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York City's Keepers: 1994-2015 and beyond

An update to the original articles, we catch up with City's keepers since 1994

City History - Keepers - 1994 - 2015

Intro 1929-39 World War 2 1946-1970
1970-1994 1994-2015+ City Long Serving Career Long Serving
The Best - Numbers Outfield In Goal On The Bench Pen Pics

The 1994/5 seasons started with high hopes having reached the Division 2 (now Division 1) play offs in the previous season, our return to the division. With a settled, side, City never really got into real playoff contention. Dean Kiely again finished the season as an ever present, only the second City keeper to achieve that feat in 2 consecutive seasons after Graeme Crawford (1974-6). Kiely was first choice the following season but missed 6 league games following a jaw injury sustained at Hull after a collision with Rob "The Mad Butcher" Dewhirst. Without a keeper on the bench, Paul Baker went in goal and Andy Warrington stood in the crowd behind the goal with City supporters and shouted instructions at Baker. Warrington made his City in The Coca Cola cup tie with Manchester United 3 days later.

One keeper who didn't play for City was Nick Culkin, our youth team keeper. Sir Alex Ferguson proved displayed his outstanding abilities as a talent spotter of youth when signing Cuklin from City. Culkin made his City debut on the bench in the 1995 Coca Cola Cup tie with Manchester United. That night, the way Culkin commanded his bench and kept a clean sheet prompted Ferguson to sign him shortly afterwards. He went on to have a long and successful United career, eventually setting United club records for their most expensive player ever (in terms of £ per minutes) and shortest league career. It lasted all of one minute which cost about £320,000 per minute when the transfer fees and the money City made from a friendly as part of the deal are taken into account.

Kiely left City under slightly acrimonious circumstances in August 1996. Out of contract, he had talks with Bruce Grobbelaar’s Plymouth before signing for Bury. Initially, he went to Bury for talks with their manager out of courtesy, not expecting to join a club who had just been promoted from the basement division and the bookie's favourite for immediate relegation. He was talked around by Stan Ternant's sweet talk. Against all odds, Bury were promoted for a second successive season and Kiely was later quoted as rating Ternant as the best manager he'd ever played under. Leaving City a few months earlier was a 16 year old schoolboy keeper, Paul Robinson, presumably, one City felt wouldn't make the grade with Kiely and Warrington around. He joined Leeds, the rest is history.

Over the next 3 seasons, Warrington never truly established himself as City’s first choice keeper (only establishing himself as Ron Hillyard's succssor in a short line of young and useless City goalkeepers who did better elsewhere). For 1996/7, Warrington shared keeping duties with Tim Clarke and Mark Prudhoe. A season later he was understudy to Mark Samways and in 1998/9, he was understudy to York born, ex England under 21 keeper Bobby Mimms. Warrington went onto play over 400 league games, mainly for Doncaster and Rotherham and usually at a higher level than City before leaving league football in 2013. For 2015/6, he was number 2 keeper and keeper coach at Grimsby.

1999/2000 saw Bobby Mimms largely retain his place, but also saw a debut for youngster Russ Howarth (he played the first 4 games of the season before losing his place after a 6-3 defeat at Barnet). Howarth made club hstory in February 2000, when he became City's first ever sub keeper, replacing the injured Mimms against Plymouth. He played the next game before giving way to new signing Alan Fettis. Quite a season for City keepers, England B, England Under 20 and full Northern Ireland internationals respectively. Fettis was an ever present in the following 2000/1 season whilst Howarth continued to represent England’s junior age sides all the way through to the Under 20 side. The same order seemed certain to apply in the 2001/2 season, until Howarth was given a game on the final day of the 2001/2 season.

That summer, after playing for England Under 21 at the 2002 European Under 21 Championship Finals, Howarth was placed on standby for the 2002 World Cup by England along with the rest of the England Under 21 squad. As the new season approached, out of contract Howarth become disillusioned with reserve team football with City and trials with Spurs, Everton (the team he supported as a boy, playing for them in a 3-0 at Falkirk in a testimonial game), Newcastle (working with Shay Given and Steve Harper) and Wolves followed.

