THIS weekend marks 25 years since one of the most famous nights in the history of York City - the 3-0 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

As overwhelming underdogs, the then-Second Division relegation battlers comprehensively outplayed the side which would ultimately win their second Premier League and FA Cup double in the space of three seasons in their own back yard.

City completed the job weeks later, progressing from the Coca Cola Cup tie 4-3 on aggregate after a 3-1 defeat at Bootham Crescent.

To mark the anniversary, Nigel Pepper and Steve Tutill, two of the City players in the line-up that day, met up at Haxby Sports Bar to watch back the highlights of that game for a special episode of the York Hospital Ball podcast, which was released on Sunday.

On paper, the home win looked a banker, with the United side containing internationals Gary Pallister, Lee Sharpe and Ryan Giggs, as well as an emerging David Beckham.

“It was a great draw just to have that experience of playing them over two legs,” said Pepper. “I don’t think that any of us thought what was going to happen would happen.”

Captain Tutill added: “I don’t know what we expected. We just went there to enjoy the game. And we did!

“I think that form went out of the window. It was our cup final and it was their game to lose. In the back of your mind, you think that you could get a drumming or we could pull off something fantastic.

“We just approached it in a professional way and (manager) Alan Little kept things relaxed. We stayed in a hotel before the game and travelled there together.”

The ex-skipper recalls that he didn’t see any United players warming up outside ahead of the contest.

He continued: “It’s a childhood dream to lead your team out at Man United. I can remember warming up before the game and I don’t think one Man United player came out for a warm-up. It was raining so they warmed up indoors.”

Pepper said: “The first game being at Old Trafford, that was a huge bonus for us. The pressure was all on them.

“I think that if it had been the other way round, and we’d got the same result at our place, it would have been a much more difficult second leg.”

“We went at them right from the very beginning and we put them under pressure,” Tutill added.

Indeed, York were on the front foot from the outset and, after a couple of early chances, Paul Barnes tried his luck from well outside the penalty area and despite goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington getting hands to the ball, he couldn’t prevent it from being goalbound on 24 minutes.

“The keeper had a shocker,” said Tutill. “Deflection or not, he’s had a shocker. Barney (Barnes) is in acres of space because the centre half, Pallister has backed off him.”

That gave the Minstermen the lead as the two sides went into the tunnel at half-time. The away side were perhaps as stunned as their supporters at the break.

Tutill said: “When we went in at half-time, I don’t think anybody said a word. Nobody said ‘Come on, we can do this!’, we just there in silence. Alan Little was expecting them to come at us, but it was us coming at them.”

Just six minutes after the restart and the York jubilation intensified as Andy McMillan played a pass over the top from his own half over to Barnes, who was felled by Pat McGibbon, with the defender then sent off.

Replays seem to show that the foul was outside the area, not that that concerned Barnes who slotted the penalty into the right corner.

Tutill reflected: “He took it well didn’t he? I’m not sure about his celebration though. I don’t think that I bothered coming over - it was too far to run for me, I was saving myself!”

2-0 quickly became 3-0 when Pepper whipped in a teasing cross which was met by a towering Tony Barras header, sparking more pandemonium from the travelling fans behind the goal.

“The keeper has got to clean him out and take everything,” said Pepper. Tutill concurred: “If that would have been (Peter) Schmeichel, Baz would have had no head left! To be fair to Baz, he never took his eye off that ball.”

And York weren’t done there as Barnes thrashed in what looked like a certain hat-trick only for the assistant to flag him for offside. Again, replays seem to show an incorrect call.

At the death, United conjured a late chance which Brian McClair missed but, aside from that, keeper Dean Kiely had a quiet evening.

“I think that if it had been 5-0 that night, nobody could have moaned,” said Pepper.

“The celebrations were like we had won the FA Cup!” enthused Tutill.

Pepper concluded: “To me it was special. If we had won 1-0 and been battered, then it would have been mentally draining. But, to me, we were by far the better team and we deserved our 3-0 win. Even more, wouldn’t have flattered us.”

To listen to the full podcast, visit: To donate to York Hospital Radio, visit: