MICHAEL Ingham is not ruling out completing a decade in York City’s goal after passing another milestone in his Bootham Crescent career.
The former Northern Ireland international made his 250th appearance for the Minstermen during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with AFC Wimbledon and is now the third longest-serving net-minder in the club’s history.
Only Tommy Forgan (428) and Graeme Crawford (280) have played between the sticks more times for City with Ingham having climbed above fourth-placed Dean Kiely (239) in the all-time list this season.
That represents esteemed company indeed and Ingham admits it would be a great privilege to leapfrog Crawford in the appearance tally, as seems likely by the end of the current campaign.
Crawford was an ever-present for the Minstermen during the club’s only two seasons in the second tier of English football and Ingham holds the 1970s’ hero in high regard, saying: “It’s a great honour to be up there with the likes of Graeme in terms of appearances for the club.
“I was at the past players’ dinner last week listening to the great stories he had to tell about his time with the club. It was very nice to talk to him and to hear that he likes what I’m doing as York ’keeper.
“He told me to keep doing what I am and it’s great to hear that from a club legend. He even asked if I would give his grandson a signed pair of gloves.
“I said ‘of course’ but that I felt he should be asking for a pair of his grandad’s gloves really. Graeme said he has done but that he never wore any, so we had a good laugh about that as well.”
Ingham, 32, is also refusing to rule out completing a decade of continued service with City, which would see him challenge Forgan’s games tally as well as the Happy Wanderers’ club clean sheet record, which stands at 120.
The current custodian has 96 to his name, placing him second in that contest and, on staying around long enough to eclipse 1955 FA Cup semi-final great Forgan’s achievements, Ingham said: “I’ve got this year and another one at York and then I will have a decision to make on whether I stay here and chase Tommy Forgan’s records or do I try to further my career by moving to a higher-league club.
“I’ve honestly not thought about that second option. All I’ve thought about is staying here where I’ve been made to feel welcome by everybody from the chairman to the fans, who have been different class to me.
“I’m also enjoying my football under the manager so, at this present time, I’m thinking why should I ever leave York City while things are going so well for me? If I stay fit and healthy, then this contract will take me to six years and, then, if I could have another four that would take me to ten and a testimonial, which would be nice.
“But I’ve been in the game long enough to know it could all come crashing down if I have a dip in form or a serious injury. Then, all those dreams can be taken away from me in an instant.”
For now, though, Ingham is just delighted to have established himself at City for so long.
“It’s been brilliant to be first choice all that time. You always want to be a number one somewhere. York City will be known as my club unless I go on to play as many games somewhere else but I don’t see that in the foreseeable future.”