JAMES FORD recently called Jack Aldous a "machine" - and the prop forward has since motored towards a third Press Player of the Year accolade having been named Player of the Month for July.

Aldous has collected the gong - his second of this season and seventh in total since joining the club in 2012 - following his displays in an otherwise problematic month full of trouble off the field and three defeats on it, two against Toulouse and one against Keighley.

Speaking after Ford's 15 heroes battled away against runaway League One leaders Toulouse in soaring heat - the team having travelled light due to unavailability caused in part by question marks over the club's future - Ford said: "Jack Aldous did 80 minutes in, what, 35 degrees and still won 60 per cent of his contacts and wrestles.

"The kid is just a machine. That’s why he’s our captain."

"Mr Duracell", as he is also known, has duly moved to the top of the Player of the Year standings thanks to the three bonus points he gets as Player of the Month.

They add to the two he got when we deemed him our second-best performer that day.

Late-season signing Tommy Saxton has also made notable headway in the Player of the Year leaderboard since the last update, having been our man of the match against Barrow last week, as well as our second best player against Keighley.

The points winners in full since the last update are below.

Against Keighley: Sam Smeaton (3pts), Saxton (2pts), James Morland (1pt).

Against Toulouse: Mike Emmett (3pts), Aldous (2pts), Josh Tonks (1pt).

Against Barrow: Saxton (3pts), Ed Smith (2pts), Mark Applegarth (1pt).

The Press Player of the Year leaderboard: Aldous 18pts, Tonks 14, Applegarth 14, E Smith 13, Carter 12, Wilkinson 9, Emmett 8, Brining 8, Saxton 7, Presley 6, Nicklas 6, Morland 6, Spiers 5, Turner 4, B Dent 3, Crowther 3, Craig 3, Robinson 3, Tyson-Wilson 3, Smeaton 3, Buchanan 2, Mallinder 1, Divorty 1, A Dent 1.

IF Roberto Mancini can do it, then so can James Ford.

Mancini, during his successful reign as Manchester City manager, once told Carlos Tevez he'd never play for the club again after a spat during a Champions League game at Bayern Munich, when the Argentinian, a sub that night, refused to warm up on the sidelines, arguing he was warm enough.

Tevez then went AWOL only for the pair to make up six months later, with Mancini bringing the star striker back into the fold and being repaid in goals and assists as his team came from a whopping eight points behind Manchester United with six games left to pip their arch-rivals to the Premier League title in that unforgettable last-day injury-time win over QPR.

Well, never mind six months, Knights boss Ford did it in about six days.

Having told loanee Brandon Westerman he wouldn't play for the Knights while he was boss after the young back-rower failed to show for the trip to Toulouse a fortnight ago, he soon relented following an amicable chat with the Castleford starlet.

As it turns out, Westerman had told his coaches at Cas that serious illness to a close relative meant he needed to stay home, but that message was not relayed formerly to Ford, who rightly expected Westerman to have told him himself.

With lessons learned and apologies accepted, Westerman was back in training and attended last weekend's game against Rochdale, watching from the Main Stand.

(*Obviously being a part-time United fan, Ford might not like to be compared to a title-winning City manager, but there you go.)

PHYLLIS THORMAN, still a keen follower of the Knights after her three sons played for the Minster city club, is to represent York in the Rugby League Fans Choir that will perform at the Challenge Cup final at the end of the month.

Phyllis - mum to Geordie former player-coach Chris and ex-players Paul and Neil - received a phone call from the BBC last month saying not only that she'd been nominated for the choir but also chosen as one of the 32 to perform, each representing a pro club ahead of the showpiece Wembley encounter between Hull and Warrington.

"I'm absolutely gobsmacked about this, but also very proud to be invited to Wembley," she said.

STAYING with North Easterners, and the Thorman family, one ex-Knight broke a long-standing club record belonging to another ex-Knight last weekend.

Benn Hardcastle needed two points and one goal to break the Newcastle/Gateshead Thunder club records set by fellow half-back Paul Thorman over a decade ago and duly knocked over three goals in the Tynesiders' 30-14 League One Shield win over North Wales Crusaders.

The latter scored 387 points and kicked 151 conversions and penalties in 105 games for Gateshead from 2001 to 2004, before joining the Knights and helping Mick Cook's men win the National League Two title.

Hardcastle's total of 392 has been reached with 20 tries, 154 goals and four field goals in 55 games for the Thunder since 2013, either side of a spell with York in 2014.

Hardcastle's points ratio per match is almost double Thorman's but it's worth acknowledging that the latter's came in a cash-strapped team that perennially struggled.

THERE was a perfectly observed minute's silence at York's game against Barrow last weekend for one of the team's staunchest fans, Colin Brown, who passed away recently.

Colin, fondly known as "Shades" due to his penchant for wearing sunglasses, was a regular home and away for 40 years.

He was also close friends and a work colleague of former club stalwart as player and coach Mick Ramsden, who had asked the team to wear wristbands with Colin's name on at last month's game at Keighley, as a mark of respect as he fought through his short battle with inoperable cancer. The lads, as is their wont, obliged.