Paul Aimson, who died from a heart attack on 9 January, 2008, was an English footballer described as the greatest centre forward to ever represent York City, the club for whom he made over 200 appearances and scored more than 100 goals.
He was a graceful and versatile player who also had spells at Bury, Bradford City and Huddersfield Town and scored 141 league goals in 340 games during a 13-year career.
Mr Aimson was born on 3 August, 1943, in the village of Prestbury, Cheshire. He began his career with Manchester City during his teens, making his debut as a centre-half aged 18. He spent a year retraining as a striker before getting another chance in the first team and he scored six goals in 17 games during the 1963/64 season.
York City signed him for £1,000 and his 26 goals in his first season helped the club win promotion from the Fourth Division, although they were relegated in last place the following year. Mr Aimson left the club for the first time in 1966, with 77 league matches and 43 goals under his belt.
He signed for Bury for £10,000 then had year-long spells at Bradford City and Huddersfield Town, averaging more than a goal in every three games. Then, in 1969, York re-signed him for £2,000 less than they had sold him for originally.
In the 1970/71 season he helped the club to another promotion to the Third Division, scoring another 26 goals alongside fellow York legend Phil Boyer. The same year he also scored a vital goal to earn an FA Cup third round replay against Southampton and scored York’s fastest ever goal in nine-and-a-half seconds against Torquay United.
This time York stayed up for two successive years, albeit on goal difference. In 1973 he signed for Bournemouth, but injuries began to hamper his career and he eventually retired the following year after a frustrating spell at Colchester United.
David Batters, York City club historian described Mr Aimson – who ranks number five on the club’s all-time top-scorer list – as "without a doubt … the best all-round centre-forward in the history of the club".
"He would be in my all-star team," he said. "We’ve had great strikers like Keith Walwyn, Alf Patrick and, more recently, Paul Barnes. But Paul Aimson was top of the pile. He was the complete centre-forward and not only did he score goals he also created chances for others. He was a great bloke and a great footballer."
He added: "Sometimes it's a bit frivolous to use the word legend, but Paul Aimson was a true legend. He will go down in York City history as one of the greats."
In total he made 249 appearances for York and scored 113 times, including five hat-tricks. He was top scorer in four of the six seasons he spent at Bootham Crescent. He returned to the ground 18 months before his death and was given a standing ovation.
"He was moved to tears," recalled Graham Bradbury, head of match-day hospitality. "He then said to the fans you are the salt of the earth … He was the perfect centre-forward and a perfect gentleman."
Ill health prevented him from attending York’s game against Weymouth in November 2007 where he had been invited to be the club’s guest of honour. He died of a heart attack in hospital near his home in Christchurch aged 64.