Statement from Historic England
York City Football Club fans are being asked to share their memories of Bootham Crescent in a new project launched today Tuesday 7th August by Historic England to mark the last full season being played at the stadium, in order to gather ideas to help shape the proposed re-development of the site.
City of York Council’s Executive confirmed Monks Cross as their preferred location for a new Community Stadium in July 2010. Construction of the new stadium is well underway and Bootham Crescent is due to be re-developed for housing.
Historic England has commissioned Jason Wood, a heritage consultant specialising in the public history of sport and leisure – and football grounds in particular – to run the project. Fans and locals are urged to get in touch with Jason with their memories of the ground and ideas for its re-development – contact details below.
The first home game of this last season will kick off of 19.45 on Tuesday 7th August. Jason will be at Bootham Crescent from 12 noon to film and conduct interviews in and around the ground and at half time during the match.
York City has been playing at Bootham Crescent since 1932 and bought the freehold of the ground in 1948.
The ground holds great meaning for thousands of football fans but also for local businesses and residents who will experience a very different neighbourhood when the football team moves to Monks Cross.
Historic England will explore what people value about the place and will consider how those memories might be captured for the future. The Club has already identified physical elements like plaques and monuments that will need to be carefully relocated.
Understanding and reflecting the important heritage of Bootham Crescent will help to give the new development meaning and encourage surrounding communities feel better connected to it.
Historic England Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Keith Emerick said: “A place as significant as a football ground makes a very real contribution to local identity and to how people feel about the area. We are testing a new way of involving local people in influencing how the area is developed after the football club moves out. As a passionate football fan, I know what it means when your club moves from its home”
Jason Wood, who is running the project for Historic England, said: “The tradition of football is only one dimension of the historic environment but it is a keenly distinctive aspect of ‘place’ for football supporters. By finding ways to mark and celebrate this tradition in consultation with the fans and local residents it ought – with imagination, effort and investment – to be achievable as well as beneficial to recapture in the new development Bootham Crescent’s historic sense of place.”
Mike Brown, Chairman York City Supporters Trust said: “Bootham Crescent has been a very special place in the hearts of all York City fans over the past nine decades. The Supporters’ Trust are excited to be working with Historic England to explore ways that those shared memories can be honoured at the site long into the future. No doubt many of us will shed a tear as we attend the very last match at Bootham Crescent, but this project will help the fans to leave a lasting legacy at our spiritual home.”
A statement from the York City Football Club Board of Directors states: “York City Football Club is happy to co-operate in this project undertaken by Historic England. So many wonderful memories have been generated at Bootham Crescent over the last 86 years and the ground will always have a special place in the hearts of our supporters. We share the view that it would be appropriate to leave a permanent tribute, as a lasting legacy of days gone by, in any future development on the site.”
To find out more about Historic England please visit https://historicengland.org.uk/