This is the story of York City in 1983-84 when they became the first club to reach 100 points in a season. Part One took us up to the end of 1983. York were top of the table on 46pts. They were six clear of Doncaster Rovers in second, with Bristol City and Blackpool a further two points back.
Now we see how they took things on from the New Year.
Mansfield arrived for the first game of the year. This was Yorkâ€™s fourth game in eight days and a 2-1 win gave them 10pts from a possible 12. Alan Hay scored his first of the season with Gary Ford getting his fifth.
They were now eight points clear as Doncaster played out an exciting 3-3 draw with Rochdale.
After a week off when the FA Cup Third Round was being played, York then welcomed Stockport to their abode. The story of the first half was of two penalties. David Hood converted his for the home side, while Tommy Sword was equally on target for the visitors.
But in the second half, Yorkâ€™s quality and confidence gave them the edge. MacPhail grabbed his fourth of the season while Walwyn took his tally to 16 in a 3-1 win.
Doncaster, managed by former Leeds United favourite Billy Bremner, were still winning so the gap was still five points, but York were now 12 ahead of Colchester in fifth with the season just over half gone.
January ended with their third home game in a row, and all of them wins. John Byrne scored his first of the year with what proved to be the only goal of the game against Chesterfield. He now joined his strike partner on 16 for the season.
55pts at the end of January and York looked to be running away with the division. Doncaster were still five behind but had played a game more. With Bristol City a further four back in third surely the title was theirs to lose?
For the first time since New Yearâ€™s Eve York had to travel for a match. Their away form had begun poorly. After winning their opening game they then took just two points from their next five. But now theyâ€™d won their last five away from home.
Blackpool was the destination. They were lying in fifth place but won just once in their last four. The form book was thrown out the window as Keith Mercer and former Chelsea midfielder, Ian Britton gave the home side the lead at the break. York needed to get the next goal to stay in the game, but it was Blackpoolâ€™s full-back David Moore who got it for a stunning 3-0 win.
It was the first time York had tasted defeat in nine matches. Their previous four defeats had all been by one goal, so this was particularly chastening. Meanwhile, Doncaster were held at home by Torquay, so the damage wasnâ€™t all that bad.
Back at Bootham Crescent, they bounced back with wins over Darlington (2-0) and Northampton (3-0).
Their next foray was down south to Reading, who were sitting in fourth place at the time and unbeaten in their last five (but just one of those was a victory). The game was settled by a Lawrie Sanchez goal and it was Yorkâ€™s second successive away defeat.
Was the strain of leading the pack beginning to show?
They followed this up with a trip to North Wales and a goalless draw with Wrexham. It was now two months since theyâ€™d scored away from home.
Yorkâ€™s lead was cut to three points, although they still had a game in hand over Doncaster in second. Reading and Bristol City were a further six points back in third and fourth, respectively. The gap to Aldershot in fifth was still 10 points so promotion looked pretty assured. It was just the title now being questioned.
The dip in form continued when Bristol City arrived. In front of a crowd of just over 5,000, Trevor Morgan scored for the visitors but York earned a point when City defender, Forbes Phillipson-Masters put through his own net. Worse news was to follow as Malcolm Crosby picked up an injury that would see him only play a part in one more match for the rest of the season.
After a perfect January, York were now in a run of just two wins in their last six, and none in their last three. The goals had dried up too. Theyâ€™d scored once in their last three and only found the net in three of their last six. The lead was now down to a point, though they still held that game in hand over Doncaster.
All teams go through some sort of dodgy spell, so it was to be expected. But Doncaster were not blinking yet. They were unbeaten in 14.
The gap to Bristol City in third was eight so it looked to be a two-horse race for the title. A battle between two clubs barely 40 miles apart. It promised to be a thrilling finish. The battle for the other promotion spots was pretty tight.
Despite the absence of Crosby, the Bristol result proved to be the turning point. They won their next six.
It was just like a 10,000m race where the leader goes off ahead for several laps. The athlete in second puts in a spurt to close the gap. Then just as they catch them, they find the leader has simply been conserving energy before another kick takes them ahead again.
Now the goals were going in.
