FORGET Black Friday, the Red-and-Blue or sometimes Grey Saturday experience depicted in Tony Cole’s new book has prompted the biggest Christmas present rush for York City fans this Yuletide.

A lucky 150 members of the Minstermen faithful will now wake up on December 25 with a copy of Cole’s “Home End: Scenes from the Final Days of a Traditional English Football Ground” stuffed in their stockings.

That was the number of copies Cole estimated would meet demand as the 200-page book, packed with 180 stunning images portraying Bootham Crescent in all its gritty glory, was sent for its first print run.

There are now plans to produce another 300 in the New Year and, with 250 of that batch already pre-ordered, City supporters will need to act quickly if they want one for their book case or coffee table.

Cole has been busy capturing the 86-year-old stadium for posterity this season and last prior to its demolition next summer as the club relocates to Monks Cross.

The 47-year-old British Library researcher’s photographs have been taken at City games and on non-match days after being given behind-the-scenes access by the club, allowing him to snap fascinating shots of the long-disused Popular Stand tunnel, which once permitted fans to transfer from one end of the ground to the other and doubled up as an air-raid shelter during the War.

In fact, Cole’s book neglects few areas of the splendidly-decaying ground and, while photographs remain his most powerful form of expression, it turns out the former Dringhouses schoolboy also has a fine turn of phrase with words.

Describing the enduring appeal of the Minstermen’s cherished home arena, he brilliantly mused: “Modern football is very sanitised, whereas Bootham Crescent is barely sanitary, but it’s full of character.”

So too are many of the people who frequent it and Cole’s book is also brought to life by their faces and, on his reasons behind embarking on his self-published project, he said: “It’s a place where we’ve all had fantastic times and dreadful times.

“Mostly, at football grounds, the cameras are focussed on what’s happening on the pitch, but I wanted to capture what the matchday experience is like for a fan at Bootham Crescent from the same side of the fence, because replicating it in the future will be particularly hard. Bootham Crescent is one of the last traditional football grounds left.

“It’s also quite unique now in terms of its location – right in the heart of an old community of terraced houses with the railway line alongside it. It’s not been touched for so long and I thought it was important to record it as we see it as fans and to have something to remember it by after it’s gone.

“I got the idea talking to my mates on the way to watching us beat Macclesfield at Wembley in the FA Trophy final. We’d just been relegated, and I was hoping to take photographs charting our promotion from the sixth tier.

“That didn’t happen but, hopefully, it can now be seen as something to help us say goodbye to the ground.”

Somewhat spoilt for choice, Cole’s personal favourites from the pictures he has taken include the cover shot of an empty Longhurst End littered with rubbish just after everybody has left the ground and the image of a young fan carrying a drum above his head amid a throng of fans just outside the main gates.

Other than a few words, including the foreword written by playwright and former University of York student Simon Stephens, the pictures are mainly left to tell their own story.

It is a tale, though, that Cole – a City supporter since the heady Denis Smith days of 1984 – now intends to follow right through to its conclusion.

“I want to take photographs of the demolition and Persimmon’s redevelopment project too,” he explained.

Cole is unsure, meanwhile, whether the new community stadium will provide a suitable enough setting to repeat his Bootham Crescent venture, although he does have another City-related project in mind, adding: “I have the ability to move to where the action is at Bootham Crescent but, when you have allocated seating, that makes everything pretty restrictive and the crowd reactions will be different at the new stadium.

“I think everyone will adjust to that eventually, but it will take a bit of time and, to be honest, I’m not really looking forward to the new ground. Where it is now, me and my mates walk there after going to the Minster Inn, but now people will drive to Monks Cross without necessarily seeing anything of York the city, which is a shame for everybody and myself because I now live in Boston Spa.

“I am planning to go to every away game next season, however, so there could be the potential to do another book on the York City away-day experience, because there are still a good variety of grounds at this level that could make for some interesting images.”

The A4-sized Home End costs £20 plus £5 for postage and the limited number of copies not accounted for ahead of the second print run can be reserved by emailing or by making contact via the Twitter handle of @yorktone

Individual images can also be ordered, with a 12in x 8in starting price of £18, and such sales have helped an appreciative Cole bring the book to market.

“I had no idea it would be so popular,” he declared modestly. “It’s self-published and the people who have bought images and pre-paid for books have given me the finance needed to do it, so I’m really grateful to them, as I didn’t have a couple of grand spare to make it happen.

“It’s also been amazing learning about the whole project of putting together your own book.”

Further sales can only enhance the high quality of Cole’s work too in terms of the equipment he could afford.

“I’ve always had an interest in images and always drawn,” he pointed out. “During the last six or seven years, I’ve also been buying decent cheap digital cameras and developed a real interest in photography.

“I managed to sell a few images of street life in London and York that were published by The Guardian and The Observer and made enough money to get a better camera. It’s not top of the range, but it’s got a good lens that allows me to get in close.”

Elsewhere, Adam Bartlett has won The Press Player of the Month award for November.

The 32-year-old keeper secured top spot with a point as our third-highest rated performer during last weekend’s 3-1 FA Trophy triumph at Kidderminster.

The other Press points from that game went to our man-of-the-match Jordan Burrow (three) and second-highest rated performer Alex Bray (two).

On-loan Rotherham winger Bray collected the two bonus points after receiving the most man-of-the-match votes from our internet poll.

The Press Player of the Year standings: Bartlett 17, Griffiths 15, Burrow 14, Heslop 9, Penn 9, Tait 9, Wright 8, Newton 7, Moke 6, Parkin 6, Allan 4, Bray 4, Ferguson 4, Langstaff 4, Digie 3, York 3, Davis 2, Harris 2, Hawkins 2, Law 2, Dyer 1, McAughtrie 1.

The Press Player of the Month standings for November: Bartlett 9, Bray 8, Burrow 8, Moke 5, Digie 3, Davis 2, Griffiths 2, Hawkins 2, Newton 1.

Goals: Burrow 8, Langstaff 5, Newton 3, Parkin 3, Tait 2, Wright 2, York 2, Ferguson 2, Harris 1, Hawkins 1, Heslop 1, Moke 1.

Assists: Burrow 6, Harris 5, Ferguson 3, Langstaff 3, Parkin 3, Bray 2, Law 2, Allan 1, Bartlett 1, Griffiths 1, Heslop 1, Newton 1, Tait 1, Wright 1.

Discipline: Heslop, Wright both six yellow cards; Newton four yellow; Tait one red, two yellow; Bencherif, Griffiths both three yellow; Law two yellow; Penn one red, one yellow; Allan, Ferguson, Kempster, Langstaff, McAughtrie, Moke all one yellow.