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City Connections - Mansfield Town

City Connections - Mansfield Town
Another new series in which we randomly select five players who have connections with both York City and a specially featured club.

1. Ian McDonald

Ian McDonald was a talented left-sided midfielder who appeared to have a very bright future in the game after being snapped up by Liverpool for £33,000 in 1974.

Prior to that he'd started out with hometown club Barrow, before a spell at Cumbrian neighbours Workington. However, a serious injury in his first game for the reserves at Anfield seriously restricted his progress.

McDonald later helped Mansfield to win promotion from Division Four, until joining York for £7,000 in November 1977. Named as City's Clubman of the Year in 1979-80, the cultured playmaker was also top scorer the following season with twelve goals.

In total netted 31 times in 195 games ahead of making over 300 appearances for Aldershot; that after arriving in part-exchange for Malcolm Crosby in November 1981.

2. Kevin Randall

Striker Kevin Randall was already a stalwart goalscorer by the time he'd arrived from Mansfield for £8,000 in October 1977. He immediately marked his City debut by scoring both goals in a 2-1 Friday night home victory against Doncaster.

Three years later and after registering 31 goals in 118 games, Randall was appointed as youth coach at Bootham Crescent, before then becoming caretaker manager following the departure of Barry Lyons in December 1981. But within three months Randall had also left the club.

Earlier in his career had proved a regular marksman while helping both Chesterfield and Notts County towards promotion, and later won the Third Division championship with the Stags.

3. Terry Eccles

Born in Leeds, Terry Eccles had made his name while averaging almost a goal every other game at Mansfield having been with Blackburn earlier in his career.

He then moved onto Huddersfield, but was on his travels again when swapping West Yorkshire for Greece and a spell at Ethnikos.

Soon returning to his homeland, Eccles joined York in September 1979 and netted on his debut in a 5-2 defeat at Portsmouth. The big centre-forward was also on target in his next couple of games during victories over Scunthorpe and Rochdale.

In two years with the club made 71 appearances and claimed nineteen goals before later moving to neighbours Scarborough.

4. Brian Pollard

A superbly aggressive and tenacious little winger who enjoyed a couple of terrific spells with his hometown club.

Having initially won five England youth caps with City as a youngster, Pollard turned professional in March 1972. He went on to play a leading role in their successful promotion campaign of 1973-74, and then featured forty times in the old Division Two [now Championship], before finishing as leading goalscorer and Clubman of the Year in 1976-77.

That earned him a then club record £33,000 move to Watford in November 1977. Under their inspirational manager Graham Taylor and high-profile chairman Elton John, the Hornets were to quickly rise from the Fourth to the Second Division.

Pollard later joined Mansfield before returning to York in September 1981; and the following season finished as second-top goalscorer with nineteen goals [despite operating on the left wing] as City stormed to the Fourth Division title.

He made 302 appearances for York and scored 68 goals across his two spells and remains amongst their finest-ever players.

5. Matty Blair

Will always be a darling of the York faithful having scored in both of their famous Wembley triumphs of May 2012.

Blair actually started his career in his native Midlands, and following spells with a number of lower grade teams joined Kidderminster in August 2010; ironically making his debut as a substitute in a 2-1 victory at York on the opening day of the season.

Went on to finish the campaign with eleven goals in 45 games for the Harriers, including scoring a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw at Grimsby.

But a two-year contract lured him to Bootham Crescent in June 2011 - and it was to prove an absolutely incredible move. By the end of the season Blair had finished as leading marksman with 20 goals in 52 appearances.

Those included strikes against Luton and Mansfield in the play-off final and semi-finals respectively - and Newport and Luton in the FA Trophy final and semi-final.

With York now back in the Football League, the pacy winger added another seven goals in 49 appearances, until joining Fleetwood in May 2013.

He notably scored against former club York to knock them out of the League Two play-offs in the semi-finals, while there were also loans with Northampton and Cambridge before moving on to Mansfield and then current club Doncaster.



Video Link: YorkCityTV

Matty Blair scored a famous goal against Mansfield in May 2012

Writer:Vital York City
Date:Tuesday October 10 2017
Time: 1:14PM

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