Chris Topping’s record of 463 senior games for York City makes him the third highest in terms of number of appearances for the club.
Chris Topping’s record of 463 senior games for York City makes him the third highest in terms of number of appearances for the club. He was born in Bubwith, near Selby and became York’s first-ever apprentice professional when originally joining the club in 1967. In December of the following year he made his first-team debut as a seventeen-year-old in a 0-0 draw with Newport County at Bootham Crescent. Topping was particularly strong in the air and soon established himself as a regular central defensive partner for skipper Barry Swallow.
Their solid combination provided the foundations for a strong and resolute defence as York really began to prosper, with promotions in 1970-71 and 1973-74 as they rose to the second tier of English football for the first time in their history. Topping was a constant part of their fantastic run as he completed an incredible sequence of 355 consecutive league appearances stretching between September 1970 until April 1978, which was comfortably a club record.
Following completion of York’s first season in the second division, he was named as their ‘Clubman of the Year’ as the Minstermen competed on equal league terms with the likes of Manchester United, Sunderland, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and West Bromwich Albion.
However, in May 1978 he rejoined his former York boss Tom Johnston at Huddersfield Town after a £20,000 fee took him to Leeds Road. He was to spend three years with the Terriers and make 43 league appearances until moving on to Scarborough and then becoming player-manager of Northern League outfit Northallerton Town.
Topping was a wonderful servant of the club who made every use of his ability. He was a massive influence in leading them to their highest-ever league place of 15th in the second division in 1974-75, when he proved one of their most outstanding players in a team that regularly rubbed shoulders with footballing giants and continued to thrill their ecstatic supporters as they did so.