York City fans were today being given the chance to deliberate then nominate.

Voting forms for supporters to select their Clubman of the Year were being handed out at Bootham Crescent as City took on Rochdale.

The Billy Fenton Memorial Award - now in its 30th year - is the most prestigious of the Minstermen's end of season gongs.

Voting figures always remain a secret but this year could prove a tight affair with a new name on the trophy guaranteed following the departure of two-time winner Alan Fettis to Hull City.

Skipper Chris Brass, who is currently in pole position in the Evening Press rankings, must be the firm favourite, a leader both on the pitch and off it.

His importance to City in their promotion drive cannot be underestimated. In the five games he was ruled out with a broken cheekbone City failed to win a match and conceded 11 goals

Since his return to the side 14 games ago, City have lost just twice and conceded just nine.

Off the pitch and amid all the financial turmoil, Brass has also lead by example and has always been willing to attend fundraising functions and make himself available for interviews that publicised the Minstermen's plight.

However, although Brass must be the frontrunner for the glittering prize there are a number of other contenders, most notably Chris Smith and Jon Parkin.

Smith has undoubtedly been the surprise star of the season, coming on in leaps and bounds over the past 12 months.

Cool on the ball, quick in the tackle and strong in the air, he has now added consistency to his armoury and his role in City's tight-fisted defence should not be underestimated.

Parkin has become a firm crowd favourite for his fully-committed displays, whether playing in defence or in attack.

Many still think defence is his best position, but following the departure of Peter Duffield to Boston the young striker has weighed in with some crucial strikes and has moved into double figures for the season.

He further endeared himself to the Minstermen faithful when, like his skipper Brass, he pledged his allegiance to Bootham Crescent as other club's moved in for his services.

Whatever the outcome, the award allows City fans to remember one of the club's brightest lights.

Left winger Billy Fenton was one of the most eminent of characters during the memorable 1950s.

In his first season at City he notched 31 goals to shatter the club's 20-year-old scoring record.

A key member of the side that went all the way to an FA Cup semi-final replay against Newcastle United in 1955, he was on target in the victories over Blackpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

All told, Fenton scored 124 goals - the third highest tally in club history - in 279 League and cup appearances.

Tragically, he died at the young age of 46 in 1973, at the end of which season the trophy that bears his name was first presented.

With no game last Saturday, the Evening Press player of the year rankings are unchanged: Brass 38 points, Smith 31, Parkin 24, Duffield 22, Fettis 22, Nogan 21, Edmondson 15, Cook 13, Cowan 11, Bullock 10, Cooper 8, Fox 7, Ingham 6, Potter 6, Reddy 6, Beresford, Brack-stone 5, Jones 4, Wise 3, Hobson 2, Shandran 2, Graydon 1

CITY have signed up to the Nationwide Supporters of Tomorrow Scheme with a number of free match tickets up for grabs.

The Minstermen have a number of tickets to give away to schools and ladies' football clubs as part of the programme, which aims to encourage youngsters and women to get more involved in the game locally.

There are 30 tickets available per school or club for each of City's two remaining home games, against Kidderminster on April 21 and Exeter on April 26.

To take advantage of the offer, club secretaries and schools should contact City's commercial manager, Peter Salter, on 0870 777 1922 extension 6 or by e-mail: peter.salter@ycfc.net

CHARITIES St Leonard's Hospice and Martin House are to be quids-in thanks to the continued existence of York City and the Football Association.

The two charities will share £8,100 as part of the FA's annual distribution of money raised by the traditional curtain raiser to the season, the Charity Shield.

Clubs who have taken part in the first round of the FA Cup get to pick where their share of the cash should go, with the cheques set to be handed over to representatives from St Leonard's and Martin House at today's game between City and Rochdale.

Club chairman Steve Beck said: "The club has decided to nominate St Leonard's Hospice and Martin House because of the important role they play in the local community and the overwhelming care and support they offer people suffering from life threatening illnesses in the York area."

It's conceivable had the club folded then the two charities would have missed out on the cash, given another 8,100 reasons to cheer City's survival.

SWAPPING floodlights and turf for the bright lights and the catwalk next week will be a number of City players.

First teamers and youth trainees will be the models at a fundraising fashion show on Wednesday, at Archbishop Holgate's School, Hull Road, York.

A number of major fashion retailers have offered their support to the show, which will run from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and will include makeover and hairdressing demonstrations.

Tickets, priced £5, are available from the Bootham Crescent club shop.

Bar facilities will be available on the night.

Huntington Working Men's Club was playing host to a fundraising Race Night tonight.

The event, organised by lifelong City fan Jim Dawes, will kick-off at 7.30pm and will feature six races and a late bar.

Tickets, priced £3, were also available from the club shop at today's game.

BOOTHAM Crescent is to host a number of local junior cup finals in the next few weeks.

On Tuesday, April 29, two Mitchell League Under-12 finals will be hosted by City, kick-offs 6.15pm and 7.30pm.

The following night, April 30, four School FA matches will take place at Bootham Crescent, including two Under-11 semi-finals (6pm), the Under-16 final, (6.45pm) followed by the U11 final at 8.15pm.

On Thursday, May 1, Heworth Under-13s and Poppleton U13s will contest the York FA Junior Minor Cup (6pm) followed by Heworth Under-15s taking on York Rovers U15s in the York FA Intermediate Minor final (7.30pm).

On Friday, May 2, the Minor League Under-14 and Under-16 finals will be staged at 6pm and 7.45pm respectively.

The following week sees two Schools FA finals being staged on Wednesday, May 7, followed by two more Schools finals on Thursday, May 8, the games kicking off at 6pm and then 7.15pm on both nights.

THE York City club shop nearly had a chance to get extremely shorty.

The shop recently received an enquiry from a Nigerian living in Florida wanting to buy 150 pairs of York City shorts.

Just why he wanted them is not clear, but after being quoted a price, including a discount, the man has not been back in touch.

THE shop meanwhile is hosting a massive sale in readiness for new merchandise taking to the shelves in the summer.

Much of the current stock is at half-price or less.

Updated: 10:40 Saturday, April 12, 2003