York City Testimonial Games and Benefits

Traditionally testimonial games were awarded to players who had played for 10 years for one club. They were also awarded to some other long serving personnel or to players whose careers were ended by injury.

In former days, with a maximum wage, a testimonial game often allowed a player to buy his first house or to set him up in a post football career.

Until about the 1950s, there were occasions when City’s directors awarded a benefit cheque, it appeared to be a Football League directive for any player completing 5 consecutive years with a club, City were paying £350 in 1954, the equivalent of about one year's wages. Pre WW2, Raich Carter received a £500 benefit cheque from Sunderland (£500 being the maximum awarded at the time for each 5 years of continuous service at one club). In one case, City paid a benefit cheque to their groundsman.

City have a long history in awarding players (and staff) testimonials. By the 1970s and Barry Swallow, the traditional testimonial game was becoming a testimonial season with the testimonial match being the highlight of a season long series of activities which invariably included dinners, golf days, smaller events and glossy testimonial brochures.

Below are details of many testimonials featuring City players and City staff, including some awarded by other clubs to people with City connections.

Football's authorities have to sanction all testimonials and would occasionally sanction a second testimonial for a player, such as Peter Lorimer who enjoyed testimonial's organised by Leeds either side of his spell with City.

NB You'll note an almost complete lack of testimonials where York City have provided the opposition, City's trip to Scarborough for Harry Dunn's testimonial being an exception. In 2008, Boldon inaugurated the Sam Bartram Cup, his daughter Moira flew from Canada to hand it over and City played Boldon in a friendly to mark the occasion.



Opponents (Game)


Jack Middlemiss



1st ever YCFC benefit. Receipts were £111

Tom Fenoughty


Leeds L1-7

Knowing of City's financial woes he offered his benefit cheque to City. 4,000+ attendance

Jack Pinder Spring 38 Grimsby (h) Grimsby included Newcastle's legendary forward Hughie Gallacher in front of a near 5,000 crowd
Stan Fox End 37/8 season Pickering (a) Also awarded proceeds (£300) of league game v Southport (7/5/38) which was shared with Jack Pinder
Ted Wass 1939 Newcastle (May 1939) Wass scored an own goal in front of a 3,000 crowd
Sam Gledhill

42/3 (1943)

Also a 1949 testimonial

Ted Hathaway


Jack Pinder



Also a spring 1938 testimonial v Grimsby (making him the first City player to earn 2 testimonials)
Att: Nearly 6,000

Tommy Ledgard

Sept 48

Rotherham Reserves (Midlands League game)

Former groundsman / handyman, suffering from blindness following an illness was granted a benefit match and a year’s pay
Attendance of 2,280 with receipts of £109 and £31 collection

Bert Brenen


City XI v Leeds L0-4

Attendance around 11,000 (9,056 pay £629 on the night plus around 2,000 advance sales meaning Brenen probably received the FA maximum allowed testimonial of £750 (at the time a testimonial record for City). Ex City George Lee and England international Len "Clown Prince" Shackleton played. Couldn’t agree terms and joined Scarborough in August 1951

Tom Lockie


YCFC v Football League XI L1-6

Attendance 6,586

Alf & Matt Patrick

End 53/4

Planned joint benefit match against an "All Stars XI", featuring some Spurs stars in the wake of Dumnmore's transfer, was called off a few days before the game as many of the stars were committed elsewhere. In 1953, each received benefit cheques (a standard practice at the time when a player completed 5 years' service with a club)

Alan Stewart, Sid Storey, Matt Patrick and Ron Spence 54/5 Each receive £500 benefit cheques (a standard practice at the time when a player completed 5 years' service with a club)

Gordon Brown

End 55/6

£500 benefit cheque

Percy Andrews

End 56/7

City 3 All Stars XI 0

7,000 crowd (£695 receipts) at benefit match plus £400 benefit cheque in June 1957. The All Stars included current City manager Sam Bartram and Bill Shankly

Matt Patrick


Receive a second benefit cheque for a further 5 seasons service

Billy Fenton


Receive £500 benefit cheque after leaving for Scarborough after 7 years service

Barry Jackson Aug 64 Receive £500 benefit cheque from Hugh Kitchin (See 640905 programme)
Joe Shaw


Sheffield United v All Star XI

Eric Brookes / Eric Winstanley (Joint)


Barnsley v Sheffield W

Gerry Baker 20/10/69 YCFC v Happy Wanderers 5 -5

In aid of Gerry Baker who had to retire following a knee injury. A numbered 12 page programme, similar in style to that of the league programmes but with a different cover (Gerry Baker photo) and a full page picture of the 1955 side. At the time, the normal programme contained no photos. 3,537 saw the game and gate receipts were £745. Arthur Bottom was the only absentee from the 1955 side. Baker was unable to play due to his career ending knee injury suffered in an FA Cup tie against Morecambe in December 1968

Barry Jackson


YCFC v Hull

City win 3-2. Jackson was suspended so couldn’t play. In lieu, he made a half time speech. The attendance was 3,120 and the proceeds were £718 and 92.5p "with some items, including donations and ticket money etc.” still to be included. The final total was £830. Programme numbered in sequence with the other programmes of the season (Gerry Baker testimonial programme excepted). Jackson gave a half time speech.