Crewe turned up and Sean Haslegrave came in for Crosby. Heâ€™d played nine of the first 10 games at the start of the season. But had started just once since mid-October. At half-time things were poised at 1-1, but then the home side took control and goals from Walwyn (2), Byrne and Sbragia gave them a thumping 5-2 victory.
More was to follow at the weekend when they made the trip all the way down to Torquay and came back with a comfortable 3-1 win. The front two were again on target. Walwyn had now reached the 20 mark for the season again. Something heâ€™d managed for each of the three seasons heâ€™d been at the club. Byrne was on 19. Easily his best return for the Minstermen.
They were away in their next match too when they travelled to Essex to meet Colchester United. Again Walwyn scored, giving him four in his last three and York ran out 3-1 winners.
On the eve of the match, it was revealed in the press Keith Walwyn had had talks with Coventry City manager, Bobby Gould about a possible transfer. But the York striker turned the First Division club down saying;
â€œI wasnâ€™t happy with the terms offered because it wouldnâ€™t have been worth my while to move to the Midlands. I am happy at City.â€
March ended with back-to-back 2-0 wins. Swindon made the trip up north and were seen off by yet another Walwyn strike. Then Byrne hit a double when they travelled to Rochdale. He now had breached the 20 mark as he and Walwyn had 43 between them.
This was their game in hand and gave them five straight wins after the draw at home to Bristol at the beginning of the month.
They were now eight points clear of Doncaster. Bristol City were third, a point back but having played two more games. Reading were fourth and had a two-point cushion over Aldershot in fifth. The gap between York and Aldershot was a whopping 17 points. There were now just ten games to go.
Doncaster were only five points ahead of fifth so it now looked like Yorkâ€™s title again, with a huge battle for the other three promotion spots.
Into the final six weeks of the season and Peterborough was the destination for York. Their third successive 2-0 win, and their sixth victory on the trot was another nail in their challengersâ€™ coffin. Byrne was again on target
Pearce was missing for that game as Pollard came in. Pollard had been nowhere near as prolific in front of goal as he had the previous season. Then he hit 17 whereas he just had six so far this campaign. Now he was no longer a first-team regular.
York had now overtaken last seasonâ€™s points tally (79). With Doncaster not playing, Bristol City moved into second place with the gap to York now 13 points.
The second week of April saw a fixture many had been looking forward to. Doncaster Rovers visited Bootham Crescent. â€˜Donnyâ€™ had won on their last two visits there, and it was six years since York had beaten them anywhere. A run of eight matches. This wasnâ€™t going to be easy.
A month earlier the game could well have been pivotal to the title race with both sides separated by a point. Now the gap between the two was 15.
Doncaster had been on a 15-game unbeaten run, yet now theyâ€™d lost two in three without winning the other.
The biggest crowd for years (11,297) packed into Bootham Crescent with hopes of a classic. Unfortunately, it was a tightly contested affair rather than a goal-fest. John Byrne missed a penalty, Gary Ford scored for the home side but Glynn Snodin cancelled things out for the visitors. The game ended 1-1. A result which left the home side much happier.
With Bristol City losing at Reading, Yorkâ€™s lead was up to 14 points. City had just six fixtures left to play and the title was now just surely a formality.
A trip down south to Hampshire to take on Aldershot was next. With the Shots in fifth, this represented probably the last test York would have to face. They passed with flying colours.
At the end of March Denis Smith had delved into the transfer market and picked up a bargain from Leyton Orient.
Keith Houchen had become frustrated with his lack of opportunity at Brisbane Road and after it seemed obvious Frank Clark didnâ€™t rate him, he handed in a transfer request. Heâ€™d only been in London for two years after a successful spell at Hartlepool. Smith spent Â£15,000 to bring him back up north saying;
â€œAnybody who could score 65 goals playing for Hartlepool must have somethingâ€.
He made his debut against Aldershot coming on as a substitute for Steve Senior. The poor young right-back had broken his leg. It was really tough on the 20-year old whoâ€™d played in every game thus far.
