Date: 7th November 2017 at 12:37pm
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Returning for more player links in ‘City Connections’, this time between York City and their old rivals Hull City.

Returning for more player links in ‘City Connections’, this time between York City and their old rivals Hull City.

1. Tommy Forgan

Tommy Forgan was amongst the finest of goalkeepers to represent the club – if not the best ever. He actually stayed for twelve seasons at Bootham Crescent while making 428 appearances – a club record for a keeper.

Middlesbrough-born Forgan earlier spent five years at Hull following his Boothferry Park arrival in 1949, but was restricted to only a handful of games.

In the summer of 1954 he moved onto York, immediately helping them to a 6-2 victory at Wrexham on the opening day of the season. Fellow debutant Arthur Bottom blasted a sensational hat-trick on that occasion in front of an 11,695 attendance.

Despite City’s new keeper then missing the opening couple of rounds of the FA Cup due to injury, he returned to save a penalty in the shock victory at First Division former winners Blackpool, whose ranks included the legendary Stanley Matthews.

Forgan continued to prove a huge influence as the famous ‘Happy Wanderers’ then stunned the footballing community by magnificently fighting their way past the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Notts County and into the FA Cup semi-finals.

He went on to prove a virtual ever-present while also helping the club towards a couple of promotions in 1959 and 1965, until finally leaving the following year and later playing for Gainsborough Trinity.

2. Ian Butler

Yorkshireman Ian Butler was already a well-established left winger by the time he joined York in July 1973.

Born in Barnsley, Butler originally signed for Rotherham United, who were managed by future City boss Tom Johnston, straight from school, until completing a £40,000 switch to Hull in January 1965.

Following over 300 senior games for the Tigers, he then reunited with wily supremo Johnston at York following a club record fee of around £10,000 being agreed by both parties.

Butler went on to make 53 appearances and score three times as the Minstermen secured an immediate promotion and subsequent first-ever season in the second tier of English football.

His most memorable goal for the club was undoubtedly a glorious last-seconds extra-time winner in an FA Cup third round replay with Orient at Bootham Crescent in November 1973.

He also included a brief loan spell at Barnsley – and his son, Martin, later went on to play for York.

3. Gordon Staniforth

Striker Gordon Staniforth joined York, initially on loan from hometown club Hull, midway through the 1976-77 season.

The former England schoolboy international had previously made a number of Second Division appearances for the Tigers.

But after a successful first month at Bootham Crescent, Staniforth completed a permanent £7,500 switch in January 1977, and was to prove a fine attacking player while usually operating down the left.

He was twice leading goalscorer and collected the prestigious ‘Clubman of the Year’ award in both of those seasons, while including a couple of hat-tricks in his final overall tally of 40 goals in 164 games – that following a return to the club on non-contract terms in October 1987.

In between times, Staniforth made a club record fee received £120,000 move to Carlisle United in October 1979, before then helping Plymouth Argyle reach the FA Cup semi-finals.

He also had a stay with Newport County ahead of his return to York, where he scored once – appropriately on his final-ever appearance in a 2-1 triumph at Brentford – in 23 games during a brief second spell. He later played for North Ferriby.

4. Alan Fettis

Northern Ireland international Alan Fettis proved a fine goalkeeper during his time at Bootham Crescent.

Born in Belfast, Fettis had earlier made over 150 appearances for Hull having arrived from Irish club Ards.

He went on to have spells with Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers, until York manager Terry Dolan – who’d already been his boss at Hull- snapped him up in March 2000.

Becoming a real favourite of the supporters, ‘Super Alan’ Fettis proceeded to make 140 appearances for the Minstermen while also being named as ‘Clubman of the Year’ in both of his full seasons.

But with financial problems at York, the popular keeper was to return to Hull in January 2003, before later stays with Macclesfield Town and Bury.

5. Gary Swann

Midfielder Gary Swann eventually joined hometown club York in the summer of 1992.

Prior to that he was already a vastly experienced campaigner while completing more than 400 senior games during spells at Hull and Preston North End. But he was to prove a similarly vital performer at Bootham Crescent while going on to make 95 appearances and contributing six goals.

His first season was to end amidst the glory of a goalscoring display at Wembley as York famously defeated Crewe Alexandra on penalties in the Third Division play-off final. Swann had also notably scored the only goal in a tense semi-final triumph against Bury before a bumper 9,206 home crowd.

The following campaign also witnessed him as a really key player when City only narrowly missed out on back-to-back promotions – and with that a return to the second tier.

Swann later moved on to Scarborough before further extending his career by playing in Hong Kong.

Tommy Forgan notably saved a penalty for the ‘Happy Wanderers’ at Blackpool

Video Link: British Pathe