Harry Dunn


Scarborough v YCFC

Long serving Scarborough player, the original and not Harry A Dunn, the 2017/8 City scout

Paul Aimson


Bury v All Stars XI (featuring George Best)

An earlier 1975 testimonial saw Colchester take on Norwich City in a promotion celebration friendly

Barry Swallow


YCFC 4 v All Stars XI 2

Opponents (September 1977) largely Yorkshire based and lead by Billy Bremner, including Jack & Bobby Charlton, David Harvey, Terry Cooper, Eddie Gray, Mick Jones, Paul Reaney, Paul Madeley, Peter Lorimer, Bobby Collins, Alan Woodward, Kevin Hector, Colin Todd, Alan Hinton, Cliff Calvert plus the former Bristol Rovers strike force of Warboys & Bannister. Special testimonial programme (20pp / 25p / A5) and was first full colour City programme. City win 4-2 thanks to a Gordon Staniforth hat trick (attendance 3,335)

Peter Lorimer


Leeds v Select XI

First of 2 testimonial games

Mick Coop


Coventry 7 Scotland XI 5

The Scottish team largely featured players with Coventry connections

Denis Smith


Stoke 70s v Stoke 80s

Gordon Banks, Geoff Hurst and Peter Shilton amongst the Stoke legends to play,

Malcolm Crosby


Aldershot v WHU

YCFC player at time of testimonial

John Simpson


YCFC 2 v Leeds 3 (Simpson made a late appearance as a sub. Att 3,066)

Ron Hillyard


Gillingham v WHU

Colin Addison


Hereford v Man United

Peter Lorimer


Leeds v Man United

Second of 2 testimonial games

Luther Blissett


Watford v Luton

Derek Hood


YCFC (current) 3 v Derek Hood Select XI (83/4) 3 (Att 2,012). Ian Botham kicked off the game. Chris Marples recalled, "Enjoyed his (Hood) testimonial which was started by Ian Botham. I started in goal went up front second half to score a couple. I remember that game, Denis Smith played and so did the Physio and Head Groundsman too".

Featuring many of the 1984 YCFC D4 Championship winning side, including Denis Smith who needed 31 stitches after a clash of heads

David Longhurst

Dec 90

Corby v Kettering

Tribute match

Paul Stancliffe


Arranged by Sheffield United

Wilf McGuinness


1991 testimonial dinner and 2001 LUFC Luncheon Club event jointly held in his and Jack (yes Jack) Charlton’s honour. No record of a testimonial game

Ian McDonald


Ian McDonald XI v Southampton

Arranged by Aldershot, played at Southampton

Albert Johanneson


Having fallen on hard times, a testimonial year was arranged for Johanneson spanning the 1992/3 season, unfortunately, he continued to struggle and died alone of meningitis and heart failure in 1995, his body lain undiscovered for a week in his flat in Leeds.

Roly Mills

Oct 92

Northampton v Leicester

Gary Mills’ father. He played in all 4 divisions for Northampton in the 1960s

Nigel Worthington


Arranged by Sheffield Wednesday

Kevan Smith


Darlington v Middlesbrough

Tony Canham


YCFC v Sunderland (L1-3, 29 July 1995), attendance 2,400+, including 1,000 Sunderland supporters

94/5 season long testimonial
Testimonial game saw Keith Walwyn, John MacPhail, Alan Hay, Dave McAughtrie and Alan Little play for City

Neville Southall


Everton v Celtic

Steve Tutill


YCFC 4 v Middlesbrough 4 (7,123 crowd, £31,000 receipts)

450 people, including many 54/5 players, in Ebor Suite for dinner

Alan Little


YCFC v Middlesbrough (6,215 crowd)

Paul Gascoigne play for Middlesbrough. Keith Walwyn made a 10 minute appearance for City. Only City manager to be awarded a testimonial

Andy McMillan


YCFC 2 v Leeds 1 (Att 2,875)

Warm up featured YCFC 70s (including Crawford, Swallow, Topping, Seal, Jones, Lyons and Butler), playing in 74/5 Y front shirts against Leeds United Old Boys (including Lorimer and John Charles)

Mike Stowell


Wolves v Aston Villa

Wayne Hall


YCFC 1 v Middlesbrough 2 (Att 3,185)

Shaun Smith


Strangely, Shaun Smith (centre half 2004/5 season in case you’re struggling to remember him), marked the end of his 11 years with Crewe in 2002 with a joint testimonial with Steve Macauley which featured 2 testimonial games, against Liverpool and Everton. Read More.

