YORK City may not have started its first season in the new LNER stadium in quite the way it would have hoped.

But lifelong fan (and now official club historian) Paul Bowser remains upbeat.

"I'm optimistic!" he said. Pre-season was great. And while performances may have dropped off in the first couple of games, there's a full season ahead, he says. It's what happens on the final day that counts.

Plus, the atmosphere in the new stadium, even with restrictions on the number of fans, is good, Paul says. "It will be even better when we get more people in! So I think there's every reason to be optimistic!"

City fans have needed to be able to look on the bright side of things in the last few seasons.

But this is a club with a long, and occasionally heroic, history. For the last few years, Paul has been documenting that history in his epic, three-volume book 'Bootham Crescent: A Second Home'.

The second volume is just out. And Paul would have been justified in sub-titling it ''The Glory Years'.

It covers the period from 1960-1993 - a stretch of just over 30 years which for many long-term fans still seems like a golden age.

York Press:

City players celebrate scoring against Liverpool in February 1985. From Bootham Crescent: A Second Home by Paul Bowser

There was City's promotion to the old Second Division (today's Championship) in the mid-1970s, and the two seasons (from 1974-1976) when the club regularly found itself playing the likes of Manchester United, Aston Villa and Chelsea.

There was also the thrilling period between 1982-1987 under manager Denis Smith, when the club gained 101 points to win the Fourth Division title in 1984 - and entertained the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool in the FA Cup in the two seasons that followed.

Appropriately enough, this volume closes with a Wembley triumph - Wayne Hall scoring the decisive penalty in a nerve-shredding penalty shoot-out against Crewe Alexandra to clinch promotion to the Third Division. "1993 was the first time City had played at Wembley," Paul notes.

York Press:

An imminent pitch invasion during a match against Bury in May 1984. 

There were lows during those years, too, of course - City's stay in the old Second Division only lasted two seasons, and they have never gained such giddy heights since.

Paul doesn't flinch from that. And he doesn't flinch from tragedy, either. In the third match of the 1990–91 season, against Lincoln City, striker David Longhurst suffered a heart attack on the pitch, and was pronounced dead when he arrived at hospital.

Paul's book includes a heartbreaking contribution from David's father, Victor.

"My wife and I were returning from holiday in Scotland on the afternoon of 8th of September, when we heard the shattering news on the car radio that our son David had died on the pitch at Bootham Crescent," Victor wrote.

That hardly bears thinking about. David was later to be commemorated with the David Longhurst stand, of course.

Paul is now working on the third and final volume of his history. But fans will have to wait until 2022 at the earliest before it is published, he says. "I want to get the first season in the new stadium into book three!" he says.

Let's hope it, too, ends will a thrilling Wembley victory and promotion...

Botham Crescent: A Second Home - 1960-1993 by Paul Bowser, is available, priced£25, from the York City store at the LNER stadium, or online from ycfcstore.co.uk/ or ypdbooks.com/

York Press:

Paul Bowser with his book