On this date [30th March, 1955], a dream was finally extinguished but another glorious chapter written in York City’s proud history, despite losing their FA Cup semi-final replay 2-0 to Newcastle United at Roker Park, Sunderland.
York were allocated 12,000 tickets for the return after the two clubs had shared a controversial 1-1 draw at Hillsbrough, Sheffield just four days previously.
Stylish playmaker Sid Storey resumed in the inside-left position for the Third Division challengers in gentle Spring-like conditions; although his colleagues were to fall behind after only three minutes when Len White received from Jackie Milburn and struck from close-range.
But York were actually appearing the better side as left-winger Billy Fenton fired into the side-netting ahead of the interval.
However, centre-half Alan Stewart was then involved in a heavy collision with Vic Keeble at the start of the second-half and required five stitches to a bad cut above his right eye.
That had witnessed him off the pitch for twelve minutes and, with no substitutes available in those days, seriously dazed and consigned to spending the remainder of the contest stuck out on the right-wing.
Despite being effectively down to ten-men, York continued to fight hard in search of an equaliser; until Keeble eventually forced in a second goal for their opponents from Bobby Mitchell’s deep cross in the final minute.
Back home the great city had come to a virtual standstill while their gallant red-shirted heroes were earning legendary status following their incredible ‘happy wander’ to within a step of the cup final.
No club from their level had ever played in two semi-finals and come so desperately close, with only a hugely contentiously disallowed ‘goal’ in the first game preventing them from claiming a final place against Manchester City, who were comfortably beaten 3-1 by Newcastle at Wembley.
York City: Forgan, Phillips, Howe, Brown, Stewart, Spence, Hughes, Bottom, Wilkinson, Storey, Fenton
Newcastle United: Simpson, Cowell, Batty, Scoular, Stokoe, Crowe, White, Davies, Keeble, Milburn, Mitchell
Goals: White (3), Keeble (90)
Ref: J. Kelly (Chorley)