Jackie McNamara


Celtic 0 v Rep of Ireland XI 1

Roy Keane, Robbie Keane, Shay Given and Kevin Kilbane featured for the visitors in front of an estimated 54,000 crowd. Little did McNamara know that the occasion would be the last time he pulled on a Celtic shirt.

David McGurk


YCFC 1 v Middlesbrough 2 (Att 1,865)

With City back in the Football Legaue, David McGurk's testimonial season started with a game against Middlesbrough. Recovering from a long term injury, McGurk was given a guard of honour when leading City onto the pitch. He played the first 11 minutes before being substituted. Jamie Reed scored a second half penalty to equalise for City before Boro snatched a late winner. Match Report

Dan Parslow


Wembley Twice 2012 v Dan Parslow's City All Stars

City's 2012 double winning side took on a team of other City teammates of Dan Parslow. Yorkpress reported ...
Daniel Parslow praised those that helped support his benefit match and an “incredible night that I’ll never forget” after his benefit game at Bootham Crescent featuring a ‘Parslow All Stars XI’ and a ‘Wembley Twice XI', which celebrated the side which won promotion and the FA Trophy in 2012. The Parslow All Stars won 7-4 on a good-spirited night which saw Richard Pacquette score a hat-trick, former manager Gary Mills come on at right-back and striker Jon Parkin play in goal.
The money from the match goes to funds for Parslow’s benefit year and the brain injury charity Headway, with Parslow having been forced into an early retirement after suffering a concussion in February. The 3-time York clubman of the year was keen to hail the fans, organising team, players and backroom staff for making the event possible. “It was absolutely worth all of the planning and preparation in the end. To get everyone together for one last time is absolutely incredible. The night turned out to be beyond my wildest dreams really. I just want to thank every single fan who turned up for the game, every player who came out and played and the managers too. It was an amazing night for myself and my family. It was a slightly strange one being surrounded by my former team-mates from over the years - in a good way. Once you’re in that dressing room together, all of those memories and feelings just come flooding back. All of highs, particularly in 2012, and all of those fantastic memories that we’ve been able to share together. It was incredible and it’s a night that I’ll never forget.”
Parslow was brought onto the field to a guard of honour and started the game, though played just six minutes. He believes the chance to play at Bootham Crescent for one final time brought some closure to the end of his footballing career. “The decision for me to start the game was a last-minute arrangement really. In all honesty, I shouldn’t have been out there, but I wanted a little bit of closure more than anything really. Obviously I picked up the injury in February and I never had the chance to say bye to the people that have helped me throughout my career. I never knew that that game in February was going to be the last time that I was going to play for York City. It was nice to get on the pitch and get the boots back on for one last time. I think I did get a bit of closure from the game. I’ve had lots to keep myself busy since I’ve stopped playing football. I think being out there with the boots once again and being surrounded by all of my ex-team mates was a great way for me to end. This isn’t something that many players get to experience. These occasions within football don’t happen very often. I’m very fortunate that all of the lads put in so much hard work, time and effort to make it to the game. Many of them made long journeys to be here tonight. I’m incredibly grateful. I can’t say enough about the crowd, the turnout out was immense, I’d just like to thank each and every one of them for turning out in the numbers that they did and for showing their gratitude for my service to the football club. I hope that I’ve given them many highs along the way. They all get a huge thank you from me.”
Fans of York came out in their numbers to support Parslow. The attendance for the match was 1,022, higher than the average number of those watching National League North sides. In total, 39 ex teammates were present, including Jason Walker on crutches and Andre Boucaud who travelled from London despite being injured and unable to play.
Wembley Twice 2012: Michael Ingham, Paul Musselwhite, Lanre Oyebanjo, Chris Smith, Dave McGurk, Daniel Parslow, Jamie Reed, Scott Kerr, Jason Walker, Ashley Chambers, Liam Henderson, Danny Pilkington, Michael Potts, Andre Boucard, Jamal Fyfield, Matty Blair, Jon Challinor, Chris Doig, Scott Brown, Ben Gibson, Paddy McLaughlin and Adriano Moke. Managed by: Gary Mills and Darren Gee.
All Stars: Jon Worsnop, Ben Purkiss, Anthony Lloyd, Keith Lowe, John McCombe, Hamza Bencherif, Darren Kelly, Djoumin Sangaré, Neil Barrett, Russ Penn, Alex Lawless, Michael Coulson, Amari Morgan-Smith, Craig Farrell, Richard Pacquette, Michael Gash, Richard Cresswell, Martyn Woolford, Michael Rankine and Jon Parkin. Managed by: Martin Foyle (absent ill) and Andy Porter.

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