Date: 9th January 2018 at 11:10am
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Five players who have represented both York City and Stoke City during their careers.

Five players who have represented both York City and Stoke City during their careers.

1. Denis Smith

A true legend at both clubs, Denis Smith made over 400 league appearances for hometown Stoke, including helping them secure a League Cup winners’ medal when beating Chelsea in the 1971-72 final.

Following a loan spell at York while approaching the end of a distinguished playing career, Smith was appointed as City’s second-ever player-manager in May 1982. He was joined by former Fulham and West Ham United striker Viv Busby as player-coach – and it was to herald a simply wonderful new era after a series of hugely difficult years at Bootham Crescent

In what was the club’s Diamond Jubilee, Smith recruited an entirely new defence comprising of goalkeeper Roger Jones, Chris Evans, Alan Hay and Ricky Sbragia, assisted by himself before later making way for another newcomer, John MacPhail. That witnessed a huge turnaround in fortunes and steep rise to seventh place in the Fourth Division by the end of the campaign.

With their leader now concentrating solely on management, the following season proved an historic and record-breaking affair as York become the first club to achieve a century of points while storming towards their first-ever league title.

Moving up to the higher level, Smith then guided the Minstermen to both eighth and seventh place finishes over the next couple of years, while simultaneously famously knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup and twice holding 1984 European Cup winners Liverpool.

However, relegation was only narrowly averted the following season, and in May 1987 the massively inspirational Smith/Busby partnership moved onto fallen giants Sunderland, where they immediately won the Third Division title – and a later return to the top-flight.

But that proved only a brief triumph and following his dismissal in December 1991, Smith later went on to manage Bristol City, Oxford United [twice], West Bromwich Albion and Wrexham.

2. Roger Jones

Despite joining York late in his career, Roger Jones proved one of the finest goalkeepers witnessed at Bootham Crescent.

Having earlier been capped at England Under-23 level while including playing spells with Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, Stoke and Derby County, Jones was snapped up by City player-manager Denis Smith in the summer of 1982.

He went on to provide three years of outstanding service while skippering the club to its first major honour – the Fourth Division championship in 1984.

However, after making 141 City appearances – which increased his overall career total to approaching 800 – Jones was to depart the following year and upon retirement later held a coaching role at Sunderland.

But it’s the truly iconic image of the veteran 37-year-old proudly raising the Fourth Division championship trophy towards an adoring York fanbase that is always most vividly recalled.

3. Sean Haslegrave

Another true great whose outstanding influence during a particularly glorious period at Bootham Crescent can never be underestimated.

The tough-tackling and combative midfielder was a huge contributor towards York’s record-breaking Fourth Division championship-winning side of 1983-84.

Having tuned professional with hometown club Stoke, Haslegrave enjoyed subsequent spells with Nottingham Forest, Preston North End and Crewe Alexandra while amassing over 350 senior appearances

Then joining York just before the start of their record-breaking campaign, he proceeded to give them four years of wonderful service and featured in some of the club’s greatest cup performances during the mid-eighties.

Haslegrave was later appointed skipper following the retirement of goalkeeper Roger Jones, and went on to total 172 appearances, until becoming player-coach and then assistant manager at Torquay United.

4. Jon Parkin

Still regularly scoring goals for fun at the grand old age of 36, it’s little wonder that Jon “The Beast” Parkin has become such an iconic figure since returning to Bootham Crescent.

Parkin started out with hometown club Barnsley two decades ago, making his senior debut as a seventeen-year-old ahead of a subsequent loan move to Hartlepool United and then permanent switch to York.

Although often employed as a centre-back, the big Yorkshireman still netted fifteen goals in 87 games for City, including scoring their winner on his debut at Southend United in February 2002.

After a couple of years with the Minstermen, Parkin went on to have permanent stays with Macclesfield Town, Hull City, Stoke, Preston North End, Cardiff City, Fleetwood Town, Forest Green Rovers and Newport County.

He later returned to York, initially on loan in November 2016, and turned that into a regular arrangement just over a month later.

But despite an outstanding sixteen goals in 28 games, it wasn’t enough to avoid a first-ever career relegation for the veteran marksman, who also struck at Wembley as York notably claimed a second FA Trophy in just five years.

Now operating at the sixth tier for the first time, Parkin is currently averaging a-goal-a-game with twenty-four so far this season, while leading the charge towards hopefully an immediate return to the higher division.

5. David McAughtrie

Scottish centre-back who joined York for the start of the 1985-86 season after actually beginning his professional career at Stoke.

McAughtrie made 59 appearances and scored three goals across his four seasons with the Potteries club having previously been capped by his country at youth level.

He subsequently moved onto Carlisle United, with his only season at Brunton Park realising 31 games and a single goal before linking up with the Minstermen for the start of their 1985-86 campaign.

Slotting alongside fellow countryman John MacPhail due to the continuing absence of another redoubtable Scot, Ricky Sbragia, the Ayr-born stopper completed an impressive 52 appearances and scored twice during his first season at Bootham Crescent.

However, despite the departure of the outstanding MacPhail to Bristol City the following July, the timely return of Sbragia and recruitment of both Mike Pickering and Alan Whitehead then had McAughtrie restricted to 28 games the following season and he later moved onto Darlington.

Denis Smith sparked wonderful times with York City’s famous ‘centurions’

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