12:00pm Friday 20th April 2012
By Steve Carroll
HE etched his name in York City folklore with a hat-trick on his debut.
From then on, Arthur Bottom, who has died aged 82, proved to be one of the most potent forwards in the Minstermen’s history.
Scoring 105 goals in 158 games, Bottom was part of one of the most famous teams ever to grace the field at Bootham Crescent – the 1955 Happy Wanderers who thrilled a city on their way to the FA Cup semi-final.
Bottom was one of the stars of that run, scoring eight goals, including the semi-final equaliser against Newcastle at Hillsborough.
That capped a fabulous first season (1954/5) for the striker, who equalled Billy Fenton’s club record of 31 League goals and repeated that feat in 1955/6.
Born in Sheffield in February 1930, Bottom turned professional in 1947 after joining Sheffield United as a junior.
He arrived at York in the summer of 1954 and quickly became known for his thunderous finishing and aggressive playing style – in sharp contrast to his quiet and retiring personality off the pitch.
He spent four seasons with the Minstermen before being transferred to Newcastle in February 1958, where ten goals in 11 matches saved the Magpies from relegation to division two. He later played for Chesterfield and Alfreton.
Bottom died in hospital in Sheffield on Wednesday surrounded by his family.
Tributes have poured in to the goalscoring legend.
Jason McGill, City chairman, said: “He was an absolute legend and a hero to all York City supporters. He had a prolific goalscoring record for the club. It is an unbelievable record.
“We have a signed picture of Arthur in the boardroom at JM Packaging. It is often a talking point for people.
“Although we invited him many times, it was a shame we couldn’t get him to back to Bootham Crescent.
“He felt it was time for the new guys to take the club forward and that typifies the man. He was a humble man.”
“I saw him in his prime and he was a tremendous finisher,” added club historian David Batters.
“He was an aggressive player in a team that was arguably one of the best in the club’s history. He must be right up there at the top of the club’s best players but he was a very private man.
“He will live long in the memory of all those who saw him play. He was a York City legend.”
Graham Bradbury, who organised a tribute for the Happy Wanderers’ side 50 years on from their FA Cup heroics, said: “His legacy is his scoring.
“I can quote Norman Wilkinson who said if Arthur had not gone to Newcastle it would have been him, and not Norman, who had the club scoring record.”
And Frank Ormston, of supporters’ group York Minstermen, added: “I started supporting City in the 1970s. We grew up hearing tales of the Happy Wanderers and, of course, Arthur Bottom figured greatly in that.
“People who saw him play said he was one of the best they have ever seen for City. He has that legendary status among York City fans.”
City are expected to mark Bottom’s death at the Forest Green match at Bootham Crescent on Saturday, April 28.
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