’t.
When the games came to an abrupt stop York City were top of the league. Now City fans now hang in purgatory, awaiting a final decision from the National League’s top brass about what happens next.
Live football is conspicuously absent from everyone’s calendars.
Never fear, though. Ahead are 16 questions that aim to evoke the buzz of walking down Grosvenor Terrace on matchday. Do you know your (Arthur) Bottom from your elbow? There’s only one way to find out.
York City quiz
Let's start on a high. In 2012, York famously won the FA Trophy, got the go-ahead for a new stadium and gained promotion back to the Football League in just how long?
It was just eight days
Ask any York fan who doesn't remember 1993 and they'll tell you this week-and-a-bit was the greatest high of their football-watching lives. And it was only up from there, of course... ah.
And in the ensuing open top bus celebrations, striker Jason Walker famously brandished a cardboard sign in the shape of a gravestone reading 'R.I.P...' whom?
It read 'R.I.P. Luton'
After bagging 18 league goals to help the Minstermen to promotion, the former Luton man joyously rubbed their noses in it after our 2-1 destruction of them at Wembley. Jason later tweeted 'I'm very drunk and caved in to pure peer pressure, sorry to everyone iv offended, Neva meant it #sorry'. He did mean it.
What was 'Fulfordgate'?
It was York's former ground
Fulfordgate played host to City matches for a decade before the club moved more centrally in 1932, replacing the cricket team as tenants of dear old Bootham Crescent. Above is how it appeared on a 1931 Ordnance Survey map.
In all competitions, against which of these rivals do York City have the greatest all-time win percentage?
With fairly meagre scores of 30% against both Luton and Hull, City's record of seven wins, four draws and six defeats against the former McCain's Stadium residents means a towering win percentage of 41.2%. Our record against Leeds reads a harrowing 0% - however, a draw and a defeat in the League Cup in 1987 are the only occasions we've played them competitively (excluding wartime competition).
After York's resounding 3-0 victory away at Manchester United in 1995, what single word famously adorned the Yorkshire Evening Press front page the following day?
It was 'Unbelievable!'
It aptly captured the mood in the city after two goals and an assist from Paul Barnes saw York gub a shell-shocked United side containing David Beckham and Ryan Giggs. City eventually progressed 4-3 on aggregate. One of the two sides that day narrowly avoided relegation from the third division; the other won a League and Cup double. You decide which was which.
York's biggest ever victory was a 9-1 win over Southport back in 1957, but what is the club's biggest ever margin of defeat?
It was 12-0
Chester scraped past the plucky Minstermen by a twelve-goal margin way back in 1936. There are certain sections of the Bootham Crescent crowd who still moan that their ninth was offside.
Which of the following was NOT a club York played against in the Midland League of the 1920s?
It was Stockton Malleable
We did stuff them 7-1 in the FA Cup though. The Malleable Social Club remains open to this day, with the bingo raffle of March 21st producing no winners at the time of writing.
Which famous fan tweeted this enthusiastic message of encouragement earlier this year?
It was Dr John Sentamu
The outgoing archbish has been known to turn up under the floodlights on occasion. His pledge to not wear a clerical collar until York get into the Champions League tragically continues.
Which City legend has won the coveted Clubman of the Year award more times than any other player?
It's Daniel Parslow
Triumphant in 2009, 2011 and 2013, Parslow made nearly 400 appearances for the Minstermen and stuck with the club after relegation into regional football three years ago. After a career-ending concussion in 2019, he's now an advocate for greater protection of footballers from head injuries. An absolute gent.
Which of the following products can you NOT currently buy in the online club shop?
There's no Yorkie the Gnome... yet
Though I think it would be a classy objet d'art if done properly. Even Leeds scum have a Billy Bremner gnome available, which admittedly is more aesthetically pleasing than the ginger Rastafarian his statue resembles.
During York's heady two-year stint as a second-tier club between 1974 and 1976, which mighty opposition did City actually manage to win against?
It was Nottingham Forest
Brian Clough's Forest were vanquished 3-2 in March 1976, a month before City's relegation to Division Three. Against United, Villa and Chelsea combined, York won three points from a possible 18 in today's money.
In 1999, York were relegated from the third tier, despite having spent just how long in the relegation zone all season?
It was just seven minutes
Having not been in the relegation zone all season, only wins for Wycombe and Oldham and a defeat for the Minstermen would send us back to the Football League basement. York were shellacked 4-0 at Maine Road, Oldham beat Reading 2-0, and Wycombe didn't score until the 83rd minute in their crucial win at Lincoln, dooming us to failure with just 420 seconds of the season remaining. Memories.
Name the former York manager.
It's Alan Little
One of the most revered managers in City's history, Little took over with just 10 games remaining of the 1992/93 season yet still managed to lead York to a Wembley win over Crewe to secure promotion back to the third tier. He also presided over an unsuccessful play-off campaign the following season, as well as the famous wins over Manchester United and Everton in the League Cup.
Pictured here is a City corner during a 0-0 draw with Dagenham and Redbridge in April 2005. What unusual event happens next?
It was Yorkie's legendary stuntYorkie (aka Alex Bedingham) barrels down the touchline in front of the Main Stand at quite a lick before pedalling, to society's eternal loss, out of shot. Indubitably an all-time highlight of 88 years of Bootham Crescent football.
For what achievement did York City receive this trophy?
Division Four Champions 1984
To date the only occasion when York finished as league champions, the 1983/84 campaign made Football League history as the first team to ever gain 100 points plus in a season. For this stellar achievement plus finishing top scorers in the division, City received a whopping £10,000 in prize money. Game's gone, honestly.
Finally, according to YouGov, which of the following is NOT among the most popular descriptions of York City FC by the club's own fans?
Disappointing wasn't among them
Though apparently not so popular here, 'disappointing' is perhaps the most consistent descriptor used to describe York in my fourteen years as a fan. But we love em all the same.