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York City's Best Ever XI

We've all got a different opinion of what represents City's best ever eleven, read on ...

Local Hero

Following a poll, an article in the Yorkshire Evening Press dated (31st October 1998), they named Barry Swallow as City’s all time ”local hero”. The article went onto say it was a part of a nationwide Football League initiative as part of its centenary celebrations, although that had happened 10 years earlier in 1988, so it was actually celebrating 110 years. The article went onto contain several spelling mistakes and named one player who’d never played for City. The article is reproduced below.

Former club captain and current director Barry Swallow was today crowned York City's 'Local Hero'.

Swallow soared to the top of the poll conducted by the club in association with the Yorkshire Evening Press as part of the promotional campaign to mark the Football League's centenary. Before setting off for this afternoon's visit by City to Wigan Athletic the jubilant votes-victor said: "I am flabbergasted, absolutely amazed. I had never given it a lot of thought, but to win is very, very nice. I am flattered by the fans' support. It's incredible."

The one-time central defensive pivot, who made 312 appearances in a seven-year stint with the Minstermen, polled an emphatic 33 percent of the voting.

He finished an outright winner ahead of striker Keith Walwyn in second place. Centre-backs Barry Jackson and Chris Topping finished in joint third place in the poll, which generated considerable interest from City fans.

Of the current crop of City stars Andy McMillan finished with the most votes to land fourth place.

The newly-crowned City 'local hero' cited the stars of Doncaster Rovers, his first League club, in the 1950s and 1960s as his own playing champions.

Top of the Rovers' legends for Swallow was his father, the late Ernie Swallow, whose exploits are still recalled with pleasure. "I still get a lot of feedback when I go back to Doncaster from fans who remember dad as a player. Unfortunately I was only 19 when he died. I was so disappointed he never saw more of my career, especially my days with City. With my dad playing there I used to watch Rovers a lot. They were a big club then, a power in the Second Division and used to attract crowds of 30,000 regularly. Alec Jeffrey was a great player in those days as was Peter Doherty, who also managed the team. They were my heroes." said Swallow, who before coming to York played for Doncaster, Crewe, Barnsley and Bradford City.

Now he is a hero in his own right and both City and the Football League, who instigated the poll, are now deciding how best to mark his achievement.

How the votes were cast: Barry Swallow: 33 per cent; Keith Walwyn 16; Chris Topping and Barry Jackson 5.3; Andy McMillan 4.8; Jon McCarthy 3.9.

The remaining 37.1 per cent of the votes were cast among the following 35 players: Colin Addison, Paul Aimson, Paddy Atkinson, Paul Barnes, Arthur Bottom, Phil Burrows, John Byrne, Cyril Coultate (Who?- Ed), Graeme Crawford, Richard Cresswell, Wayne Hall, Ian Helliwell, Ian Holmes, Chris Jones, Roger Jones, Norman Jukes, Dean Kiely, Andy Leaning, David Longhurst, Barry Lyons, Alf Patrick, Nigel Pepper, Jack Pinder, Brian Pollard, Alan Pouton, Jimmy Seal, Billy Rudd, Paul Stancliffe, Gordon Staniforth, Paul Stephenson, Sid Storey, Gary Swann, Des Thompson, Steve Tutill and Norman Wilkinson

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Dave Flett - Best XI

In November 2019, on York Hospital Ball, Dave Flett nominated the best team of players he’d seen represent City during his 10 years covering City for the York Press.

In 3-4-1 2 format, he named Pope; Parslow (“amazing shift at back and equally brilliant playing in midfield in front of back 4”), McGurk, Lowe; Blair (“(I need to) shoe horn him in at right wing back, phenomenal in those front 3 positions where he had a bit of licence to roam". He also named Blair as the nicest player he knew at City, Blair bought cakes into YEP office on his departure), Boucaud ("skills and mastery of a football were Premier League class, didn’t do it further up the pitch, would keep the ball well"), Bishop (N), Meredith; Woolford; Donaldson ("so fast and so skilful, a real handful for defences"), Brodie ("strength and pace, he had everything, he should have gone on to play at Championship level").

Daniel Parslow - Best Teammates

In May 2019, Dave Flett interviewed Daniel Parslow for York Press and asked him to name the best players he played with at City.

In 4-4-1-1 formation Parslow named Ingham; Gibson, McGurk, O’Connell, Meredith; Blair, Lawless, Bishop (N), Chambers: Woolford, Donaldson.

City's Worst Ever XI
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