Houchen didnâ€™t make a great start as he missed a penalty. Centre-back John MacPhail had scored his eighth of the season, his third strike in the last four away games. Then Houchen got on the scoresheet and with Byrne and Pearce adding to the tally, York won 4-1.
York now had 85 points, which wouldâ€™ve been enough to go up the previous year. They were 14 points clear of Bristol City, who now only had five games remaining. Two fewer than York. Doncaster were third, with a game in hand on York but a huge 15 points to try and make up.
York then travelled west to take on Chester City as they embarked on three fixtures in five days. Derek Hood scored his third of the season but was cancelled out by Derek Brettâ€™s second of the season for the home side. A 1-1 draw wasnâ€™t a disaster for York. They still had a 12-point lead over Bristol City, who could now only win the title on goal difference. Doncaster were 16 points behind but with two games in hand.
Now the Easter period. Two games in three days, traditionally this was a deciding moment for many a promotion push. But Yorkâ€™s sprint ahead of the pack in March had meant they could enjoy the rest of the division trying to work out how to catch them.
A Good Friday fixture at home to Halifax Town was attractive enough to see the second-highest crowd of the season (7,120). The home side put on a show from the off. They were 3-0 up at the break and eventually won 4-1. John Byrne hit a brilliant hat-trick.
He now had 26 for the season. Walwyn scored the other and he now matched last seasonâ€™s tally of 23.
Promotion was all but secured. They had a lead of 21 points to Aldershot in fifth, with the Shots having just seven games to go. Yorkâ€™s goal difference was superior by a massive 44 goals. Mathematically it was still to be confirmed, but in reality, it was done.
Doncaster tried to keep the pressure on, no matter how weak, with a 4-1 win over Northampton the next day but they were running out of games.
On the same day, Aldershot made the short trip to Reading and Trevor Seniorâ€™s 30th goal of the season for Reading gave them a 1-0 win. That result was significant for York as it confirmed their promotion to Division Three.
On Easter Monday, York had another trip west when they were at Tranmere Rovers. A Gary Ford goal extended their unbeaten run to 13. Their lead was 17 points. They were now on 92 points. If Doncaster won every game remaining they could only manage 94. The title was almost real.
The next day Doncaster came from behind to beat Darlington to move back into second place.
The following weekend York welcomed Hartlepool United to Bootham Crescent. 6,063 turned up to see if the home side could secure the title. Two goals in the second half from Keith Walwyn gave York a 2-0 and the title was theirs.
At Chester, Doncaster went down to an Andy Elliott goal but in reality, even if theyâ€™d won Yorkâ€™s points tally was now out of reach.
Celebrations were in full flow.
Walwyn and Byrne now had 51 goals between them. The team had scored 91. The next best scorers in the division were Reading on just 76.
The three remaining games could easily have been a case of going through the motions. But no team had ever reached 100 points in a season. Granted this was only the fourth season it had been possible, but still to be the first club to do it would go down in history.
They travelled to Mansfield and, as was customary in away games, John MacPhail scored. It was the fourth game in the last seven away trips heâ€™d been on the scoresheet and it was the only goal of the game.
Bank Holiday Monday had 8,026 pack into Bootham Crescent to cheer on the record-breakers. The place went mad when John Byrne put them in front in the first half. It was his 27th of the season, a fantastic achievement from the 23-year old.
Derek Hood doubled their lead and if there had have been a roof on the ground, it wouldâ€™ve been blown off at this point. Gary Ford completed the scoring in the second half and York won 3-0.
The 100 points were secured.
The final game of the season was a bit of an anti-climax. They travelled to Hereford and despite yet another goal away from home from MacPhail, they lost 1-2.
It ended a 16-match unbeaten run to the end of the season, but it didnâ€™t take any of the gloss off their record-breaking achievement.
Doncaster Rovers finished second, a huge 16 points behind York. Reading and Bristol City grabbed the other two promotion spots and they were 19 points behind the Champions. Aldershot stayed in fifth and were seven points away from a promotion place.
It was a stunning achievement to go through a season so utterly dominant. They almost hit the 100 goals mark too, falling just four short.
