Alan Ashton, Justine Barrett & Rhys Murphy
Image by: Ian Parker
Seven-year-old attends first City game...
WHILE many people began the New Year trying to stick to new resolutions and hoping for a change in fortunes for the Minstermen, the New Year’s Day game against North Ferriby United was a new beginning for seven-year-old Justine Barrett.
As a special present from her grandfather for the festive season, Justine asked if she could attend her first ever York City match, and did so from the comfort of the Main Stand as a guest of the York City Supporters’ Trust.
Grandfather Alan Ashton, 70, who is a Main Stand season ticket holder from Wigginton, has been a York City fan for over 60 years and made his Bootham Crescent debut at the age of nine at a reserve team game against Frickley Colliery.
On the day of the North Ferriby game, Justine was presented with a York City goodie bag by striker Rhys Murphy, and was welcomed with a half-time announcement on behalf of the Club by announcer Robert Havercroft.
York City Supporters’ Trust Chairman, Ian Hey said, “The Supporters’ Trust recognises that the age profile of York City Fans has risen over recent years. Initiatives by the Club to encourage new younger supporters are welcomed and supported by the Trust as a way of reducing that profile. It is hoped that the Trust can work with the Club in promoting similar initiatives in the future.
“Alan Ashton has been a supporter for 50 years and it is refreshing that his granddaughter Justine Barrett wanted to attend her first York City match as a Christmas treat. On behalf of the Trust I would like to welcome Justine to Bootham Crescent and hope that this will be the first of many enjoyable visits.”
York City Supporter Liaison Officer, Phil Howden added, “The Club has been working hard in recent times to attract new supporters, so it was great to welcome Justine for what we hope is the first in a lifetime of York City matches. For any City fan, your first game is special and one you will always remember.
“Going forward, we aim to build on the success of our ‘Kids For A Quid’ scheme from earlier in the season, and plan a repeat against Eastleigh on Saturday 4th March to provide more local kids with what we hope will be unforgettable memories.”