City History - Gary Himsworth

When Gary Himsworth was released by Scarborough in May 1993 there were more than a few York City supporters who thought he could do a job back at Bootham Crescent in Division 2 (tier 3).

Certainly, several clubs took an interest in the midfield player. They included Bradford City and Chesterfield. He signed for Darlington.

A talented youngster, he came 4th out of over 10,000 in a Bobby Charlton young talent competition when aged 14, he made his York debut on the opening day of the 1987-8 season as a 17 year old apprentice playing out wide on the wing. Denis Smith had jumped ship for Sunderland and left City without a team. It really was a case of have boots will play. His talent was instantly recognisable, his lightweight frame continually clattered to the ground. He made only 3 more appearances during the next 3 months. He returned to the side on November 28 1987 and was an ever present for the rest of the season. For much of the time keeping Tony Canham out. Such was the impression that he made that he was offered a professional contract in January 1988 lasting until June 1990. He and another promising youngster, Andy McMillan, were offered similar contracts in an attempt to tie them to the club.

Himsworth finished his first season with 31 Division 3 appearances and 2 goals. His efforts couldn't prevent relegation back to Division 4.

He was a regular the following season. Playing out wide, his accurate crosses deserved better than the head of Ian Helliwell, pity Keith Walwyn had departed. John Bird had arrived. On several occasions, he publicly praised the effort and commitment of Gary Himsworth. He looked like the manager's favourite. At times, he was definitely the fans' favourite. Something went wrong, he went out of favour. I remember one night at Colchester, he scored 2 goals, City were 2 up and cruising, only John Bird would substitute him when he was going for a hat trick, the only City player who had looked like scoring all night. He appeared frozen out, from being blue eyed boy to a free transfer to Scarborough at the end of 1990 after over 100 appearances. All before his 21st birthday.

Scarborough converted him to central midfield player. He appeared to revel in his new role and was a regular as Scarborough struggled on. His midfield promptings undoubtedly helping the goal scoring exploits of Tommy Mooney and Darren Foreman. He played a large part in last season's Coca Cola Cup.

Cash strapped Scarborough have released several of what appear to be their better players in what appears to be an attempt to reduce the wage bill. Lee Hirst found his way to Coventry. Tommy Mooney, valued at half a million last season, signed for Southend for less than a third of that.

Will it be third time lucky for Gary Himsworth at Darlington? He's definitely got the ability, give him the chance.

After 2 and a half years at Darlo, Alan Little paid £25,000 to bring him back to York in February 1996. He stayed for just over 3 years, playing another 69 times before leaving on a free transfer to return to Darlington just as City’s stay in the third flight was coming to an end.

He stayed at Darlington for another 3 years before drifting out of The Football League.

A talented youngster, maybe handicapped by his versatility, he never quite lived up to his earlier promise. Another wasted youth.