Southern Connections

Arthur Bottom At 80

On February 28, 2010, City legend Arthur Bottom celebrated his 80th birthday in Sheffield, where he now leads a very quiet life, through choice.

York City South celebrated his birthday at our meeting in February. A lively evening was had by all. Andy Naylor won the quiz, we all signed a card for Arthur and deavoured Dot's large birthday cake in Arthur's honour.

So greedy were we, that no photographs of the cake are believed to exist.

The card was delivered to Arthur in his Sheffield home by Denise Ainscow, a long standing friend of Arthur and his wife Rita. Our grateful thanks go to Denise for maintaining the link with one of York City's footballing legends, for passing on the card and also for taking the snaps of Arthur that appear on this page.

Denise said "Arthur was genuinely shocked and overwhelmed by the amount of well wishes he had got from all over the world". Indeed she feels he does not really understand the enormity of his popularity amongst the York City faithful claiming "Why have all these people sent birthday wishes to me?". Read Arthur's note of appreciation.

Arthur was disappointed to hear that his good friend and goalscoring companion, Norman Wilkinson, was not in the best of health. He claimed, "Norman never said a bad word about anyone and is a lovely man, whereas me, I was a bit of a bugger!"

Apparently, Arthur even had a go at his own quiz. Its not recorded how many he scored.

Arthur's playing days were a bygone era when football was a job, a poorly paid job and footballers were no different to the fans, often travelling together on the bus to the game, living as next door neighbours in terrace houses and sharing a pint in the local pub or WMC.

I'm far too young to have ever seen Arthur play, but with his reputation, if he was playing today, he'd be able to name his price with his goalscoring exploits.

Arthur, we all wish you many more happy birthdays.

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