YOU may have read somewhere that York's professional football and Rugby League teams (ie York City FC and the York City Knights) are due to be moving to a new community stadium some time in the next few months.

Don't ask us exactly when: nobody seems to know precisely - not even the city council. But it should be some time in the 2019/20 season.

A heritage lottery grant that has just been awarded to help York explore its 'sporting heritage' is perfectly timed, therefore.

The £57,500 grant was given to a consortium of three partner organisations: Explore York Libraries and Archives, plus the York City Football Club Foundation and the York City Knights Foundation.

The one-year project, Uncovering York’s Sporting Heritage, will aim to celebrate and record York’s football and rugby league sporting memories through community engagement events, schools programmes, sporting memory sessions and oral history projects.

The football club foundation will be lending its archives to Explore York, so as to make them more publicly accessible. And once the new community stadium does open, sports fans will be able to visit archives digitally at new 'digital archives kiosks'. There will also be some community artwork on show.

The project won't be confined just to professional football or rugby league, either. A series of 'managing your sporting heritage' workshops will be held to support other sports clubs with their own in-house archives.

This is all great news for sports fans in York.

As The Press wrote in a leader column last week, when news of the lottery grant was first announced, the importance of sport to local communities shouldn't be underestimated.

"Anyone who has ever played a sport will have memories they’ll never forget. A ball smashed for six in a long-ago schools’ cricket match (or) a crunching rugby tackle where you brought down a player twice your size (are) moments of personal triumph that can still warm your heart years later," the newspaper wrote.

"It’s the same for sports fans. York City supporters who were there will never forget the thrilling Wembley double in 2012 when Gary Mills’ men won the FA Trophy and promotion back to the Football League."

Sporting triumph and heartbreak are part of our heritage, in other words. They help make us who we are; and they bind communities together.

Once Bootham Crescent has been redeveloped, sporting memories are all we'll have left of this much-loved but very imperfect old stadium.

"So it's a fabulous way of passing on the history of our club and providing a well-deserved legacy for Bootham Crescent by ensuring it is captured in the minds of a future generation of fans," said Paula Stainton, the York City Football Club Foundation manager.

It will also mean that there is a sense of continuity once professional football and rugby league move to the new stadium, added Adam Prentis, the York City Knights delivery manager. Tours of the new stadium that were able to link to archived memories of previous rugby league grounds, players and triumphs would help to 'bring the game in York to life for years to come.'

Of course, any archive is only as good as the memories, photos and records that go into it.

Hopefully, over the next year or so, fans will be coming up with some great sporting memories.

To get you started, here are just a few photos from our archives of York City and York rubgy league moments past.

From Barry Swallow leading York City onto the Bootham Crescent turf for their first ever Second Division match in 1974 and Leeds United legend Peter Lorimer running out at Bootham Crescent during his brief spell with York City in 1979 to York Rugby League kit man Gordon Morritt in the Ryedale Stadium dressing room in 1997, they all capure unique moments or characters from York's sporting history.

Happy remembering! and watch this space...

Stephen Lewis

The Uncovering York's Sporting Heritage project is still in its very early stages. However, to find out more, including how you can get involved, visit the Explore York website,