Howarth went to Portugal on a pre season camp with Wolves who were keen to sign him and offered a contract worth 3 times more than his City contract with a generous signing on fee. Called back to York, Terry Dolan asked him to play in a pre-season friendly with Alan Fettis out with a broken finger. Having been told by Wolves not to play in case he got an injury that might scupper the deal, Howarth refused, Dolan went berserk. Relations soured between City and Wolves and about 6 weeks later, he agreed to train and play (bench warm) with City. At the time, by City paying his wages, City could demand a fee, equally, if the player could sit at home and do nothing. It suited both parties as Howarth was "in the shop window" and City had a keeper for the bench. He joined Tranmere for £25,000 in November 2002. With the PFA paying City's wages the previous month, his fee covered the wage bill for 2 months as the reality of the Batchelor regime became apparent. By the age of 25 and after a serious concussion injury, Howarth decided he didn't want to continue in the game whilst a chance to come back to York on an emergency loan was scuppered by FA regulations. Russ Howarth: York Hospital Ball.

With Fettis nursing a broken finger and Howarth not wanting to play, the 2002/3 season started with new short term signing Marlon Beresford in goal for the first 6 games before his deal ended and he joined Burnley. Fit again Alan Fettis resumed his duties until he was released to join Hull in January 2003 during City’s financial / ownership crisis years. In 2011, he was to become an academy coach at Manchester United and played a reserve team game for them when both keepers became ill in the build up to the game. Another Northern Ireland international, Michael Ingham was signed on loan from Sunderland and played 17 times for City in 2002/3, a minor injury meant the emergency loan signing of Phil Whitehead from Reading in April; he made 2 appearances before Ingham recovered. In 2002/3, City used 5 regular keepers and 2 outfield players went in goal during games. David Stockdale made his debut as a half time sub in the final game of the season. For 2003/4, the late Mark Ovendale kept goal with deputy Chris Porter making his first 5 appearances. Both signed after a deal to bring Marlon Beresford back to the club fell through due to insurance problems concerning an old back injury. Incidentally, Beresford had a Burnley fanzine ("Marlon Beresford’s Gloves” named after him, I had thought of giving the honour of the first keeper to have a fanzine named after him to Andy Warrington, but I don't think "Andy Warrington's Bloomers" would have sold anything like the numbers that New Frontiers did.) Later, Beresford starred for Luton and Bradford.

Our return to non league started with new signing Paul Crichton in goal. He lasted just 4 games before a very public falling out with City fans at Gravesend and his departure (probably released at the end of a 4 week short term contract rather than being sacked as sometimes reported). Crichton released. Chris Porter and David Stockdale shared keeping duties for the rest of the season before Porter assumed seniority over Stockdale for the 2005/6 season. Both keepers were released at the end of the season. Stockdale / Porter - Mascot For A Day. Stockdale, rather surprisingly, rumours abounded that McEwan felt he was over weight and not committed to the life of a professional footballer. He rebuilt his career at Darlington before big money moves to Fulham and Brighton followed, as did an England call up. Again, rather surprisingly, he rejected a new contract at Brighton, newly promoted to The Premier League for Championship Birmingham in 2017 where he soon fell out of favour with successive managers.

For 2006/7, Tommy Evans was recruited and he played every game bar one, when youngster Arran (son of Jimmy, a 70s City reserve midfielder and Rowntree Mackintosh stalwart for many years) Reid started. The season ended in a play off semi final defeat at Morecambe, some blaming Evans for our defeat. Whatever, he retained his position for the next season and was a regular except for a handful of games when loanee Stephen Henderson and second string Josh Mimms deputised. Mimms, arriving in October 2007 was to stay for nearly 3 years, but struggled to make the first team. Bobby and Josh Mimms are the only final and son to keep goal for City.

Michael Ingham returned to City in early summer 2008 and soon cemented himself in the first team as City reached the new Wembley for the first time in May 2009 and a FA Trophy Final defeat against Stevenage. Mimms and loanee Artur Krysiak, the then current Polish Under 19 keeper, made a handful of appearances, Krysiak looking assured before a dislocated finger in his second City appearance cut short his stay. His 2 games resulted in 2 wins with clean sheets. Newspaper reports at the time indicated that Birmingham had waived their right to a £1,000 per game loan fee. Later in the same season, he was playing Championship football for Swansea. The following season, Ingham missed just one game (Mimms again replaced him) as City again reached Wembley and a play off final defeat against Oxford in 2010. Some blamed Ingham and his defence for conceding 2 early goals from which City never recovered. Australian Simon Miotto joined as keeper coach in February 2010 and was registered as a player for the rest of the season without playing.

