Tributes paid to York City club historian David Batters

York City historian David Batters

York City historian David Batters receives a memento from club director Sophie Hicks in 2008 to mark his 60 years as a Minstermen fan

First published in Sport
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TRIBUTES have been paid to York City historian David Batters, who has died aged 75.

Batters first started penning historical notes for the Minstermen club programme in 1974 and went on to write several books on the Bootham Crescent outfit.

His York City - A Complete Record 1922-1990, a club 'bible' to many fans, was published in June 1990 and an updated York City The Complete Record was brought out in 2008, a year that marked Batters' 60 years as a supporter.

Sophie Hicks, City's communications and community director, said: “Everyone at York City is deeply saddened by the loss of David Batters, a genuinely kind and lovely man, as well as a great supporter and contributor to York City in his capacity as club historian.

"The time, dedication and effort he has given to York City over the years has been immense, from his regular contributions to the match programme to the wonderful history books he has written about the club.

"He will be greatly missed as a true supporter and as an individual with a remarkable knowledge of York City and its fine history. We send our deepest sympathy to David’s family at this sad time.”

A minute's applause will be held as a tribute to Batters ahead of City's next pre-season friendly, against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.

The former Archbishop Holgate's Grammar School pupil attended his first City game at the age of nine in October 1948, his uncle Les taking him to a 2-1 Third Division North victory over Mansfield Town.

In his voluntary capacity as the Bootham Crescent club historian, Batters compiled a collection of scrapbooks, newspapers and programmes that filled filing cabinets in his garage.

In an interview six years ago, Batters, who worked for 40 years at Rowntree Mackintosh, said: "I can still fit my car in, just. But thanks to considerable help from my son Ian, also a keen fan for the last 35 years, my records are all on computer now as well."

Batters commentated on City matches on hospital radio for 30 years and compiled detailed match facts on the club and their opponents as part of a regular feature in The Press.

Stuart Martel, sports editor of The Press, said: "David's knowledge of York City was second to none and his contribution to our coverage of the club will be sorely missed.

"He was always willing to trawl through his information in search of milestones and club records. His attention to detail was legendary and he is, quite simply, irreplaceable.

"His two magnificent Complete Record books will serve as a lasting legacy to his outstanding work for the club and its fans."

Former Press sports editor Malcolm Huntington said: "Anyone who has had the good fortune to write about football for a living will know only too well that a great deal can depend on the information at one's fingertips.

"There have been a huge number of occasions when I have been deeply grateful for the knowledge and help of David Batters, who had the most obscure facts and figures at his command

"David and I have shared a great love of the game, and particularly our local club, which has experienced more ups and downs than most. Every club depends a lot on - and is lucky to have - men like David.

"A supporter since 1948, he has charted the progress of the club over the years with meticulous care and all those who delight in watching football and York City in particular owe him a great debt of gratitude.

"He will be sorely missed."

Long-standing City supporter Graham Bradbury said: "Dave was one of the nicest chaps around - and with a mind of endless information and statistics.

"I will miss him tremendously. He loved coming to all my dinners and functions and always had some nugget or piece of intrigue to tell you about the people who were there.

"We regularly met up at Headingley or Scarborough for the cricket and, no matter how important the match or how intriguing the play may be, he would never go to a match on a Friday. It was his shopping day at Asda."

Batters, who died on Thursday after a short illness, was married to the late Kathleen and leaves a son, Ian, and a daughter, Sarah.

Comments (13)

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8:54pm Fri 25 Jul 14

chuckabuttie says...

Sorry to hear this news. The Complete Record books were a great reference to games attended when I was young and his articles in Programmes always a good read
Sorry to hear this news. The Complete Record books were a great reference to games attended when I was young and his articles in Programmes always a good read chuckabuttie
  • Score: 16

9:24pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Truropete says...

Very sad to read about David Batters passing. I thoroughly enjoy his books and refer to them constantly. They clearly have been a labour of love over the years and the club and we supporters will forever be in his debt. I send my condolences to his family and loved ones.
Very sad to read about David Batters passing. I thoroughly enjoy his books and refer to them constantly. They clearly have been a labour of love over the years and the club and we supporters will forever be in his debt. I send my condolences to his family and loved ones. Truropete
  • Score: 18

9:24pm Fri 25 Jul 14

DAMARK says...

WHAT A LOVELY GUY. I SHALL MISS SEEING HIM AT THE HOME GAMES. I WILL TREASURE THE CITY BOOK HE SIGNED FOR ME GOD BLESS DAVID
WHAT A LOVELY GUY. I SHALL MISS SEEING HIM AT THE HOME GAMES. I WILL TREASURE THE CITY BOOK HE SIGNED FOR ME GOD BLESS DAVID DAMARK
  • Score: 15

10:56pm Fri 25 Jul 14

rogue84 says...

echo the comments above, very sad to hear of this loss to the York City family.
echo the comments above, very sad to hear of this loss to the York City family. rogue84
  • Score: 12

11:51am Sat 26 Jul 14

y-front says...

