Club History


Established in 1922, York City Football Club is a passionate, proud club with football and community spirit at the heart of everything it does. We aspire to welcome, support and represent our entire community. As well as a full-time professional men’s first team, YCFC has a successful Ladies Team, Youth Team, Academy and Foundation.


The present club was formed in 1922 and prior to their election to Division Three North of the Football League in 1929 played in the Midland League. They remained in the Northern Section until 1958 when they became one of the original members of the Fourth Division. (During the Second World War when the League was suspended from1939 until 1946 the club operated in the various wartime competitions). Over the next 45 seasons (1958-2004) the club won promotion six times. In 1958/59 and 1964/65 they moved up to the third tier only to suffer immediate relegation.


Cup Glory

Over the years City have earned themselves the title of “giantkillers” and when in the Third Division North reached both the quarter finals and semi-finals of the FA Cup. In the Football League Cup they reached the quarter finals in 1961/62 and in the mid 1990’s beat Premier clubs Manchester United and Everton in successive seasons.

En route to the 6th round in 1937/38 they defeated First Division clubs West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough before bowing out to Huddersfield Town in a replay at Leeds Road. The game against Town at York attracted Bootham Crescent’s record crowd of 28,123.

In 1954/55 City beat top flight clubs Blackpool and Tottenham Hotspur and in the semi-final drew 1-1 at Hillsborough against Newcastle United to become the first Third Division side to appear in an FA Cup semi final replay which was lost 2-0 at Roker Park.


Football League Rise & Fall

City again gained promotion in 1970/71 and in 1974 reached the Second Division (Championship) for the first and to date only time in our history.

In two seasons in the second tier of English football the club competed with Manchester United, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion and Nottingham Forest amongst others and in 1974/75 achieved their highest ever League placing when they finished 15th.

The following campaign, however, they were relegated and by 1977 were back in the Fourth.


Record-breaking giant killers

In 1983/84 City won their first major honour when they finished runaway Fourth Division champions with 101 points becoming the first club in Football League history to reach three figures.

City’s next promotion success in the Football League was via the playoffs in 1992/93 when on the club’s first ever visit to Wembley Stadium they beat Crewe Alexandra in a penalty shoot out.

In January 1985, York City famously beat Arsenal 1-0 in the 4th round of the FA Cup at Bootham Crescent thanks to a last minute Keith Houchen penalty.  That one kick of the ball sent the fans into total delirium and the club into the 5th round to face Liverpool.

City secured a 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the 5th round at Bootham Crescent, but faced a 7-0 defeat in the replay at Anfield. Incredibly, the following season York City made the 5th round and drew Liverpool once again. We again secured a replay at Anfield following another 1-1 draw, losing 3-1 after extra time.

On 20th September 1995 the club hit the national headlines with a stunning Coca Cola League Cup 2nd round upset at Old Trafford. City thumped future double winners 3-0 Manchester United in front of their own fans. The return fixture resulted in an aggregate 4-3 result and one of the biggest cup shocks of all time.


Relegation, then Wembley twice

In 2004 the club finished bottom of Division Three (League Two) and dropped down to the Conference bringing to an end 75 years membership of the Football League. During that time they had spent two seasons in the second tier and 16 in the third tier.

In eight years in the Conference City reached the promotion play offs three times. In 2006/07 they lost at the semi-final stage and in 2009/10 went down to Oxford United in the final and then, on May 20th 2012, promotion back to the Football League was achieved when Luton Town were beaten 2-1 at Wembley.

This latter game marked the club’s 4th appearance at the national stadium in four years and completed a league and FA Trophy double at Wembley in just eight days.


Regional football, then promotion

After four years back in the Football League, York dropped back into the Conference finishing in 24th place in League 2 in 2015/16. The following season City suffered a second successive relegation, after finishing in the final relegation place in the National League and will compete in regional non-league football in 2017/18 for the first time since 1929.

Against all the odds, City successfully battled through a tough National League North playoffs to achieve a return to national football in the club’s historic centenary year. The final against Boston United was held at City’s new LNER Community Stadium, with a 2-0 victory securing promotion.