YORK City academy manager Andy McMillan has been remembering the laughs he had with David Longhurst ahead of the 25th-anniversary of his close friend's tragic death on Tuesday.

McMillan was in the Minstermen's side for the home match against Lincoln on September 8, 1990 when Longhurst passed away on the Bootham Crescent pitch.

It is a harrowing memory that has never left the former City right-back, who was 22 at the time.

But, a quarter-of-a-century on, he prefers to look back on their shared experiences with a smile, saying: "Longhy was one of life’s characters.

"I used to live on Newborough Street just behind the ground and he would often stay with me. He would eat Corn Flakes straight out of the box with his hands - he didn’t bother with milk or a spoon.

"He was just a good guy who made me laugh every time I looked at him and everyone loved him from the people in the offices, to the players and the fans. He was bubbly and great to be around."

McMillan is pleased that Longhurst's family have accepted an invitation from City to attend the next home match against Carlisle as guests of the club a fortnight today.

He also admitted that the decision to rename the Shipton Street End after the late forward has provided some solace for him over the years and he is now hoping that there will be a lasting tribute when Persimmon build houses on the site, as well as at the club's new Monks Cross stadium.

"It was pleasing the club did what they did with The David Longhurst Stand," McMillan confessed. "The fans also raised a tremendous amount of money and put a lot of effort in to pay for the roof.

"I am hoping and am being told that there will be something to remember David by at the new ground, whether that’s a stand or a suite maybe where ex-players can go or for corporate hospitality. I’m hoping a stand gets named after him and I would love the sign that’s up there now to maybe go to the training ground because it would be a shame to see that go.

"It’s been good to look to my right sometimes over the years and see all the fans in there on a buzzing night below David’s name. It brings back memories and maybe a street can be named after him, or something like that, when houses are built on the ground because somebody passed away on that pitch and I would hope the developers do something to recognise that."

McMillan revealed, meanwhile, that he believes Longhurst's spirit manifested itself at the old stadium before the official legacy.

Retelling a comforting, if eerie, story, he said: "A strange thing happened soon after Longhy passed away.

"He used to love going into town and having a beef baguette and a Superstein beer in Oscar's, so all the lads had a few drinks there together and we were pretty upset so we came to the gates at the ground and put a bottle of Superstein out where the scarves and flowers were and, no word of a lie, when we came back the next day for the memorial service, the top was still on, but half of the beer had gone.

"There must have been ten witnesses to that and it was surreal and pretty scary stuff. It was as if he had his last swig of Superstein and left the bottle there.

"I don’t believe in those type of things but to see that was strange because I had put the bottle down by the gate and we had all raised our glasses to him before saying how much we would miss him.

"Maybe the sun had got to it – I don’t know – but he used to love going out with the lads and the banter we had and he was sorely missed."

In his current role at Bootham Crescent, McMillan is also relived that detection measures into heart conditions have improved, along with the quality of equipment that medical staff are now provided with at matches.

"All our scholars now have to undergo an ECG test and I wouldn’t want to deal with a young lad who’s not had that check because, with today’s technology, people should be screened," the 47-year-old coach reasoned. "I’m glad that happens now.

"It might be hard when somebody has to give up football, but they have survived and might be able to enjoy something else and you don’t want to see any more cases like Longhy’s. There have still been others like Marc-Vivien Foe and Fabrice Muamba, who was lucky to recover, but that was down to the defibrillators that medical staff carry now.

"I’m sure (City physion) Jeff (Miller) had nothing like that when he had to run on and see Longhy"