NEW York City chairman Steve Beck has heaped praise on everyone who has played a part in saving the Minstermen ahead of today's home game with Southend United.

He has classed them as the club's 'legends'.

A discussion of City's greatest-ever team at the Supporters' Trust Legends Dinner has led Beck to believe that, following the monumental efforts to stop the Minstermen slipping out of existence, there is only one winner.

Forget Graeme Crawford, Arthur Bottom, Paul Barnes, Tony Canham, Andy McMillan, Jack Pinder, Chris Topping, Chris Jones, Norman Wilkinson, Ernie Phillips and Derek Hood, it is the current crop, from the players to the fans to the management to the bucket collectors, who have captured the imagination of Beck.

"Everyone involved in the club, from the fans, the staff, the players, everyone - they have got us through," he told the Evening Press. "They are the legends team.

"This crisis has pulled has pulled everyone together as a team, and I believe we will come out stronger for it.

"It has brought people from different backgrounds and areas who probably would have never of spoken and seen them work together. Everyone has done their bit. Yes, there are people in control, but we wouldn't have got through this and in control without the work of everybody.

"We could have sat down and talked and talked all day, but without the money raised from the bucket collections, the donations, the pledges, the follow up calls, we'd have been nowhere.

"Every team needs its managers and captains, but it also needs the players."

He added: "Everyone has been fantastic, hopefully we can now enjoy the next four home games, win them all and finish with promotion.

"That would be perfect. I know Terry (Dolan) wants to go up automatically, but if we go to the play-offs then win at Cardiff, that would be as special.

"If you think of everything we have been through, then survival would have been an achievement. But just look at the table and what we have done, now we can look at promotion realistically."

The Evening Press has this week been led to believe Brooks Mileson, who had been interested in purchasing York City, is still forging ahead with plans for a new stadium for the Minstermen.

Updated: 10:21 Saturday, March 29, 2003