Truropete wrote:
Very sad to read about David Batters passing. I thoroughly enjoy his books and refer to them constantly. They clearly have been a labour of love over the years and the club and we supporters will forever be in his debt. I send my condolences to his family and loved ones.
Would echo these & other comments made on here. His published work & program contributions are a constant reminder of my distant & recent past as a City supporter.
Very glad that the club are to mark his passing at the Fores5t game.
It is said occasionally that certain people leave shoes that will be difficult to fill. In David's case I would think they'll be virtually impossible to fill.
Condolences to David's family
[quote][p][bold]Truropete[/bold] wrote: Very sad to read about David Batters passing. I thoroughly enjoy his books and refer to them constantly. They clearly have been a labour of love over the years and the club and we supporters will forever be in his debt. I send my condolences to his family and loved ones.[/p][/quote]Would echo these & other comments made on here. His published work & program contributions are a constant reminder of my distant & recent past as a City supporter. Very glad that the club are to mark his passing at the Fores5t game. It is said occasionally that certain people leave shoes that will be difficult to fill. In David's case I would think they'll be virtually impossible to fill. Condolences to David's family y-front
  • Score: 14

1:29pm Sat 26 Jul 14

calmdownyork says...

So sorry to hear this. David interviewed me during the crisis. Just a shame I was bound by so many confidentiality clauses! I found him a true gentleman and it was an honour to have known him. Every club needs a Dave Batters. RIP.
So sorry to hear this. David interviewed me during the crisis. Just a shame I was bound by so many confidentiality clauses! I found him a true gentleman and it was an honour to have known him. Every club needs a Dave Batters. RIP. calmdownyork
  • Score: 10

1:43pm Sat 26 Jul 14

tips says...

There are no words to express my sadness at this tragic news I have known David personally since he worked at Rowntrees and he was York City through and through.
It would be a fitting tribute to David and his family if one of the stands or a part of the new Community Stadium could be named after him.
David Batters lived and breathed York City and often said to me he hoped he would see the new ground but sadly he won't.
Rest in peace David..... Bootham Crescent your family and friends will miss you greatly.Thanks for all the chats and for your friendship.
There are no words to express my sadness at this tragic news I have known David personally since he worked at Rowntrees and he was York City through and through. It would be a fitting tribute to David and his family if one of the stands or a part of the new Community Stadium could be named after him. David Batters lived and breathed York City and often said to me he hoped he would see the new ground but sadly he won't. Rest in peace David..... Bootham Crescent your family and friends will miss you greatly.Thanks for all the chats and for your friendship. tips
  • Score: 20

2:38pm Sat 26 Jul 14

bill bailey says...

tips wrote:
There are no words to express my sadness at this tragic news I have known David personally since he worked at Rowntrees and he was York City through and through.
It would be a fitting tribute to David and his family if one of the stands or a part of the new Community Stadium could be named after him.
David Batters lived and breathed York City and often said to me he hoped he would see the new ground but sadly he won't.
Rest in peace David..... Bootham Crescent your family and friends will miss you greatly.Thanks for all the chats and for your friendship.
I didn't know David like you and the memories you have of him I wish I had had the pleasure, The likes of David is invaluable to City or any other club , i'm sure like you ,others would support a stand named after him at the new stadium well said for suggesting it.
[quote][p][bold]tips[/bold] wrote: There are no words to express my sadness at this tragic news I have known David personally since he worked at Rowntrees and he was York City through and through. It would be a fitting tribute to David and his family if one of the stands or a part of the new Community Stadium could be named after him. David Batters lived and breathed York City and often said to me he hoped he would see the new ground but sadly he won't. Rest in peace David..... Bootham Crescent your family and friends will miss you greatly.Thanks for all the chats and for your friendship.[/p][/quote]I didn't know David like you and the memories you have of him I wish I had had the pleasure, The likes of David is invaluable to City or any other club , i'm sure like you ,others would support a stand named after him at the new stadium well said for suggesting it. bill bailey
  • Score: 6

4:21pm Sat 26 Jul 14

y-front says...

