Journeying back exactly twenty-five years to the Minstermen’s first-ever visit to Wembley Stadium and a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory against Crewe Alexandra in their Third Division play-off final.
Manager Alan Little described it as his “greatest day ever in football” as York City secured themselves a well-deserved promotion on a truly ‘nerve-jangling’ afternoon at the twin towers.
Having appeared the more enterprising side throughout and twice hitting the woodwork during the regular ninety minutes, York finally took the lead when midfielder Gary Swann fired his hometown club ahead in extra-time.
However, another York-born player, substitute Steve Tutill, inexplicably handled inside his own area with just sixty seconds remaining and Dave McKearney crashed in an equaliser from the penalty spot.
But the Minstermen magnificently responded to that late setback as Jon McCarthy, Paul Barnes, Tony Canham, Nigel Pepper and Wayne Hall similarly found the net during the shoot-out, while goalkeeper Dean Kiely crucially denied midfielder Gareth Whalley.
“That’s got to be the greatest day ever for me in football,” a jubilant Little told The Press. “It had everything you could wish for in a match – thrills, tension, drama, ecstasy and finally the joy of victory.
“I enjoyed every minute of the day and what surprised me was that I didn’t get nervous,” he revealed. “I felt we played exceptionally well on the day with every man playing his part and we created far more chances than Crewe. It was a marvellous game of football. We took the game to them and we deserved what we got.
“I left it to the lads to decide who was taking the penalties and they sorted it out in training during the week. They knew by Tuesday who was taking them and also in which order.”
Rewind Extra – May 1993