Humble York City have done what Manchester United are straining at the multi-million pound leash still to do - conquer the Continent.

City's kids were crowned kings of Europe when they captured the plunder in an historic first raid across the Channel.

The team, who gave eventual FA Youth Cup winners West Ham United a huge scare in the last 16, returned to Bootham Crescent today laden with silverware and praise.

On their first sortie abroad City won a 20-team youth tournament as the fantastic finish to a stirring season.

City's brave battalion battled through six games and opposition from Holland, Belgium and Slovakia to bring back the glittering prize to Bootham Crescent.

The marvellous Minster mites came through the tournament held at Elst, near Arnhem in Holland, undefeated. They never conceded a single goal in open play and also boasted the tournament's top scorer in James Turley.

Head of youth development Adie Shaw, who has been upgraded as assistant to new City manager Neil Thompson, was elated.

"They have been a tremendous group of players and it's been a tremendous experience, well worth while," said Shaw, adding that it wasn't until part way through the competition that he told his City charges it was for under-20s' teams. City are largely an under-18 squad."

"They just got on with it and they have been a credit to win it. We won our group, which was four games in the one day, then we won our semi-final all without conceding a goal. To think we have gone over to Europe for the first time and won it is a great credit to the lads. The have been absolutely professional all along the way, as have the club in providing us with first-class preparation. The whole trip has been absolutely superb."

City kicked off their group games with a 2-0 win over Utrecht, Turley and Thomas Dufton on target. There followed a goal-less draw with ONA from Holland, and then 1-0 wins respectively over Herennah and Montefiort, winger Darren Hakami and midfielder Steve Walters the respective match-winners.

In the semi-final a lone strike from Turley was enough to see off Victoria Partizan to reach the final against Slovakian club Trenkvin Slowakigie.

Both sides were locked at 0-0 after normal and extra-time leading to the drama of a penalty shoot-out.

Turley, Richard Whitfield, Lee Bullock and Christian Fox were all on target, and with England under-16 goalkeeper Russell Howarth saving the first two Slovakian spot-kicks City triumphed 4-2.

The conquest climaxes an admirable campaign by the City youngbloods. Besides a top eight finish in the Northern Youth Alliance, they also inched to the last 16 of the FA Youth Cup.

There they were unlucky not to beat West Ham at Bootham Crescent finally perishing in a replay at Upton Park. The hammers, propelled by teenage sensation Joe Cole, have since won the FA Youth Cup with an aggregate 9-0 crushing of Coventry in the final.

Of City's youth ranks five - Turley, Bullock, Fox, Walters and Michael Dibie - all earned professional contracts to start the new season with the senior squad.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.