Bootham Crescent will soon be history. But memories of York City FC will be retained in the development that replaces it.
The National League North club, who have called Bootham Crescent home for 88 years, today revealed legacy plans which are being designed with Historic England and Persimmon Homes.
The legacy plans for the Bootham Crescent site include:
Retention of a section of the Popular Stand terrace and tunnel to provide a lasting legacy of the stadium and create a focal point for memory and orientation.
Naming of places in the site: the club and Persimmon Homes have submitted a request, to City of York Council, to name 6 places within the development including roads, walks and apartments all paying respects to past legends of York City FC, including David Longhurst Way and similar.
Creation of a Memorial Garden which will provide a home for existing memorials, caskets and ashes (subject to family wishes).
Marking out of the centre circle, within in the Public Open Space, will sit where the current centre circle sits in the ground and will align with the retained section of terrace and provide a further place for orientation.
Recreation of the flagpole and ‘five-minute flag’: another unique historic feature of Bootham Crescent was the lowering of the club flag to signal that there were five minutes to go before the end of each match. The flag flew from a flagpole originally located between the south-east corner of the pitch and the main entrance. A new flagpole will be erected, flying a replica of the club flag as a permanent and symbolic reminder of fans’ allegiance to Bootham Crescent.
Retention of the boundary wall around the site which was originally in place for the cricket pitch, will be retained but where concrete blockwork has been added to the summit this will be removed. Where necessary, consolidation will be undertaken using reclaimed bricks from elsewhere on the site.
‘Very difficult’ to go
YCFC chairman Jason McGill said: “Leaving this ground, which has been our home for 88 years, is going to be very difficult for everyone.
“Each and every person associated with the club has special memories; many of our fans have grown up here, others have spent time with family or made friends.
“We hope that these legacy plans, which have been very close to our hearts, will give supporters, locals and visitors a place to remember these memories for years to come.”
Historic England are using this project as a benchmark for how other sports clubs and leisure places might approach a ground redevelopment.
As part of this project Historic England have commissioned a series of videos to be found on its YouTube site.
Keith Emerick of Historic England said: “The affection and passion that York City fans have for Bootham Crescent shows how the ground is not just a football pitch but a place loaded with meaning and memories.
“Historic England believes that it’s important that this heritage is given the respect it deserves and that the ground is memorialised in the housing development that will take its place.”
Scott Waters, managing director for Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said: “We have always understood the importance of creating a design that is in keeping with Bootham Crescent’s history and feel privileged to be part of such a significant new development.”