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.