tips wrote:
There are no words to express my sadness at this tragic news I have known David personally since he worked at Rowntrees and he was York City through and through.
It would be a fitting tribute to David and his family if one of the stands or a part of the new Community Stadium could be named after him.
David Batters lived and breathed York City and often said to me he hoped he would see the new ground but sadly he won't.
Rest in peace David..... Bootham Crescent your family and friends will miss you greatly.Thanks for all the chats and for your friendship.
Naming a part of the new stadium after David Batters is 1 of the best suggestions I've seen on here in a long time. Very well said TIPS, I hope this idea gathers momentum
[quote][p][bold]tips[/bold] wrote: There are no words to express my sadness at this tragic news I have known David personally since he worked at Rowntrees and he was York City through and through. It would be a fitting tribute to David and his family if one of the stands or a part of the new Community Stadium could be named after him. David Batters lived and breathed York City and often said to me he hoped he would see the new ground but sadly he won't. Rest in peace David..... Bootham Crescent your family and friends will miss you greatly.Thanks for all the chats and for your friendship.[/p][/quote]Naming a part of the new stadium after David Batters is 1 of the best suggestions I've seen on here in a long time. Very well said TIPS, I hope this idea gathers momentum y-front
  • Score: 17

12:17pm Mon 28 Jul 14

yorkandproud says...

tips wrote:
There are no words to express my sadness at this tragic news I have known David personally since he worked at Rowntrees and he was York City through and through.
It would be a fitting tribute to David and his family if one of the stands or a part of the new Community Stadium could be named after him.
David Batters lived and breathed York City and often said to me he hoped he would see the new ground but sadly he won't.
Rest in peace David..... Bootham Crescent your family and friends will miss you greatly.Thanks for all the chats and for your friendship.
Well said tips. In my opinion, David Batters is just as important to YCFC as any of the players, directors, and staff of the club past and present. Just a real shame he didn't live to see the move to our new ground, and be part of the next phase in the clubs history. Naming part of the ground in memory of David would be a fitting tribute to a club legend.
[quote][p][bold]tips[/bold] wrote: There are no words to express my sadness at this tragic news I have known David personally since he worked at Rowntrees and he was York City through and through. It would be a fitting tribute to David and his family if one of the stands or a part of the new Community Stadium could be named after him. David Batters lived and breathed York City and often said to me he hoped he would see the new ground but sadly he won't. Rest in peace David..... Bootham Crescent your family and friends will miss you greatly.Thanks for all the chats and for your friendship.[/p][/quote]Well said tips. In my opinion, David Batters is just as important to YCFC as any of the players, directors, and staff of the club past and present. Just a real shame he didn't live to see the move to our new ground, and be part of the next phase in the clubs history. Naming part of the ground in memory of David would be a fitting tribute to a club legend. yorkandproud
  • Score: 9

10:03am Tue 29 Jul 14

North Lincs Minsterman says...

Probably the greatest tribute to the memory of Dave Batters would be to plan a "museum" room in the new stadium which could be visited by fans and tour groups. It would obviously contain, or at least refer to, much of David's work and recorded material. The room/space/suite or whatever term might be used would bear his name.
Probably the greatest tribute to the memory of Dave Batters would be to plan a "museum" room in the new stadium which could be visited by fans and tour groups. It would obviously contain, or at least refer to, much of David's work and recorded material. The room/space/suite or whatever term might be used would bear his name. North Lincs Minsterman
  • Score: 8

11:00am Wed 30 Jul 14

Fat Harry says...

Players, managers, and owners come and go, but the fans remain.

Throughout my years of supporting City Mr Batters was an ever-present in the invaluable team of behind-the-scenes volunteers that have helped shape our club.

I'm indescribably saddened by his passing and agree that a proper museum and archive in the new stadium would be a fitting tribute.
Players, managers, and owners come and go, but the fans remain. Throughout my years of supporting City Mr Batters was an ever-present in the invaluable team of behind-the-scenes volunteers that have helped shape our club. I'm indescribably saddened by his passing and agree that a proper museum and archive in the new stadium would be a fitting tribute. Fat Harry
  • Score: 2

5:02pm Wed 30 Jul 14

y-front says...

North Lincs Minsterman wrote:
Probably the greatest tribute to the memory of Dave Batters would be to plan a "museum" room in the new stadium which could be visited by fans and tour groups. It would obviously contain, or at least refer to, much of David's work and recorded material. The room/space/suite or whatever term might be used would bear his name.
I'll stand corrected, this is an even better idea. Really lovely thought (& echo the comments from Fat Harry).
[quote][p][bold]North Lincs Minsterman[/bold] wrote: Probably the greatest tribute to the memory of Dave Batters would be to plan a "museum" room in the new stadium which could be visited by fans and tour groups. It would obviously contain, or at least refer to, much of David's work and recorded material. The room/space/suite or whatever term might be used would bear his name.[/p][/quote]I'll stand corrected, this is an even better idea. Really lovely thought (& echo the comments from Fat Harry). y-front
  • Score: 2

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