John Byrne (27) and Keith Walwyn (25) shared 52 goals between them. Walwyn now had 69 goals in his three seasons at the club.
For Byrne, this was the launchpad to an exciting career. By the following October, he was off to Queenâ€™s Park Rangers after he performed well in a League Cup match against them.
York finished the following season in a creditable eighth place. With Byrne gone and Walwyn missing much of the season, it fell to Houchen to provide the goals.
Walwyn returned to form a year later with 29 goals, following it up with a further 25.
Denis Smith left in 1986-87 to take over at Sunderland. The following season York were relegated back to Division Four. Walwyn had left the summer before, moving to Blackpool then onto Carlisle where he finished his league career.
His final match as a professional was with Kettering in the Football Conference (now the National Conference). He was forced to quit the game in March 1991 when he collapsed in a match against Altrincham.
Walwyn died in April 2003 while undergoing a heart operation. He was just 47. One of the hospitality suites at Bootham Crescent, â€œKeith Walwyn Vice Presidentsâ€™ Loungeâ€, was opened in August 2006.
After his death ITV commentator, Jon Champion, gave his own personal tribute to one of his heroes;
â€œFor all his ill-health of recent years, news of Keith Walwynâ€™s death still came as a huge shock, because to me, and a whole generation of York City supporters, Keith was INDESTRUCTIBLE. To stand on the old Shipton Street terrace and see him bearing down on some hapless opposition goalkeeper was the footballing equivalent of a day trip to heaven. He wasnâ€™t always a pretty site – not an artiste in the way of his partner, John Byrne – but he was incredibly effective, full of menace and with those trademark sweatbands on either wrist. The image of Keith leaping through the air to meet a Gary Ford cross will always be imprinted on my mind. It happened so many times, never more so than in that record-breaking Fourth Division Championship season, when he seemed to score every week. Distance, or in this case time, lends enchantment to the view, of course, however, I can think of no finer lower-division centre-forward. And he wasnâ€™t a bad defender either! But for a piece of weak refereeing at Anfield, he would have scored a famous FA Cup winner against Liverpool and grabbed some merited headlines. As it was, he rarely graced the national stage, content to lead Yorkâ€™s line with bravery, panache and bags of goals. There was, truly, only one Keith Walwynâ€
Houchen, of course, earned a claim to fame when his goals for Coventry City beat Tottenham in the 1987 FA Cup Final. His finest moment in a York City shirt was when he scored the penalty for them in the FA Cup which knocked out Arsenal in one of the competitions biggest shocks.
At the 25th anniversary celebrations of that season, Houchen explained his reasons for choosing York back in 1984
â€œI walked into a winning dressing room for the first time in my professional career. I was an ambitious young player and York was the launchpad for my career. It was my first taste of a winning team.â€
He went on to praise the management of Smith and Busby;
â€œDenis and Viv bounced ideas off each other really well and training was never boring. They got everything right and were tactically clever. It was a dream for me.â€
â€œI was told I couldnâ€™t play upfront because Keith Walwyn and John Byrne were scoring goals for fun. My job was in midfield, running up the field and scoring goals without having to do all the work strikers do, like holding up the ball.â€
At the same gathering, full-back Chris Evans gave his own personal view on the time;
â€œIn our minds, we are still there. None of us had anything as players, we were on Â£150 per week top wage, but we created a little piece of history in a little part of the United Kingdom. There was great belief and motivation in the team that we could win games before we even got on the pitch. It was like a snowball gathering snow and we kept rolling forward.
He also gave his tribute to the management;
â€œDenis and Viv were the good cop, bad cop. Denis was the disciplinarian and Viv was the arm around the shoulder.â€
Celebrations of the clubâ€™s unique triumph were seen throughout the city. A trophy presentation and then an open-top bus tour around the narrow streets of York. The driver of the bus was one Sid Storey. Heâ€™d been one of the players in the York team which took Newcastle United to a replay in the FA Cup Semi-Final 1955 when they became the first third-tier club to play in an FA Cup Semi-Final replay.
This wasnâ€™t just a record-breaking season in terms of points. They also set a record for most wins (31), most away wins (13), most goals (96) and most clean sheets (20).