Tributes paid to York City legend Arthur Bottom

19 Apr 2012 @ 1.21 pm
| Sport
York City hero Arthur Bottom hunting for goals
  • Legendary marksmen has died aged 82

  • ‘Thrilled the Bootham Crescent crowds’

One of York City’s all-time greats, Arthur Bottom, has died aged 82.

Tributes are being paid to the man City historian David Batters described as “without doubt one of the best marksmen in the club’s history”.

The club posted this announcement on the official website:

Arthur passed away at the age of 82 in hospital in his home town of Sheffield yesterday.
Arthur had a wonderful playing career and was signed by the club in the 1954-55 season and was a prominent figure in the “Happy Wanderers” run to the FA Cup Semi-Finals, scoring a club record 39 league and cup goals on the way.
Arthur Bottom is ranked 6th of the list of all-time York City goalscorers with 105 goals in his 158 appearances for the club.
York City Football Club would like to pass on our sincerest condolences to Arthur’s family at this time.

Arthur made 158 appearances for City between 1954 and 1958, scoring an incredible 105 goals. “Arthur thrilled the Bootham Crescent crowds in the mid-1950s with his explosive finishing and aggressive style,” David recalled in his book York City: The Complete Record.

“A sometimes controversial figure on the field, he was quiet and retiring off it.”

There’s Only One Arthur Bottom, an emailed York City newsletter delivered almost daily since 1997, was named after the great man.

Editor Josh Easby said in today’s edition that he was too young to see Arthur play but “spent my childhood hearing my father and others recount tales of his goalscoring feats”.

This is his tribute:

It wasn’t just his performances on the field that set him apart. He had a reputation for being down to earth, an ordinary bloke who made the most of his talent and who could relate to the fans who cheered him on. He was an unfashionable player, playing for an unfashionable club and the likes of my father loved him for it.
In recent years, a giant photograph of Arthur went on display at Bootham Crescent. He looks exhausted but happy after a match. Look closely and you can see a barely-concealed cigarette in his hand.
In mid-1997, a few of us started this newsletter when email was in its infancy. For a while, it didn’t have a name so we asked subscribers for suggestions. Various ideas came forth until someone came up with There’s Only One Arthur Bottom.
No more discussion was needed – if we wanted a player who epitomised what our club was about, we need look no further. He was the original Arthur and we became Arthurites.
I didn’t ask Arthur’s permission to use his name – indeed, I didn’t know where he lived or what had happened to him since his retirement from football. But in 2001, his daughter contacted me to let me know her father (living in Sheffield) was aware of the newsletter and that he was tickled pink we’d chosen to remember him. When I left the UK to return to New Zealand in 2006, the club presented me with a photograph of Arthur scoring one of his FA Cup goals – and he’d handwritten a message for me, and signed the photograph. That photograph is one of my proudest possessions.
Two years ago, the subscribers to this newsletter celebrated Arthur’s 80th birthday with a special edition of TOOAB, in which many subscribers shared their memories of the great man. The special edition was printed off and delivered to Arthur by Graham Bradbury who reported back that Arthur was thrilled and felt humbled by all the attention…
There really was only one Arthur Bottom.