In 2010/11, once again Ingham missed just one game, suspended after a sending off, and was replaced by David Knight on a season long loan from Histon. Ingham’s unchallenged run continued during the 2011/2 season, missing only the final 3 league games of the season with a slight knock. Paul Musselwhite, City’s 43 year old keeper coach was required to fulfil his other role as second keeper. He became City’s oldest debutant and oldest ever City player as he oversaw 3 clean sheet wins. His perfect record (games / wins / clean sheets) over 3 games has never been achieved by any other City keeper.

Back in The Football League, Michael Ingham was an ever present in 2012/3 as City secured survival on the last day of the season. Musselwhite remained with the club until March 2013, 2 days after Gary Mills was sacked. New manager, Nigel Worthington brought in ex keeper Fred Barber as his assistant and loanee keeper Arron Jameson from Sheffield Wednesday to sit on the bench for the rest of the season. Ingham retained his first team position at the start of the 2013/4 season. Season long keeper loanee, Chris Kettings made his only City appearance against Bristol Rovers in an FA Cup replay in November.

Nigel Worthington sought to bring in another loanee as City once again struggled. Ingham had been suffering with an ever worsening groin strain since pre season and some suggested he was playing below par. Nick Pope arrived from Charlton. Meeting up with his teammates for the first time, before a game at Southend in November 2013, Worthington told his team he had a new young keeper coming in for the game who would come for every cross. Any doubts the defence had with this statement were soon dispelled when the game started. Pope impressed in 2 games before being recalled due to a keeper crisis at Charlton. Immediately Worthington brought in Aaron McCarey from Wolves who played in the next 5 games. Kettings lost patience and asked to return to Blackpool. After McCarey’s loan ended, Ingham regained his place for 3 games before Nick Pope returned and was to play in every remaining game that season. Shortly after Pope returned, City went on an impressive run surging from the relegation places at new year to claiming a play off place. In his 22 games for City, Pope kept 15 clean sheets. Ingham's City future seemed to be in doubt with Pope in place, especially when he announced himself on social media as an "Ex City Keeper". A clear the air meeting with Worthington assured him of his future. It wasn't the first time they'd had a clear the air. On Worthington's arrival, Ingham feared for his City future, having been ignored by Worthington when he was the Northern Ireland manager, Worthington explained that on the international stage, he was looking to blood younger keepers, but was more than happy with Ingham to continue as his first choice City keeper.

Attempts to re-sign Pope for the 2014/5 season failed. However, Pope did enjoy another successful basement loan spell at Bury during the following season which ended in promotion. Back at Charlton, his progress was slow, a couple of howlers didn’t help, before he established himself in their Division 1 side. A move to Premier League Burnley followed in July 2016 and although waiting over a year for his debut, injury to Tom Heaton saw him make his debut in September 2017, quickly establishing himself in goal and earning many plaudits and high ratings in the keeper stats. An England call up followed in March 2018 (and first England cap 3 months later), at the time of his call up, he noted, "I always refer to my move to York City in 2014 as the one which changed everything for me".

Jason Mooney, a giant (and at over 6 foot 8 inches, City’s tallest ever player) signed on a free transfer from Tranmere started the 2014/5 season in goal, he struggled badly and was subbed by Ingham at half time in our 3rd league game. Ingham maintained his place, although he himself was subbed at half time by Mooney when feeling unwell at Newport in October, Worthington’s last game as City manager. Neither keeper convinced new manager Russ Wilcox who brought in loanees, Alex Cisak (October) and then Bobby Olejnik (January). When Olejnik took a knock in April, Mooney was recalled from an impressive loan spell at Conference side Alfreton and Ingham was re-instated in goal, a couple of clean sheets followed as Ingham closed in on Tommy Forgan’s club record number of City clean sheets.


New signing, Scott Flinders was City's regular keeper but his performances deteriorated as City's struggles to avoid relegation from the Football League were unsuccessful. Michael Ingham continued as deputy and he retired at the end of the season, agonisingly short of Tommy Forgan’s record number of clean sheets. Interestingly, Scott Flinders still holds the clean sheets record at Hartlepool. Following an incident in City’s away game with AFC Wimbledon, Scott Flinders was banned for 5 games by an FA tribunal for racially abusing home striker, Lyle Taylor in an incident which had happened on the high street on a Saturday night could possibly have seen Taylor placed on the sex offenders register if the incident had one to a magistrate’s court where a higher level of evidence is required. Flinders tribunal - Read More

Ingham, having accepted a 2 year contract in 2014 on 50% of hie previous wage, was offered a new contract in 2016 on the same terms, but for only 10 months, not the usual 12 months. He announced his retirement from the professional game in July 2016 when he accepted an offer from 121.


