Hi There again I hope your all doing OK and surviving the changes we are all experiencing and welcome to another edition of the ‘Lockdown Diary’. If you aren’t following the serialisation of the book, I hope that you will at least read the first few paragraphs for I believe that they are important.
It was good this week to see Scott Taylor coming out big to support the Club for their caring attitude to their employees most of whom are on Furlough at present. It also appearedfrom Twitter that Adam was having a few issues with the Bank Manager, as he attempts to access more of the support provided by the government to get business through these strange times.
This it appears is all linked to ancient debts, accrued by the previous administration, which is all really worrying because as Adam said, it puts the very existence of our club under threat. This, I believe, wasn’t so much Adam going off on one, as him being conscious that the livelihood’s of almost 200 people are in his hands and him only wanting what was due to the Club. We need all the help we can get for it will only take a couple of clubs to get into real difficulties for the whole game to collapse, so we all, fans, clubs, the games administrators and even the clubs Bank manager have to do our bit and hold the line as best we can.
What is however most heartening is the fact that all 190 people on the Clubs payroll have agreed immediately to a wage cut of up to 35% until August, with not one complaint or grumble. That will bring hardship to some, but when compared with what is going on in Rugby Union and particularly Football, it show all of us (and no doubt Adam), the stuff that rugby league is made of and just reaffirms for us long term fans, what a tremendous spirit there is at Hull FC.That tenacity and will to survive got us through the seventies and the Lloyd years and it will get us through now! It is the stuff that runs through the very DNA of the Club and its army of fans and something that has repeatedly shown up to be our biggest asset over the years.
I want here to personally thank the players and all the staff for their attitude and understanding and commend their sacrifice and their obvious passion for our great club. For us fans, your actions as employees of the Club we all love are a great tribute to our belief in that Club. What’s more in such dark times, when we are all worried and even scared for ourselves and our families, it is just so heartening and uplifting for us all.
Hull FC is an organisation central to the Community and I hope that should we continue to struggle, Adam and Clarkynext come to us the supporters to help out if we can. Many of us are under economic pressure and struggling at present and many can’t sometimes make ends meet at all, however I know we will all help if we possibly can. This is different to any other crisis we have faced, for it is not brought about by a profligate owner, or are unaccountable Board of Directors, or by the actions of a megalomaniac running the club, nor is it borne out of poor performances, poor coaching or players that can’t be arsed on the field either.
This is a national crisis that is not of our doing, but one thatthreatens the very fabric of our way of life and as such we all must do what we can to get through it and as we do that, we must strive to preserve the things that are most dear to us all. We are lucky I think to have Adam for he has once again engendered a siege mentality, a belonging and a togetherness at the Club. He is doing his best and as Scott Taylor said, the staff trust him to do that. We must now all trust him and back him and the club through these horrible weeks and months, always with the hope that one day we will return to the KComto watch some rugby again.
Man, these are strange times indeed.
However, and moving on, I heard the other day from the keeper of records and all things historical about Hull FC, the Club historian Bill Dalton. He contacted me to tell me of a massive anniversary that came about this week. Bills hasbecome a good friend to both me and the Dentist Diary over the years and he told me this week that last Friday it was exactly 100 years since our first ever Championship Title. Bill in fact sent me a newspaper cutting from the Yorkshire Post and a great piece he had written about it, that I enclose for you all here.
Quite ironically, I discovered as well that back then the world was gripped by a massive Flu pandemic which coming as it did at the end of the Great War, in the end killed 17m people worldwide. I guess it will have been so different back then with no health service, news channels, internet and Piers Morgan, but it’s still a case I guess of what goes around…anyway Bill wrote;-
Saturday 24th April 1920. Northern Union Championship Final (at Headingley)
Results wise, this was Hull’s finest season thus far in the Northern Union resulting in a 2nd-place finish in the League. After the opening day loss at Halifax, only a further four League games were lost up to and including New Year’s Day at Rochdale.
Following that, only a Home loss to Oldham on Valentine’s Day 1920 spoiled the League record until the final two matches at Easter, during which Hull played 4 games in 5 days, viz; 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th April. The second of that quartet was designated Billy Batten’s Benefit match, which realised £1,079-13s-8d, a monumental sum for those days, and a clear indication of the extent of the affection felt by the Hull supporters. Second position in the League was already secure by the time the Easter Programme had arrived. Leeds, having finished third came to The Boulevard in the Play-Off Semi-Final and were dispatched 11 – 0.
So, for the first time Hull made passage into the Championship Final where, on 24th April 1920, the Opposition was Huddersfield, the ‘Team of all the Talents’, who sought a win to achieve a Second ‘All Four Cups’ Season following their all-conquering season in 1914-15. Although much was made of the fact that the ‘Fartowners’ were without their five Tourists, it was also a fact that Hull were without Billy Stone, who had also departed on Tour, and Jimmy Devereux, Eddie Caswell (both injured), Ned Rogers (ill) and Forwards Tom Herridge, Jack Beasty and Fred Newsome, all suspended through dismissals in successive Easter matches. The loss of half their pack of Forwards notwithstanding, Hull matched the Huddersfield six in a dour Forward battle in which Penalties were the main feature of the first half, although all were unsuccessful apart from the solitary effort kicked by Holland on 27 minutes which gave Huddersfield the lead. That one was for offside at a scrum, which Billy Batten fiercely contested. After a flare-up 3 minutes before halftime, following an alleged tripping incident, Alf Grice was sent off, leaving Hull another front line forward short, for the remainder of the game.
More missed Penalties by both sides together with failed Drop Goal attempts were a feature of the second half in which Hull gradually looked the more threatening as the game wore on. Francis broke and kicked through for Batten whose kick on rolled slowly over the dead ball line, so agonisingly slowly before the chasing Billy could reach it to score. But, it all came right for him and for Hull when, on 72 minutes, he drove through a defensive wall to set Markham up for a run down the wing before Billy took his return pass to score after what The Hull Daily Mail described as “a Superhuman Effort”. So, at long last, Hull attained the Northern Union Championship and Billy Batten was three-quarters of the way to his second full set of Winners medals.
Hull –J. Holdsworth; A.Francis, W.Batten, J.Kennedy, J.W.Markham; T.Milner,J. Hulme; A.Grice, E.C.Shield, W.Holder, R.Taylor, H.Garrett, J.E.Wyburn
Huddersfield – M.Holland; G.Todd, T.Gleeson, A.Rosenfeld, H.Pogson; C.Marsden, R.Habron; J.W.Higson, G.Naylor, A.Swinden, T.Fenwick , A.Sherwood, H.Sutcliffe.
Referee – A Hestford (Broughton).
Att: 12,900 (Rec; £1,615)
So, thanks so much for that Bill, it was certainly an insight into times gone by. However, now for those of you who are following the continued serialisation of ‘Roamin’ the Range Together’ here is my latest offering. The next Chapter of Book One follows the difficult days of the sixties the end of Roy Francis, the advent of Alan McGlone, David Doyle Davidson, John Maloney and Chris Davidson amongst others and a trip to Wembley for a now famous international game.