THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Arindam Rej tells us about Hull City

How much of a difference has the move to the new Kingston Communications Stadium made?
There’s no doubt the KC is more than a match for any ground outside the Premiership. Before our relocation, we were already attracting the biggest crowds in the division by a considerable margin but since the move record-breaking gate receipts have been pouring in, with more than 20,000 attending the matches against Sunderland and Hartlepool.

Is the club capable of attracting bigger crowds?
We have a catchment area of around one million so the potential is there. It’s also worth bearing in mind this is the biggest city in Europe never to have hosted top-flight football and an end to our ridiculous underachievement could lure in some locals who watch their football at Premiership grounds.

How has Peter Taylor done since he arrived?
He got off to a flying start and promotion looked a distinct possibility before Christmas. However, form dipped alarmingly and Taylor’s response was to take a “safety first” approach. As a result, no team in the entire league has drawn more matches than us and his overtly cautious tactics have frustrated certain sections of the crowd, as we remain strand­ed in mid-table. Hull had changed manager four times in two and a half years, so Taylor’s appointment was supposed to be long-term, but serious improvements will be needed next season.

Who are your biggest rivals?

As every club in Yorkshire seems to gravitate to­wards the Third Division at some stage, we are never short of derbies. However, our biggest rivalry is probably with fans of the two rugby league clubs. This is largely because they claim Hull is a rugby city despite the fact City’s home attendances regularly double the combined total of Hull FC and Hull KR.

Who in Division Three would you most like to buy?

Wrexham’s Andy Morrell. Taylor has already said he wants to bring in two strikers in the summer and it’s an area we desperately need to sort out. Morrell’s physical presence and awareness would add a new dimension to our attacking play and his goal tally speaks for itself. He is also an assured penalty taker which would be a major bonus, considering our poor record from the spot this year.

Milestones & Millstones
1904-05 Club founded, playing at the Boulevard then Anlaby Road. Elected to Second Division, finishing fifth.
1910 Needing a draw against Oldham to go up instead of them, City lose 3-0.
1930 Lose an FA Cup semi-final to Arsenal 1-0. City are then relegated to Third Division North. On goal difference.
1946 Move to Boothferry Park. Three years later, win Third Division North. Record 55,019 see Man Utd in the FA Cup. A young Don Revie is released.
1955 The press wants friendly with Vasas of Hungary stopped to avoid national humiliation, but a Bill Bradbury hat-trick earns an astonishing 3-1 win.
1966 Ken Wagstaff helps win Third Division and take Chelsea to an FA Cup quarter-final replay, losing a famous tie 3-1.
1978 Relegation from Second Division. City reach the basement for the first time in 1981 then go into receivership.
1983 Must beat Burnley 3-0 to gain a second successive promotion. Win 2-0 and miss out on goal difference. Promoted two years later.
1991 Terry Dolan takes over, soon to lead the club back into the basement.
1994-95 Injury crisis forces City to use goalkeeper Alan Fettis as a substitute striker against top-of-the-table Oxford. He seals three points with a goal. Five months later, he is forced up front against Blackpool too. He scores again.
2002 After a struggle for survival, Adam Pearson saves the club and relocates us to the KC Stadium.

Fondly remembered
Ken Wagstaff ~ Goalscorer who rewrote record books from 1964 to 1976. A Steve Bull of his time who would probably have had a meaningful England career had he played for a higher profile club. When he returned as a guest after retiring, the stands would shake as fans clapped and stamped their appreciation.

Best forgotten
David Lloyd ~ Took over in July 1997 saying Hull was a “sporting hotbed” and left condemning the city’s people for “living in the dark ages”. Promised much but the only contribution he made to club history was to make it face extinction. After selling the club, retrieved ownership of the ground and locked us out in a rent dispute.

From WSC 196 June 2003. What was happening this month

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