Although Flinders started the season in goal, he quickly fell out of favour (and was suspended by City) when the FA tribunal decision was announced. New reserve keeper Luke Simpson briefly took his place before Kyle Letheren (son of ex Leeds keeper, Glan) was signed and established himself as number one. Flinders was allowed to join Macclesfield, initially on loan, before a permanent deal. After a promising start Letheren’s from began to suffer, possibly due to City’s general form and a series of back spasms that affected him. Scott Loach was signed on loan from Notts County (he’d turned City down before Letheren joined). On a wind swept debut at Dagenham, he nearly scored direct from a clearance. He kept his place for the rest of the season but having been signed too late in the season, he wasn’t eligible for City’s FA Trophy triumph at Wembley where Scott Flinders kept goal for Macclesfield.


34 year old Jon Worsnop made his City debut on the opening day of the 2017/8 season. His signing seemed to mark a shift in policy, approaching, if not already at the veteran stage, he’d enjoyed a solid career, although usually at clubs often considered to be on a lesser level than City. FL appearances. Afer conceding a penalty at Harrogate and the same again in the next game at South Shields, when he was dispossessed with the ball at his feet, he was dropped in favour of Luke Simpson for the next game, a win over Brackley which was Martin Gray's first game as manager and Simpson's last for the club. Under Gray, Worsnop assumed goalkeeping coach duties until he left the club in November 2017.

Gray turned to Bailey Peacock-Farrell, signing the 20 year old from Leeds on loan, a player known to Gray from a loan spell at Darlington during the previous season. Conceding 9 goals in his 4 games, its probably fair to say, he struggled to cope with “men’s football” and didn't set the world alight and after Gray managed to sign Adam Bartlett following prolonged negotiations, he returned early to Leeds. It was to his credit, that having played just once for Leeds in April 2016, he returned to their first team in February 2018 in the 3-0 home defeat against runaawy leaague leaders Wolves, he was man of the match and coninued to impress, making his Northern Ireland Under 21 debut a month later.

Initial thoughts seemed to suggest Bartlett's part time role at Darlington and coaching duties at Middlesbrough were more lucrative than a full time role with City. Having played on trial with City in July 2007 and subsequently enjoyed a long career, he was considered a safe pair of hands and a leading non-league keeper. After signing, he enjoyed an unbroken run in City's team, possibly not quite living up to his reputation as a leading non-league keeper, but generally proved to be a safe pair of hands. On reaching 25 City appearances, Bartlett qualified for inclusion in the list of City's all time top keepers, entering the chart as our 21st best ever keeper.

Elsewhere, the season was notable for Nick Pope, City's ex loanee keeper establishing himself in Burnley's side that finished 7th in the Premier League. In March 2018, he received his first call up to England's full team. Meanwhile, 3 former City keepers were still keeping at a level above City in the English pyramid (David Stockdale (Birmingham), Kyle Letheren (Plymouth), Scott Flinders (Cheltenham)) as were 7 former loanees (Nick Pope (Burnley), Scott Loach (Hartlepool), Stephen Henderson (Forest & Portsmouth), Artur Krysiak (Yeovil), Bobby Olejnik (Mansfield), Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Leeds) and Richard O'Donnell (Walsall)).


Adam Bartlett retained his position as City's first choice keeper until illness saw Ryan Whitley make his debut in a 1-0 win over Southport on April 6. City's highly rated 19 year old (and ex England Under 16 keeper) looked assured on a quiet debut and kept his place for the final few games of the season. Bartlett's performances saw him rise to City's 18th best ever keeper.


With both last season's keepers out of contract, the keeper's gloves were up for grabs. Bartlett rejected a new contract offer to return to part time football and a role on Newcastle United's staff. Ryan Whitley signed a new contract and Peter Jameson joined from Blyth, again City had recruited someone widely touted as one of non league's top keepers. Despite Steve Watson saying in pre season that the keeper's shirt was up for grabs, Jameson started in goal and held the jersey for the whole season, save City's first 2 FA Cup games. Jameson did little to make anyone doubt it was the correct decision. Whitley had a month on loan at South Shields in February 2020.


Peter Jameswon was an ever present whilst 18 yera old, Harry Flatters, signed from Middlesbrough warmed the bench throughout the aborted seasoas. Ryan Whitley spent the first half of the season on loan at Scarborough Athletic.

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