WHICH former York City player is the uncle of striker Jordan Rhodes? What was unusual about Dick Duckworth’s last game as City manager in 1952? Which 1970s’ loanee midfielder featured in a 1995 TV documentary as an agent fixing up English players with Chinese clubs?
All these questions – plus hundreds more – are posed by Harrow-based, lifelong City supporter Chris Forth in his terrific 2016 York City Quiz Book.
Priced at £5, it’s the perfect Christmas present for any fan of the Minstermen and, for Bootham Crescent-loving families of all generations, tackling any of its 27 imaginative sections will certainly provide more entertainment than a game of festive Charades over this Yuletide period.
The brainchild of York City South’s annual quizmaster Forth, it will test the most-ardent of the club’s supporters – the top mark at the supporters’ group’s event is normally around 66 per cent.
But, chronologically covering every era in the Minstermen’s 94-year history, it offers the chance for followers of all ages to demonstrate how much they know about their team.
The quiz book is the third that Forth, who first started watching City in 1968, has compiled.
But it is his first since being involved in the Shipton Street End Roof Appeal during the late 1980s, just before he left for London to further his career in computing.
“Book three has been in my mind for a little while now,” the former Rowntree’s IT employee admitted. “I wrote a lot of it over the summer hoping that we would get off to a good start to the season and we could launch it in a blaze of publicity, which hasn’t quite happened.
“But I’m hoping it can be a nice stocking filler this Christmas. All the funds will go to York City South who will, in turn, hand the money over to the football club, either through player sponsorship or a direct donation. I’ve sold around 90 copies now, so it’s raised more than £400 already.”
While some questions might have a difficulty degree with the potential to make Jeremy Paxman blush, there are easier posers and the final section “The Really Impossible York City Quiz” might prove less troublesome to fans of a City persuasion that the title would suggest, with the little-known facts all sharing a common theme.
“It’s hard to say what the hardest question in the book is, but I’m probably most proud of that last round,” Forth smiled. “There’s a section where every team in the National League is listed and you have to match them up with their relevant answer and those type of things are popular too.
“I also try to provide a potted history of the club by going through all the different eras and introducing them with a bit of a preamble.”
Forth edited the New Frontiers fanzine during the 1990s and is now York City South’s webmaster, creating an online site that is packed with facts about the Minstermen’s history.
On the process behind his latest project, he explained: “I had a lot of questions that I had saved on my computer from down the years, because they are always coming to mind.
“Then, it’s just a case of sorting them into different sections for a book, which took about three months. Dave Batters’ history books on the club are a good starting point and I also have a huge collection of programmes going back before my time as a supporter.
“They are very helpful and you keep your eye on the wider football world as well.”
Forth’s own quiz credentials, meanwhile, were highlighted when he reached the last eight of a national competition, compered by a former Liverpool and England captain.
“I used to do sport quizzes in and around York and I was in one team that represented Yorkshire at Twickenham in a 1988 Olympics quiz where Emlyn Hughes was the quiz master,” explained the exiled City supporter, who still watches the club around ten times a season, including a couple of visits to Bootham Crescent. “He told the opposition: ‘Look out for that guy – he’s very quick.’
“We went out in the quarter-finals, but I’ve always had that sort of mind for trivia.”
Payment for the book can be made to bank sort code 40-47-83/ bank account 94-86-64-95 with your name as reference and an accompanying email to email@example.com, quoting your reference and address or by sending a £5 cheque, payable to Chris Forth, to 80 Manor Way, Harrow, HA2 6BY.
Jon Parkin, meanwhile, has jumped straight to the top of The Press Player of the Month standings for December following his second debut for City last weekend.
The 34-year-old forward was our man-of-the-match during the 1-0 defeat at Tranmere and topped our online Twitter poll too, which meant he collected a total of five points towards the contest.
Yan Klukowski (two points) and Matt Fry (one) were also recognised as The Press’ second and third-highest rated performers respectively at Prenton Park.
The Press Player of the Year standings: Letheren 21, Whittle 18, Connolly 16, Heslop 13, Brodie 12, Kamdjo 10, Flinders 8, Fry 8, Higgins 7, Felix 5, Galbraith 5, Klukowski 5, Rooney 5, Newton 4, Lappin 3, Parkin 3, Clappison 2, Dixon 2, Wright 2, Cooper 1, Holmes 1, Nti 1, Oyebanjo 1, Rzonca 1, Simpson 1, Walton 1.
The December Press Player of the Month standings: Parkin 5, Klukowski 2, Fry 1.
Goals: Brodie 7, Connolly 3, Heslop 3, Fry 2, Klukowski 2, Fenwick 1, Galbraith 1, Kamdjo 1, Nti 1, Own Goal 1, Rzonca 1, Wright 1.
Assists: Connolly 6, Rooney 3, Felix 2, Galbraith 2, Whittle 2, Wright 2, Cooper 1, Fry 1, Heslop 1, Higgins 1, Holmes 1, Klukowski 1, Newton 1.
Bad boys: Brodie nine yellow cards; Rooney eight yellow; Higgins five yellow; Heslop one red, three yellow; Fry four yellow; Nti one red, two yellow; Fenwick, Whittle, Wright all three yellow; Connolly, Kamdjo, Klukowski all two yellow; Moke one red; Clappison, Dixon, Galbraith, Johnson, Letheren, McDaid, Newton, Thompson all one yellow.