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A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS - BYRON WEBSTER - YORK CITY

17 August 2015

It doesn't take long upon visiting Huish Park to see images of the Wembley victory in 2013 hanging all around the stadium, inside and out.

Whether it is Paddy Madden's right foot wonder goal or the trophy being held aloft by any number of green and white heroes, memories from that day and the season as a whole come flooding back.

One man who was central to that side was the man who we focus on for today's "foot in both camps'.

A Yorkshireman by birth but with a football story that has taken in much of England and even the far flung divisions of the Czech Republic.

Byron Webster began his career initially in Leeds United's youth system but after a couple years switched to York City where he would make his first team bow.

 

Webster's debut for the Minstermen came in 2004 at the age of just 17, two years before turning professional with the same side.

His first and only goal for York came later that same season in a game against Stevenage Borough.

His time at Bootham Cresent - or the Kit Kat Cresent as it was for most of his time there - spanned three years. He only made a little over 20 appearances for the club and eventually left in February 2007.

His stay at York may have been a short one in the first team, but they will forever remain the club that gave him his chance at professional football.

His career remained local signing for non-league sides in Yorkshire including Harrogate and Whitby before an unusual opportunity arose.

FK Banik Most is probably not a football club many people will be familiar with, however Webster was offered a chance to go to the top tier of Czech football and play against the relative giants of Sparta Prague and Viktoria Plzen. He was lured to the less-than-glamorous surroundings of the Gambrinus Liga by an agent while on holiday in the more-than-glamourous setting on Mexico and recalled at how he travelled to meet his new team with 'nothing to lose' after falling out of love with the game.

Two years into his time in the Czech Republic he returned but not before he'd picked up some of the local lingo - a trait which helped him when communicating with Marek Stech during the promotion campaign.

He was courted by SPL and Championship clubs in England and settled on Doncaster where he would spend a solitary year before heading to Northampton.

It was there he caught the eye of Gary Johnson who brought him to Huish Park.

For two seasons he was a lynch pin of the Glovers back line leading the troops both as a central figure and as vice-captain for much of his stay.

 

His first campaign, the successful 2012/13 season, Webster was a near ever present and the Webster-Burn central defensive partnership kept some very high profile attacking threats at bay.

53 appearances in the first season had earned him, and his employers, a crack at the Championship.

Ultimately, trying to stay in the second tier proved too much of an uphill task. Despite that, Webster would return to Yeovil a year later this time on loan from Millwall to try and guide the Glovers away from the bottom of League One - again, with the captain's armband and his on-the-field leadership quoted as being his main asset.

Webster is back in League One with Millwall these days and under new management has cemented himself as a key member of the side with promotion ambitions themselves this season.


His face is one of those plastered all around Huish Park for his role in 2013, but his talismanic campaign could not have been possible if York hadn't given him a chance in the first place.

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