Date: 29th November 2017 at 4:04pm
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Continuing the journey and tracking five players who have represented both York City and Walsall.

Continuing the journey and tracking five players who have represented both York City and Walsall, three of whom scored for the Minstermen in famous cup-ties against Manchester United, Everton and Liverpool.


1. Dale Banton

York paid a then club record £50,000 fee to Aldershot when bringing striker Dale Banton to Bootham Crescent in November 1984.

The Kensington-born 23-year-old was seen as an ideal replacement following the departure of prolific marksman John Byrne to Queens Park Rangers.

Banton had begun his career at West Ham United before proving himself a regular goalscorer in Hampshire, even finishing as top scorer in Division Four after claiming 28 goals during his first season.

He immediately struck on his York debut in a 2-1 defeat at Lincoln City, and for the next four years was a regular in attack, notably forging an excellent partnership alongside the legendary Keith Walwyn.

At the end of the 1987-88 season, Banton was named as Clubman of the Year after being leading scorer on 18 goals, until an £80,000 move took him to Walsall in October 1988.

That followed 55 goals in 173 appearances for the Minstermen from a player who later returned to former club Aldershot before being appointed player-manager of non-league Goole Town.


2. Tony Barras

No-nonsense centre-back Tony Barras arrived from Stockport County over the summer of 1994 and became a virtual ever-present in the side for almost five seasons.

The Stockton-on-Tees-born defender had started out at nearby Hartlepool United, until swapping allegiances to Stockport and making over a century of appearances at Edgeley Park.

Barras marked his York debut in a League Cup tie at Burnley in August 1994 – and it was to be in that competition he enjoyed his most iconic moment with the club when heading what proved a decisive third goal in a 3-0 victory at Manchester United in September 1995.

Named as Clubman of the Year in 1996-97, he totalled 206 appearances and his 15 goals for City included a number of fiercely-struck penalties, before joining Reading in March 1999 – and then having later spells with Walsall, Notts County and Macclesfield Town.

3. Ricky Sbragia

Scottish-born Ricky Sbragia was a granite-like centre-back who joined York in the summer of 1982.

He began his career with Birmingham City before helping Walsall to promotion to the Third Division in 1979-80.

That earned him a deal with Second Division Blackpool, and following two years at Bloomfield Road, an opportunity to join the Minstermen under the leadership of the great Denis Smith.

Once there, Sbragia went on to form a colossal partnership in the heart of the York defence with fellow Scot John MacPhail, as the club stormed to the Fourth Division title in 1983-84 with a record 101-points tally.

The following season brought his famous late equaliser against Liverpool in the FA Cup, but it was at the opposite end of the pitch where he proved one of City’s finest servants while making 179 appearances and adding ten goals.

With injuries unfortunately forcing his retirement from playing, Sbragia instead concentrated on coaching the juniors and intermediates at York, even guiding the club to the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals in 1992-93 , while also helping produce future stars such as Richard Cresswell and Graeme Murty.

He then moved onto Sunderland as youth coach, and also worked at Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers before a further spell at the Stadium of Light included him being appointed as first-team manager and steering the club towards Premier League safety.

Sbragia was later involved with the Scotland national team, and went onto manage their Under-21s before returning to former club Manchester United earlier this year to take charge of its Under-23s.


4. Neil Tolson

Striker Neil Tolson arrived from neighbours Bradford City in July 1996 and was to remain at Bootham Crescent for a rather mixed three years.

Born in Walsall, Tolson had started out with his hometown club before a £150,000 move took him to Oldham Athletic in March 1992. But after just a trio of substitute appearances during a particularly frustrating period at Boundary Park, there was a switch to Bradford City at the end of the following year.

However, he was often restricted to again coming off the bench while scoring twelve goals in 63 league appearances, and therefore joined neighbours York in an £80,000 deal – making his debut in their 2-1 defeat at Plymouth Argyle on the opening day of the 1996-97 season.

Tolson went on to finish as leading scorer with seventeen goals at the end of his first campaign, including notably being on target in both ties of the famous League Cup triumph against Everton in September 1996 – initially giving the visitors a shock lead in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park, before registering their opening goal in a superb 3-2 return victory.

His next couple at seasons at York were to be interrupted by injuries, and following 102 appearances and 24 goals, he joined Southend United in June 1999; that ahead of moving into non-league with the likes of Leigh Genesis, Kettering Town, Halifax Town and Hyde United, while also managing both the latter and Altrincham.

5. Chris Jones

Striker Chris Jones joined the club from Walsall in the summer of 1973 and was to prove a hugely influential player over the next couple of seasons.

The former Manchester City and Swindon Town marksman immediately scored on his City debut in a 4-2 victory at Charlton Athletic on the opening day of a truly wonderful 1973-74 campaign.

Jones went on to grab 20 goals in 48 appearances and finish top scorer that season, while forming a supreme goalscoring double-act with another ex-Saddler Jimmy Seal, as York clinched promotion to the old Second Division under the leadership of wily Scot Tom Johnston.

Now playing at their highest-ever level and incredibly competing on an equal ranking alongside the likes of Manchester United, Sunderland and Aston Villa, Jones struck famous doubles in away victories at eventually promoted Norwich City (3-2) and FA Cup finalists Fulham (2-0).

Those increased his final tally for the club to 37 goals in 107 appearances, until moving onto Huddersfield Town in August 1976, ahead of later stays with Doncaster Rovers, Darlington (loan) and Rochdale.

Jones is now a regular match summariser with BBC Radio York.



Ricky Sbragia scored a famous late goal against Liverpool in the FA Cup

Video Link: Eighties Yorkshire