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Bootham Crescent: A Second Home

By Paul Bowser

Bootham Crescent: A Second Home' has been written to commemorate York City FC's imminent departure from the club's home ground after 87 years of residence. 

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The book is A4 hardback format, consisting of around 280 pages, and with over 240 rare images including the cover shot of the original entrance gates to the club car park.  It covers the period to 1960, with a second part being planned for later in the year to cover the six decades to date.   

York City FC and Bootham Crescent have been intrinsically linked since 1932, the year in which the club vacated its previous ground at Fulfordgate. The move was completed in only a few months over the summer, which is a story in itself, yet there are many other tales to tell.   

The circumstances behind the club's formation, the time spent at Fulfordgate, and how Bootham Crescent became City's home are all covered in great detail, as are the years for the ground before City's tenure. The book describes how the club struggled through the 1930s, yet then came through the war years in a much stronger state, enabling the ground to be bought. The surprising residency of baseball in 1937 gets its own chapter, as does the logistics of packing the ground during the cup runs of 1938 and 1955. Using rare photographs, news cuttings, and memorabilia, all the ground changes are captured in rich detail. They provide a fascinating insight of bygone days, and the wider events which impacted on York City's fortunes. 

From ticket pricing to cup-tie allocations, turnstiles to floodlights, dugouts to disciplinary notices, canine pitch invasions to five-minute flags, the glass bridge, the history of the City programme, finances, contracts, rent levels and leases, crowd disorder, ground developments – these and so much more. There are many fascinating details that have perhaps never previously come to light.  

There is also a chapter which reflects on the brief history of the first York City club that existed between 1908 – 1917 which, ironically, also had two grounds. 

For many supporters, as with the club, Bootham Crescent has indeed been a second home, and the book reflects this. It strives to be a worthy edition to the York City bookshelf.

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