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Archive - Saturday, 13 March 2004
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Pointing way to old boy City
Evening Press sports writer CLAIRE HUGHES reveals how City's stars of the past could be friends re-united.
A SABBATH blast from the past could become a regular feature if plans for an old boys' line-up come into fruition.
A total of 48 'o'ld City faces gathered at Bootham Crescent on Sunday for a Past Players Festival to mark the tenth anniversary of the record-breaking 1983/84 team, remember the success of the play-off champions of 1993 and also celebrate the landmark off-the-field victory to stay at the Crescent earlier this year.
The 1993 team edged it 6-4 thanks to Ian Blackstone, Glenn Naylor and Wayne Hall, plus a first half Paul Barnes hat-trick - the first scored by a City player at the ground since he scored all four in a 4-1 win in March 1994.
Teenage talent Matthew Walwyn, filling in for his late father, Keith, scored two for the 1983/84 opposition as brothers Marco and Ricardo Gabbiadini completed the tally.
The event was a dream come true for the fans to see two of the most successful York City teams of all time go head to head.
For the players, it was a golden opportunity to catch up with their old comrades - and one they are keen to repeat in the future.
Chris Jones, who came on as a sub for the 80s team, said: "I enjoyed seeing all the players coming back. I have always thought we should have an old players' association of some description and there is a lot of talk of one being set up so hopefully this will help to get things moving.
"All credit to Graham Bradbury for putting such a great game on. It really is great to see everyone again and I hope the fans enjoyed it too.
"I love playing here on the Crescent pitch. It's a few games since I last played here. I used to score goals for fun but the legs don't get into the goal scoring positions any more."
Tony Canham, who spent ten years as a Minsterman from 1985 to 1995, agreed. "It was a superb event and I'm glad everybody turned up," he said. "We are all grateful to Graham Bradbury for organising everything.
"It was really great to get back out there on the pitch and with all of the guys as well. I still see some of them from time to time but it would be great if there was a former players' association."
Meeting up with all their former team-mates was also a highlight for two of the 1993 team.
Andy McMillan said: "It was nice seeing all the players again although it felt a bit strange playing against all the people I used to be on the same team as."
Jon McCarthy said: "It has been great to see the players again. It's actually quite hard to play against them because it's quite difficult to judge where to strike the balance.
"People have paid to come in and you want to give them a bit of entertainment but at the same time, you don't want to take the mickey out of them.
"So it was a bit of a challenge but it was still really good and seeing the other guys has been brilliant."
Where are they now?
THE meeting of City's famous 1984 and 1993 teams provoked many "Where are They Now?" queries from supporters. So, after a quick roll call, here's the answers.
Roger Jones is kit man at Swindon;
Chris Evans is involved in youth development at Wolves;
Alan Hay has an antique shop in Yarm;
John MacPhail is a car salesman for Reg Vardy in Darlington;
Ricky Sbragia is reserve team coach at Manchester United;
Derek Hood lives and works in Harrogate as a BT Engineer;
Gary Ford lives in York and works for a confectionary firm;
Malcolm Crosby is assistant manager at Swindon;
John Byrne is a podiatrist at Brighton;
Viv Busby is a coach at Swindon;
Brian Pollard lives at Snainton near Scarborough and works for Wards Engineering.
Dean Kiely plays for Charlton;
Andy McMillan coaches in the York area and works for City sponsors Pheonix Software;
Wayne Hall works in the prison service;
Steve Bushell plays for Halifax Town;
Paul Stancliffe is still at City as youth coach;
Paul Atkin is a driving instructor and lives in Pocklington;
Steve Tutill works in the prison service;
Ray Warburton is at Aldershot;
Jon McCarthy is a trainee accountant and plays for Hucknall Town;
Ian Blackstone is assistant manager of Harrogate Railway;
Paul Barnes is with Tamworth in the Nationwide Conference;
Gary Swann lives in the south of England;
Tony Canham lives in Leeds and works in the building construction industry;
Glenn Naylor plays for Harrogate Town;
Alan Little manager of the Wembley team, is chief scout at Stockport County.
As a final footnote, it was a nice touch and a fitting finale to a great day when former Football League linesman Graham Bradbury was voted 'man of the match' by the players and the board of directors for arranging the tie.
Updated: 10:42 Saturday, March 13, 2004